Best Indie Movie Theaters In Tampa Bay

April 13, 2014 8:00 AM

(Photo credit ABDULLAH DOMA/AFP/Getty Images)

The Tampa Bay and St. Petersburg areas are a haven for artists, musicians and independent filmmakers. New ideas and techniques are bringing these films to life all of the time. Check out some of these Bay area theaters where you can get your fix of indie film indulgence any time of year.
Polk Theater
121 S. Florida Ave.
Lakeland, FL 33801
(863) 682-7553
www.polktheatre.orgThe Polk was built in 1928 during America’s “Golden Age.” During the 1960s and 1970s, the Polk barely managed to stay in business, and by 1982 this beautiful historic landmark was at risk of being razed. Fortunately, a group banded together and was able to save the theater by turning it into a non-profit venture. The Polk is supported by grants, donations, rental income, memberships, its Performing Arts Series, two fundraisers per year and, of course, revenue from films. The theater prides itself on showing hard-to-find, highly acclaimed independent films, and has shown such films as “Twelve Years a Slave,” “The Invisible Women” and “Blue is the Warmest Color.” The film schedule can be found on the website’s calendar page. The theater is also rented out for live performances and has featured plays such as “Ernie,” dance performances by local troupes and live musicals like “The Wizard of Oz.” Ticket prices for live performances vary, but ticket prices for films are always the same: $4 for children 12 or younger, $5 for seniors or students with ID and $7 for adults.

Tampa Theater
711 N. Franklin St.
Tampa, FL 33602
(813) 274-8286
www.tampatheatre.orgThe stunningly beautiful and charming Tampa Theater is more than just a movie theater. This theater is always featuring live performers, like comedian John Pinette, rock band Led Zeppelin and dramatic plays and musical performances as well. When it comes to movies, the Tampa Theater maintains several series: current films, classic series films, silent films, sing-a-longs and even a balcony to backstage for tour films. Some of its recently featured films include “Jaws,” “Le Week-End,” “October Sky” and “The Karate Kid.” A complete schedule of films and other special events can be found on the website’s Featured Events page. Ticket prices for live performances vary and the price of tickets for films depends on the film series it fits into. Pricing information can be found on the website’s box office information page.

Related: Best Places For Film Buffs In Tampa Bay

1609 W. Swann Ave.
Tampa, FL 33606
(813) 514-8300
www.cobbcinebistro.comTake dinner and a movie to a whole new level at the CineBistro in Hyde Park Village. CineBistro shows current films, as well as independent films and operas. A schedule can be found on the ticketing website. What makes CineBistro unique is that you can order from a full menu — not just popcorn and soda — to enjoy inside of the theater. The menu includes items like spice grilled lamb chops, sesame seared tuna and lemon and herb chicken, which can be washed down with soft drinks, beer, wine, a martini or just about anything else you can imagine at this full-service restaurant. Only adults 21 years and older are allowed inside the theater.

Related: Best Spring 2014 Theater Productions In Tampa Bay

Amanda Mole has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil and cooking since she was tall enough to reach the stove. She believes that food provides more than just vital nutrients: it is an irreplaceable part of countless cultural and social activities. As a Tampa Bay resident for the past 21 years, she is well acquainted with the incredibly diverse range of restaurants, bars, and food festivals that the area has to offer. Her work can be found at

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