Thursday, December 27, 2018

Florida/Cuba/Royal/Cazin Theatre (West Tampa)

On October 22, 1914, M. Y. Diaz opened a drug store and the Florida Theatre at 1305 Howard Avenue (on the NW corner of Howard and Main). In 1916, P. Villiadonga purchased Diaz's theatre space and moved his Cuba Theatre (originally at 1309 Howard Avenue) to its new location. In April of 1918, the Cuba Theatre burned down. The Diaz corner was rebuilt and the Royal Theatre occupied the corner from about 1921 to 1926. In 1926, Leon Cazin leased the space from M. Y. Diaz and opened the Cazin Theatre.

October 25, 1914 

January 16, 1916

August 29, 1922

August 29, 1926

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Venus Theatre (Ybor City)

The Eden Theatre was located at 1424 7th Avenue and appears to have operated between 1912 and 1916.

September 13, 1914

Eden Theatre (Ybor City)

The Eden Theatre was located on 7th Avenue in Ybor City and appears to have operated between 1912 and 1913.

Majestic Theatre (Downtown)

Tampa's 2nd Majestic Theatre opened on September 24, 1912 at 310 Madison Street. It is unclear when this theatre closed.

September 24, 1912 

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Crescent/Gasparilla Theatre (Downtown)

Located in the Knight building, the Crescent Theatre opened on July 29, 1912 at 1215 Franklin Street. Between June and September of 1913 the Crescent Theatre became the Gasparilla Theatre. By 1920 the theatre was closed.

July 28, 1912

February 15, 1915

Poinciana/Montgomery Theatre (Downtown)

The Poinciana Theatre opened February 4, 1911 at the SW corner of Florida Avenue and Cass Street. On June 2, 1913 the Montgomery Theatre opened at the same location. By 1916, the building was demolished.

October 15, 1911

June 10, 1913

La Grande Theatre (West Tampa)

The La Grande Theatre in West Tampa opened sometime after 1903 and closed sometime between 1908 and 1915. Very little is know about this theatre. The original address for this location was 316 Main Street but became 728 Main Street once the street numbers changed in West Tampa. 

1903 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map


1915 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map

Majestic Theatre (Sulphur Springs)

May 16, 1909

New Kinodrome (Ybor City)

The New Kinodrome in Ybor City opened on December 15, 1908.

December 19, 1908

Iris Theatre (Downtown)

The Iris Theatre opened on November 23, 1908 as a vaudeville and moving picture theatre. With a seating capacity of 1000, the Iris was located at the corner of Tampa and Zack (possibly at 103 Zack). The Iris closed in January of 1909, and between 1909 and 1913 several different stock theatres occupied the location: the Peruchi Gypzene Theatre opened March 1, 1909; the Triplett Theatre opened February 22, 1910; the Star Theatre opened August 5, 1910; and the Iris Theatre (re)opened December 26, 1910.

November 20, 1908

Sans Souci Theatre (Ybor City)

The Gem Theatre opened as a burlesque theatre on October 26, 1908 at 1315 7th Avenue and closed three months later. It was reopened on February 8, 1909 as the Sans Souci Ybor by Burgert and Ratliff. The Sans Souci Ybor opened as a vaudeville and moving picture theatre.

The Sans Souci blade (relocated after the original Sans Souci at 116 Lafayette closed) can be seen in front of the Ybor location in 1919.

Orpheum Theatre (Downtown)

The Orpheum opened on July 13, 1908 by Burgert & Ratliff as a vaudeville theatre that showed first run moving pictures as part of the show. This open air theatre (also referred to as an aerodrome or airdome) had a canvas top that could be rolled up during clear weather. The theatre sat 1,000 people and was located on the SE corner of Florida and Lafayette, possibly at 401 Lafayette. The theatre closed in 1911 or 1912. (Note: Tampa had three Orpheum theatres between 1908 and 1934.)

July 14, 1908
(Tampa's 1st Orpheum Theatre)

Kinodrome Theatre (Downtown)

The Kinodrome theatre opened on December 7, 1907 at 504 Franklin Street. The Kinodrome motion picture machine, which was manufactured exclusively by George Spoor in Chicago, was known as one of the finest motion picture machines known in America or Europe. The Tampa machine was the only one in use south of the Ohio river. The Kinodrome theatre featured both motion pictures and vaudeville acts, and saw a variety of owners and managers over the years. The Kinodrome closed on November 28, 1915.

December 10, 1907

Pathe Theatre (Ybor City)

The Pathe "electric" theatre opened on October 26, 1907 in the Gutierrez Building on the SE corner of 7th and 16th in Ybor City. Burgert & Ratliff, who operated the Sans Souci downtown, opened The Pathe in Ybor "for the purpose of starting an up to date moving picture show for the benefit of the Latin people, making specialty of French and foreign pictures."

October 27, 1907

Dreamland Theatre (Downtown)

The Dreamland moving picture and vaudeville theatre opened on October 26, 1907 at 1104 Franklin and closed sometime in 1908 or 1909.

October 27, 1907

Sans Souci Theatre (Downtown)

Although the Nickelodeon and Electric Theatres opened before the Sans Souci, the Sans Souci Theatre is considered to be Tampa's first truly successful motion picture house. Opened by Burgert & Ratliff on July 22, 1907 at 116 Lafayette, the Sans Souci was only in operation for 14 months (July 1907 to September 1908), but it put Tampa on the "movie" theatre map.

July 23, 1907

Electric/Favorite/Prince Theatre (Downtown)

Opening on June 11, 1907, the Electric Theatre (located at 904 Franklin, on the NW corner of Franklin and Cass) came equipped with "the latest improved Edison machine, bigger and better than any heretofore seen in Tampa." At some point between August of 1908 and May of 1909 the Electric closed. The space briefly became The Bright Light Restaurant, but was reopened as the Favorite Theatre on December 6, 1909 and then the Prince Theatre on February 11, 1913. In August of 1917 the Prince Theatre became the New Prince and was relocated to 1118 Franklin. 904 Franklin was converted to a hat shop.

June 11, 1907

December 5, 1909

February 13, 1913

Nickelodeon/Vaudette/Orpheum Theatre (Downtown)

Tampa's Nickelodeon (incorrectly spelled as "Nicklodeon" or "Nickleodian" in most ads) opened in November of 1906 at 315 Franklin, putting Tampa on the motion picture theatre map. By 1908, 315 Franklin had been converted to a bowling alley. But on July 1, 1912 The Vaudette, a 325 seat vaudeville and motion picture house, opened in the same location. On May 18, 1914, the Orpheum (also a vaudeville and motion picture house) opened at 315 Franklin. In July of 1914, the location was converted into an electrical fixtures store. (Note: Tampa had three Orpheum theatres between 1908 and 1934.)

November 15, 1906

July 1, 1912

May 18, 1914
(Tampa's 2nd Orpheum Theatre)

Monday, September 1, 2008

Rex Theatre

Maceo Theatre

One of several African American theatres in Tampa, the Maceo Theatre was located at 1310 Central Avenue. The first mention of this theatre is in 1913 and the last mention in 1929.

Grand Theatre (Downtown)

The Grand Theatre opened on December 21, 1914 at 510 Franklin Street and closed in April of 1928. The space that housed the theatre is now the 1895 Kitchen Bar Market.

December 20, 1914


1932 (Outlet Store)

September 2017
Photo taken by Marty Kledzik, featuring Nick DiMaggio

Palma Ceia Theatre

1952 Movie Program

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Park/Falk Theatre (Downtown)

Location: 428 West Kennedy Boulevard (formally 428 West Lafayette)
Status: Currently the David Falk Theatre (operated by the University of Tampa)

Circa 1930's

Circa 1930's

February 1945


Date Unknown

August 13, 1959


(Photo Credit: drewcjm)

Royal Theatre (West Tampa)

El Centro Espanol de Tampa in West Tampa (The West Tampa Palace) is one of two Spanish mutual aid society buildings in Tampa (the other is located in Ybor City). The building opened on January 11, 1913 and contained a theatre, ballrooms, and a social hall. The theatre (originally known as the Spanish Casino Theatre) became the Royal Theatre in 1931. The building still stands at 2306 Howard Avenue and is currently occupied by Centro Espanol de Tampa and the Hillsborough Education Foundation.

Photo from 1979 Royal Theatre Feasibility Study by Centro Espanol de Tampa

December 2018

Carver Theatre (West Tampa)

Location: 1605 North Boulevard
Status: Demolished

July 6, 1958

July 7, 1959