Channelside Bay Plaza will get a boost from Gasparilla International Film Festival this spring.
The moribund waterfront mall in downtown Tampa’s Channel district will host the 2015 festival, slated for March 24 through March 29.
The film festival will be held in the Channelside Theaters, which has been closed for two years.
“In true ‘pop‐up’ fashion, attendees can expect a host of surprises both on‐screen and off,” said Monica Varner, Partner at Big City Events, the production company for the festival, said in a release. “The goal is to activate the entire plaza with red carpet events, immersive experiences and celebrity gatherings.”
The plaza is under control of Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik, who acquired the ground lease on the property this past summer. Vinik’s has tapped Tampa real estate firm Franklin Street to handle the leasing and activation of the property.
“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 Jim Shimberg, chief operating officer of Strategic Property Partners, in the release.
SPP is the holding company for Vinik’s real estate dealings.
In October, Franklin Street hired an events manager to coordinate activities at the plaza, like pre- and post-game Lightning parties, to create a customer base to sustain the existing tenants.