Just 15 months after announcing a $6 million fundraising campaign for Phase 1 of Tampa Theatre’s first major restoration in 40 years, the historic landmark reached its goal during the “Wine’s World” WineFest event last month. Construction has been progressing since October, and is scheduled to wrap up in May.
To celebrate this transformational chapter in its 91-year story, Tampa Theatre and Members of The Florida Orchestra will present Buster Keaton’s The General in its original silent format with live musical accompaniment at 8:30pm Saturday, June 2.
Given that it was released in 1926 – the same year Tampa Theatre opened in downtown Tampa – it is the perfect film to celebrate Tampa Theatre’s Restoration Celebration. The event will serve as a special thank-you to all of the donors who helped support this campaign, and an opportunity for members of the community to see the majestic movie palace as it would have been when it first opened. Donors will be invited to enjoy a pre-film reception at 6:30pm and reserved seating for the show, and the public is welcome to join us for this very special film presentation at 8:30pm (doors open at 8:00pm).
ABOUT THE GENERAL (1926): Sometimes, genius slips through the cracks. The General, now regarded as one of the greatest and most important films ever made, was Buster Keaton’s biggest box office failure and forced him into a terrible studio deal that stunted his career. Mounting expenses, accidents on the set and Keaton’s rigorous loyalty to its source material meant that the film famously cost $400 an hour to make and recouped less than two-thirds of its budget. But the decades since have recognized the brilliance of The General, a witty comedy based on the true story of a Civil War raid in which a train ran roughshod behind Confederate lines (the allegiance of the train is reversed in the film). Keaton’s willingness to put himself in danger for a perfect stunt, and his passion for the art of cinema, is never illustrated better than it is here, and this film originated some of the most iconic scenes and single images in movie history. 1h 7m / Not Rated / Comedy
TICKETS are on sale now for $25 for General Admission and $22 for Tampa Theatre Members at the historic Franklin Street Box Office and online atTampaTheatre.org/events/restoration-celebration (service fees apply).