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Tampa Theatre’s Restoration Celebration Set For Saturday

Tampa Theatre
Tampa Theatre will host a Restoration Celebration Saturday with Buster Keaton's silent film The General.

With the Tampa Theatre’s $6 million restoration now complete, members of The Florida Orchestra will perform live Saturday during the 1926 silent film The General.

Jill Witecki, the Theatre’s Marketing Director, said they felt it was appropriate to find a movie from 1926, since that was the year the Tampa Theatre opened.

Seventeen members of The Florida Orchestra plan to accompany what some critics call Buster Keaton’s greatest film.

Along with the live film score, Witecki added that the plush seating, bistro tables, cup holders and hand railings will enhance a film viewer’s experience.

“If you have never seen a silent film the way it is meant to be seen, it is such an incredible experience,” said Witecki. “It’s something you have to do at least once.”

The Florida Orchestra often collaborates with the Tampa Theatre for live events.

“They do silent films around the community several times a year and this is one of the films in their repertoire,” said Witecki. “It just worked out perfectly that they were able to join us for the evening.”

The Theatre’s Restoration Celebration will thank donors and supporters of the campaign.

“It really is our opportunity to celebrate with the community the work that’s been done,” said Witecki.

The theatre was closed for six weeks late last year. The concession stand was replaced, the interior of the theatre was repainted, and the ground floor seating has been reduced from 1400 seats to 1200, giving moviegoers more legroom.

“Our primary objective was to bring the building back to its original look,” said Witecki.

The doors for Saturday’s Restoration Celebration open at 8 p.m. and the show begins at 8:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online here.

Nada Blassy is a WUSF/USF Zimmerman School digital news intern for summer 2018.
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