Tampa Theatre, host to over 400 events a year including film, spoken word events, rock concerts, and more, is one of Tampa’s most beloved historic institutions. Originally constructed in 1926, the theater is one of the world’s most well-preserved examples of a John Eberson-designed atmospheric movie palace.
Our renovation design prioritized a series of improvements that enhance comfort and accessibility, transform unusable and outdated elements into revenue generating enhancements, improve infrastructure, and provide a more authentic historic architectural experience. Our design employed extensive historic research, interpreting forensic information, and studying literature on and letters from Eberson and his son, Drew, throughout the renovation. We recreated the historic look and feel of the audience chamber by replacing seating, carpet, grand drape, and valance with a design and color palette based on Eberson’s original design intent. The project also included refurbishment of the historic walls and details of the main lobby, renovations to the concessions stand, reinforcement of dewatering and life safety systems, and building envelope improvements related to basement water infiltration, and new storefront window glazing.
DLR Group is excited to design the next phase of work for the Tampa Theatre, including expanded office space, added patron amenities, updated lighting for greater efficiency and control, and improvements to performance systems for more flexibility. By the building’s centennial in the Fall of 2026, the Tampa Theater will be fully renovated and ready for its second 100 years of operation.