This December, the Tampa Theatre will deck its historic halls with a month-long celebration of holiday films, concerts, theatre tours and special presentations that highlight the season in ways from family-friendly to far-out, traditional to up-tempo.
When you come to the Tampa Theatre, you’re not just coming for a movie – you’re coming for an experience. One of the most popular of those experiences for guests is the opportunity see a beloved holiday favorite on the big screen and sing along to Christmas carols with the Mighty Wurlitzer before each show in the unmatched elegance of the city’s historic movie palace.
This year, the theatre is pleased to bring you the following holiday greats:
The Muppet Christmas Carol
3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2
The Muppet characters tell their version of the classic tale of an old and bitter miser’s redemption on Christmas Eve. Immediately before the film, Mrs. Claus herself will make a special appearance for an interactive story time and presentation of “The 12 Days of Christmas” with the children in the audience.
3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9
A successful song-and-dance duo become romantically involved with a sister act and team up to save a failing Vermont inn.
Miracle on 34th Street
3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16
When a kind, elderly man who claims to be Santa Claus is institutionalized as insane, a young lawyer decides to defend him by arguing in court that he is the real thing.
It’s A Wonderful Life
7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21
3 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 22
3 p.m. Sunday Dec. 23
An angel helps a compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman by showing what life would have been like if he never existed.
Tickets for the Holiday Classics Movie Series are $9 for adults, $7 for children, seniors, military and Tampa Theatre members at the box office, or online at TampaTheatre.org ($2 convenience fee applies)
Let us not forget that the holiday season is also the time when Hollywood dishes out some of it’s finest movies of the year, just in time for the Oscar voters to get a peak at them.
Opening Friday, November 30, Anna Karenina is already being called an automatic contender for the Best Picture OSCAR. The bold, theatrical new presentation of the epic love story is the vision of acclaimed director Joe Wright, adapted from Leo Tolstoy’s great novel by Academy Award winner Tom Stoppard (Shakespeare in Love). The film marks the third collaboration of the director with Academy Award-nominated actress Keira Knightley and producers Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner and Paul Webster, following their award-winning box office successes Price & Prejudice and Atonement. The film also stars Jude Law and Aaron Taylor-Johnson. The film will run throughout December, and showtimes are available online at TampaTheatre.org
On the darker end of the holiday spectrum, Rare Exports is billed as “A film for those who think they don’t believe in Santa Claus anymore.” Based on award-winning shorts by Finnish director Jalmari Helander, the film focuses on a group of local reindeer herders whose Christmas is disturbed when archaeological excavations on the mountain uncover the source of the original Santa Claus myth. Rather than a “jolly old elf,” however, they find a supernatural being who instead of rewarding good children, punishes the naughty. Roger Ebert called it “an original, daring, carefully crafted film,” but far from family-friendly, this late-night special feature is more geared toward monster-movie fans. Showtimes are 10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7 and Saturday, Dec. 8.
Tickets for each of these films are $10 for adults, $8 for children, seniors, military and Tampa Theatre members at the box office, located at 711 N. Franklin Street in downtown Tampa.
The Tampa Theatre isn’t only about movies, however. It also hosts a variety of live performances throughout the year, and the month of December is no exception. On Thursday, December 20, the Tampa Theatre will host the return “A Rockapella Holiday” at 7:30 p.m. Known as the kings of contemporary a cappella music, this five-man powerhouse of vocal talent sweeps through sold-out venues across the country year-round, but Rockapella’s holiday show is one not to miss. With a style that adds a smooth edge to the season’s warm heart, Rockapella’s music ranges from unexpected reworkings of familiar standards to brand-new originals destined to be classics. Audiences of this annual favorite can expect to be tickled and touched by a performance like no other.
Tickets are $35 for adults and $26 for children at the box office, open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or online at TampaTheatre.org ($2.50 convenience fee applies)
Many people have often wondered about how a theatre operates, and the Tampa Theatre offers these buffs a chance to see what goes on behind the scenes. Find out the answers to many frequently asked questions, such as where does the Mighty Wurlitzer organ go when the movie starts? Why are there stuffed peacocks perched around the proscenium? (And, for that matter, what is a “proscenium” anyway? Learn the Theatre’s secrets, stories, art and architecture with a “balcony to backstage” tour of the historic movie palace. The 90-minute tour will kick off in the lobby at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, December 5 and Saturday, December 22. Tickets are $5 for adults, $2 for children ages 2 to 12. Tampa Theatre members are free.
A catapult for the imagination since 1926, the Tampa Theatre is a symbol of the city’s glorious past and bright future. Tampa Theatre is a passionately protected landmark and one of America’s best-preserved examples of grand movie palace architecture. The Tampa Theatre Foundation’s mission is to preserve the Tampa Theatre as a dynamic cultural institution.
The local getaways examiner will try to get you into the holiday spirit, with a goal of featuring a different themed attraction each day this week, all culminating in a review of Christmas Town at Busch Gardens Tampa on Sunday, December 2. Stay tuned!
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