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Theater goes back to its roots with classic films

At the historic Tampa Theatre, the magic of the big screen comes to life and transports visitors back in time.

During the summer, the theater is dedicated to showcasing some of cinema’s top classic movies. The list includes several different genres, and all audiences can find something they will enjoy.

To Kill A Mockingbird
— Sunday, June 14, at 3 p.m.

This 1962 classic based on Harper Lee’s novel stars Gregory Peck, Mary Badham and Phillip Alford. Set during the Great Depression, To Kill a Mockingbird is told through the eyes of 6-year-old Scout Finch. It chronicles the efforts of Scout’s father Atticus, an attorney who defends the innocence of a slave who is on trial for raping a white woman.

Sullivan’s Travels — Sunday, June 21, at 3 p.m.

Sullivan, played by Joel McRea, is a successful movie producer whose newest film is about a life of poverty. After realizing that he has no experience with hardship, Sullivan sets out on a cross-country hitchhike with just a dime in his pocket. The 1941 romantic comedy also stars Veronica Lake.

Casablanca — Saturday, June 27, and Sunday, June 28, at 3 p.m.

This 1942 drama is set during World War II in Casablanca, Morocco, where European refugees fleeing the Germans stop on their way to America. Rick Blaine, played by Humphrey Bogart, is in possession of important visas that he hopes to sell. Before Rick has a chance to sell the documents, he gets an unexpected visit from long-lost love Ilsa Lund, played by Ingrid Bergman, who also needs the visas to leave the country.

Saving Private Ryan — Sunday, July 5, at 3 p.m.

Steven Spielberg’s modern classic reinvented the war-movie genre. When three brothers are killed in action during WWII, the U.S. Army chief of staff sends a small group of men to find the last living son and bring him home to ease their mother’s pain. This 1998 film stars Tom Hanks, Tom Sizemore, Matt Damon and a cast of characters that risk it all to save one life.

The Band Wagon
— Sunday, July 12, at 3 p.m.

This 1953 musical comedy stars Fred Astaire, Cyd Charisse, Oscar Levant and Nanette Fabray. Tony Hunter (Astaire) is a has-been performer who decides to try his luck in New York. Tony’s friends chip in to help him create a comedic Broadway show. The production starts to unravel, however, when a know-it-all producer and a prima ballerina join the cast. 

Blazing Saddles — Sunday, July 19, at 3 p.m.

In 1874, railroad construction reaches a halt because a small town called Rock Ridge lies in the path of the tracks. The state attorney general hopes to drive the locals out of the town so he can purchase the land for the railroad. To discourage the townspeople, he assigns a black railroad worker as the new sheriff. Joined by the Waco Kid, however, the sheriff sets out to foil the plot. Cleavon Little and Gene Wilder star in Mel Brooks’ 1974 satire of Hollywood Westerns that leaves audiences rolling with laughter.

Citizen Kane — Sunday, July 26, at 3 p.m.

After the death of newspaper mogul Charles Kane, reporters eagerly try to find the reason behind his last word, “rosebud.” A reporter locates people from Kane’s past and slowly uncovers the details of Kane’s life through a series of flashbacks. This mystery drama from 1941 is sure to have viewers on the edge of their seats as they try to unravel the meaning of Kane’s final utterance.

Creature From the Black Lagoon in 3D — Sunday, Aug. 2, at 3 p.m.

This sci-fi horror classic from 1954 begins with the discovery of a fossilized hand of the prehistoric “Gill Man.” When researchers return to the Black Lagoon to uncover the rest of the creature’s skeleton, they learn that the monster is not extinct, but instead prowls the lagoon.

North By Northwest — Sunday, Aug. 9, at 3 p.m.

Alfred Hitchcock’s 1959 thriller follows advertising businessman Roger Thornhill (Cary Grant), who is accused of being a CIA agent by a gang of spies. Thornhill flees across the country pursued by the spies and government officials as he tries to prove his innocence.

Gone With the Wind — Saturday, Aug. 15, and Sunday, Aug. 16, at 3 p.m.

Set during the Civil War, this 1939 classic chronicles the love story between Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler. The story follows O’Hara through three husbands and from wealth to poverty as she pines after the man she truly loves.

The Wizard of Oz — Saturday, Aug. 22, and Sunday, Aug. 23, at 3 p.m.

Follow the yellow brick road in one of cinema’s all-time classic films from 1939. A tornado sweeps Dorothy up and drops her in the magical land of Oz, which is filled with witches, munchkins, evil trees and flying monkeys. Dorothy must journey to see the all-powerful Wizard of Oz and request his help in returning home. Along the way, Dorothy makes unforgettable friends, and their journey is filled with misadventures.

The classic movie selections play every Sunday at 3 p.m., with special Saturday showings of some of the Tampa Theatre’s favorites. Tickets are $8.