Friday, August 18, 2006

Sun Sets on Sunrise Cinemas

Thanks to St. Petersburg Times writer Rick Gershman's blog, I just learned that the death knell has finally sounded for Sunrise Cinemas, formerly Madstone, formerly the AMC Old Hyde Park 7. The theater reportedly will shut down on Aug. 31.

Consider it another blow to the arts in Tampa. The Sunrise is about the only place in town where you can go to see arthouse and/or indie films playing on several screens. Yes, thank God, the Tampa Theatre is still alive and kicking, and it remains one of the area's cultural gems. But it has only one screen, and popular films are sometimes held over.

When I get a chance, I'll dig up the quote by the soon-to-be-developer of the area, talking about what an "arts guy" he is. Action speaks louder, friend ...

So where do Tampa Bay area film fans go now, all the way south to Burns Court Cinemas in Sarasota?

Meanwhile, it needs to be asked, yet again: If Sarasota can support two -- count 'em -- major film festivals, then why not Tampa, St. Petersburg or Clearwater?

2 comments:

Brigheon said...

How sad. I've seen films in all the incarnations of that theater. I don't understand why Tampa struggles so much to support the arts. What a shame.

Philip B said...

Well, we (Tampa) try -- just not that hard.

When it comes to funding for the arts in the Tampa Bay area, here's the prevailing wisdom: Sports comes first, and everything else a distant second.