Tampa Kayaker Sunset

Downtown Tampa CRA Helps Fund Creation of New "Microcinema" at Tampa Theatre

The Tampa Theatre will lift the curtain on its first expansion in its 98-year history Friday, as it unveils a new “microcinema” to the public.

The new addition was made possible in part by funds from the City's Downtown Tampa Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) Board, which donated $14 million to support the Theatre’s larger restoration project as it nears its centennial year in 2026.

“Tampa Theatre is one of the most iconic sites in Tampa, and the Downtown CRA is proud to play a role in its transformation for the next generation of theatergoers,” said CRA Manager Erica Moody. “Our Downtown CRA will continue to invest and support the Tampa community by funding projects like the restoration of this historic landmark.”

The ribbon-cutting of the microcinema, formally named the “John T. Taylor Screening Room,” will unveil the 43-seat intimate theatre that was once the site of a florist shop adjacent to the Tampa Theatre’s box office. The look of the 1200-square-foot room draws inspiration from Tampa Theatre’s original architect, John Eberson, and uses colors, textures, and details that Eberson used in his 1926 plans for the Tampa Theatre. The carpeting, seats, and railings inside the microcinema are exact replicas of what guests see in the main theatre.

“As a Tampa native and educator, I have seen the integral role this theatre has played for all ages in our community, from its Summer Film Camp to its Summer Classics Series,” said Councilmember Gwendolyn Henderson, the CRA Board Chair. “This new addition might be called a ‘micro’ cinema, but it will have a mighty impact.”

Named in recognition of philanthropist and a former Theatre board member, John Taylor, the addition is said to offer a seismic shift in the Theatre’s business operations, allowing the landmark building to expand its offerings and support more of the local film community’s work.

The first film shown on the theatre’s second screen will be The Old Oak, so chosen for its cinematic themes of bringing people together for a shared experience.