Though entertainment fads come and go, movie theaters remain, tempting audiences with fantastical stories new and old. The film buffs behind the Tampa Pitcher Show understand this craving for narrative connection, filling their movie hall and bar space’s calendar with first-run films, alternative events, and live music that helped them take home the prize for Best Kept Secret in Creative Loafing's Best of the Bay 2011 Reader’s Poll. Within the theater, projectors hum to life with current hits and cult classics every night; weekends welcome special happenings that include Rocky Horror Picture Show shadow-casts, art bazaars, and comedy shows. The Take 2 Lounge dispenses a sprawling menu of bar fare, including burgers, pizzas, and beers such as Magic Hat #9, Southern Tier, and Florida Avenue Ale flowing from 13 tap lines.
Moviegoers kick back in tiered stadium seats and absorb unobstructed views of Hollywood’s latest studio releases at Cobb Plaza Cinema Café 12. A Dolby Digital audio system ensconces audiences in a seamless cocoon of sight and sound while couples raise the armrests on their high-backed leather chairs for optimum cuddling. The concession stand entertains taste buds with theater classics such as popcorn, candy, and Coca-Cola along with a full menu of beer and wine options. Drivers can snag parking spots in the attached garage for $2.50 with validation, and youngsters can pedal their tricycles over to the theater in the summer months for free kiddie showings.
Cinema 6 projects second-run films onto first-rate silver screens. Bring some friends and brandish your four movie tickets to see a box-office hit weeks after its premiere—the exact time when it has aged to its optimal ripeness, like a fine wine or a bag of Funyuns. As you watch, sip on two cool, carbonated beverages and chomp on the fluffy explosions of a large popcorn while taking in the scene-stealing performance of a favorite actor for the first, second, or eighth time. Although not included in the deal, Cinema 6 presents in-theater dining tables and a full menu of nonfried fare, including pizza, french fries, and mozzarella sticks, for those with more massive movie munchies. Recent titles have included Little Fockers and Tangled, but Groupon buyers should go online to check out what films are making their re-debut next.
The India International Film Festival (IFF) of Tampa Bay selects a small sampling of more than 1,000 films produced in India each year to demonstrate that the most prolific film industry in the world is more than just masala musicals. Like the culture from which they spring, the films speak in a lush polyglossia of English, Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Nepali, Kashmiri—but the common language of humanity unites them all, whether the subject is Down syndrome, terrorism, patriotism, or simply losing yourself to spiritual bliss. Opening-night ceremonies and filmmaker Q&As round out the schedule of events, offering a more immersive movie experience than watching the Screen Actors Guild Awards in 3-D.
Channelside Cinemas immerses movie lovers in a constantly changing selection of box-office smashes that play on classic projection screens, four Sony 4K digital 3-D screens, and a 70-foot digital high-definition 3-D screen. Concession stands dole out savory treats such as Westshore cheesesteaks and pizza, as well as free refills on popcorn and soda, which guests can enjoy inside theaters or while sitting in the plush couches that line the lobby. The sit-down Dolce Vita Dinner Lounge, outfitted with a full bar, couches, and booths, entrances eyes with feature films on 30-foot indoor and outdoor screens as waitresses serve up gourmet Italian feasts during dinner-and-a-movie screenings, private parties, and fundraisers. Channelside Cinemas offers $0.50 parking and takes reservations up to five months in advance for long-awaited blockbusters or unveilings of highly anticipated new Skittles flavors.