Closed for more than two years, Tampa’s Channelside 10 Theaters will open again in a “pop-up event” for the 2015 Gasparilla International Film Festival.
The 10-screen theater will temporarily open for the ninth season of GIFF from March 24-29, in what organizers bill as “a unique and exciting ‘Pop-Up Theater’ experience.”
“We are extremely grateful to Franklin Street and Channelside Bay Plaza for their support,” says GIFF President Rachel Feinman. “And for recognizing the positive impact that art and film can have on shaping our city’s future.”
As part of the event, popcorn machines and “other concession‐style treats” will be available. The festival will also take advantage of Channelside’s open-container policy, which allow guests to bring both alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks nearby venues.
“In true ‘pop‐up’ fashion, attendees can expect a host of surprises both on‐screen and off,” said Monica Varner of Big City Events, producers of GIFF. “The goal is to activate the entire plaza with red carpet events, immersive experiences and celebrity gatherings.”
GIFF also represents a major financial boost for downtown Tampa. Last year’s film festival drew more than 17,000 attendees from 980 cities internationally. Feinman says the increased traffic brought over $1.4 million in direct spending during the festival, with more than 1,200 additional room nights to local hotels.
Channelside Bay Plaza, recently purchased by Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik’s Strategic Property Partners, will soon be renovated as a mixed‐use urban center.
“This new relationship between Channelside Bay Plaza and the Gasparilla International Film Festival is a nice early step in our broad vision to develop America’s next great urban waterfront,” said Strategic Property Partners COO Jim Shimberg. “We will continue to work with our partners at Franklin Street to better develop and activate Channelside Bay Plaza while we carefully consider our all of our long-term options for the entire district.”