So we blew off Guavaween last night, but today we went to see an "art film" in the old Tampa Theatre called "Frozen River". It's a story about a mother struggling to feed her kids and keep her dilapidated house trailer with a part time minimum wage job and by smuggling aliens over the frozen St. Lawrence river in the trunk of her Dodge Spirit. The action takes place in upstate New York, Montreal and a Mohawk Indian Reservation that spans both countries. A surprisingly good flick without the completely depressing ending I had expected.
I took the bus down to the Tampa Theatre in the early 50s to see Abbott and Costello and Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis on Saturday mornings.
The incredibly ornate interior was built during the 1926 Florida land boom. My first date (the girl next door) was on a bus to see "African Queen". I saw "Giant" and "Rebel Without a Cause" there. As a freshman in college I took a Catholic girl to see "Elmer Gantry" and worked up the nerve to hold her hand.
Mrs. Phred and I have seen live performances by Gallagher in the theatre and many art films such as "Yulee's Gold" with an aging Peter Fonda. The "Mighty Wurlitzer" organ and an organ player come out of the stage floor and rock for about 15 minutes before the movie starts.
So many things have changed in Tampa in the last 60 years. The Tampa Theatre endures in all its ornate glory.