Alternative viewing experiences

Channelside 9

Originally opened with the sole intent of bringing independent films to Tampa, this goal became improbable as time passed and the theater incorporated Hollywood fluff to pay the bills. On the other hand, the theater has since sponsored its own independent film festival and averaged three independent movies per week. Channelside has played host to various artsy films such as The Assassination of Richard Nixon, The Sea Inside and Vera Drake. The enticements to view films at this theater are the bars and restaurants located within Channelside, as well as the Florida Aquarium next door. There’s plenty to do around this theater.

Sunrise Cinemas at Old Hyde Park Village

The newest addition to the independent trio, Sunrise Cinemas mixes one-to-two art-house films with some of the finest mainstream flicks. Sunrise has taken Madstone Theater’s place in the historic Hyde Park area of Tampa. A slew of films, such as A Very Long Engagement, Primer and Being Julia have graced its screens during the past year. One of the most appealing aspects is the theater’s location, which lends itself to an exciting evening with friends or a special someone. The Hyde Park Café is only a stone’s throw away, which is a great way to begin or end a night at the multiplex.

Tampa Theatre

The Tampa Theatre is a classic “movie palace” and has something the other two theaters don’t: history. Because of that, however, the venue is more limited in choice than the other two — the Tampa Theatre doesn’t showcase nearly as many films as its competitors since only one film can be accommodated a week. That aside, films such as Bad Education, Enron: The Smartest Guy in the Room and Rory O’Shea was Here have all been screened at the theater. The Tampa Theatre has been a part of the city for more than 70 years and has seen everything change outside of its walls. For those who need a little incentive, The Hub is a few doors down, because maybe one drink will make those subtitles easier to read.