Sing-Along at the Theater

I’m a big fan of certain Christmas movies. I make it a point to watch them every year between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Some of my favorites are Miracle on 34th Street, Polar Express and Scrooged. I know it seems unoriginal, but my number one favorite is It’s a Wonderful Life. Since my husband and I don’t have much of a family for the holiday, we make a date to watch it every year on Christmas Eve. This year, however, we did something different. We decided to go see it at a historical theater on the weekend before Christmas.

ttlob2 (800x450) wmTheater lobby.

The Tampa Theater was built in 1926 and was THE place to see films back in the day.

ttfrontbalc (800x447) wmThe decor is the renaissance meets the planetarium. Surrounded by period walls, the place makes me feel as if I’m sitting in the year 1590. The ceiling’s night sky transports me back to grade school on a field trip to the planetarium.

tth1 (800x225) wmThey still have the organ that comes up out of the stage for the music in silent films (on the left of stage). The energy in the place is warm and inviting. It is said to be haunted, and if it is, the ghosts are welcoming. I don’t know what I believe about such things, but it’s great fun to let my writer’s imagination run free there. Orbs popped up in several of my photos. They are likely just dust particles reflecting off the flash or lens. In the photograph below, I didn’t use a flash.

ttorbs (800x418) wmThere are two orbs in the photo. Can you find them?

I didn’t get upstairs to the balcony this time, but I did go down a long flight of stairs to use the bathrooms. They had a large lounge area separate from where the stalls were laid out. It had a long bench for women to sit at a vanity and primp in front of a mirror. I could envision flappers applying lipstick and wearing headbands with a feather. The mosaic tiles on the counter looked original, but about one quarter of them were missing. With tile floors and the walls painted white and black, that area had a more frosty feel than the warm, comforting theater atmosphere.

ttsing (800x513) wmUsing the organ music for the theater, they had a Christmas sing-along before the movie, which put the audience in a jolly holiday spirit. I’m sure we’d all seen the movie dozens of times, but everyone got into the scenes, laughing and gesturing in all the right spots. In the end, everyone clapped and whistled.

I’ll leave you with a photo from the theater’s website taken from the balcony.

TampaTheatre_upstairsNotice the night sky and the renaissance village-like walls.

ttlights (504x800) wmHappy New Year!

What’s your favorite Christmas movie? Do you have a favorite historical sight you like to visit?



  1. Wow, that looks like such fun! What an amazing theater!

    My favorite Christmas movie is also It’s a Wonderful Life. I also love A Christmas Story, The Polar Express, Fred Claus, The Santa Claus, Christmas Vacation, Elf, Miracle on 34th Street (the newer version,) and my newest favorite, Love Actually.

    Happy New Year, Lori!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Terri! Yes, that theater is really cool. The only drawback is that the old seats are not comfortable, so we don’t go there too often. Thanks for sharing your favorite movies. I’ve never seen Love Actually. I’ll have to check it out. I hope you have a much better 2015, Miss Terri. Blessings to you.


    1. I know, I just think It’s a Wonderful Life is timeless … just love it. Thanks for reading about the theater sing-along. May you have a blessed new year.


    1. HI Charlie. I like sing-alongs … that way I can sing out loud and my voice will be drowned out by the others. 🙂 Sounds like fun seeing The Sound of Music. Thanks for sharing.


    1. Hi Andrea. The historical buildings here are infants compared to the ones where you live. It’s a cool place though, and it does feel like it’s welcoming me when I enter. You and I have similar tastes in Christmas movies. Thanks for sharing your faves.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a fantastic place to watch a classic movie! Thank you for sharing this, Lori. I loved going to the planetarium for fields trips…great memories! My favorite Christmas movie is White Christmas. Wishing you the very best in 2015!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing your favorite movie, Jill. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen that one all the way through. I know that play that one at Tampa Theater too. Maybe I’ll check it out next year. Thank you for the good wishes. Blessings to you in 2015.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What fun that must’ve been. I don’t tend to watch too many of the older Christmas movies. I prefer the newer ones. A Christmas Story and Home Alone are probably my favorites. Elf is pretty cute, too. And there’s a British animated film called Arthur Christmas which is wonderful. Just watched it the other night with my family. I love that dry English humor.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Carrie. My husband relates to A Christmas Story and it’s his favorite. He grew up in Indiana not too far from where that was supposed to take place and had a similar childhood. I love old classic movies of any kind, so it’s probably why I gravitate to the old Christmas ones. I do see you enjoying that English dry humor. I’ve been known to go for that on occasion myself. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your faves.

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  4. This theater reminds me a lot of the Fox Theater in Atlanta, down to the bathroom layout and the organ used for singalongs! Love historical places like these entertainment venues that have been restored/preserved. Thanks for sharing the pictures.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wonder if the Fox Theater had the same architect/designer? That would be interesting to find out. I agree … I’m so glad they preserve and/or restore these neat old places. Thanks for sharing, Joy.


    1. Hi Angela. As you may know, I’m not a fan of living in this state, but I have to take advantage of the few perks when they arrive, like this theater. My husband loves A Christmas Story. We usually watch it, too. He grew up in Indiana but had three brothers, and one of them wanted a BB gun something fierce. He certainly relates to that movie. I’m sure it was fun to watch Home Alone with your daughter though, well, at least the first time. 😉


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