Best Of 2020

Best Virtual Cinema: Tampa Theatre

Tampa Theatre 

When I asked local filmmakers what they love most about Tampa’s film scene for this year’s Gasparilla Arts Month preview, Tampa Theatre kept coming up. The 1920s movie palace is one of Tampa Bay’s best attractions outside of our beaches. It is the best place to watch a classic movie or an independent film in the area; no matter which part of the Tampa Bay area you hail from, it’s worth the drive. Unless you’re living in the middle of a deadly pandemic. When film distributors made the transition from in-person to streaming cinema in March, Tampa Theatre was quick to offer a series of arthouse films through different streaming platforms. Thanks to Virtual Cinema, we could safely watch new movies in our living rooms while supporting Tampa Theatre at the same time. I was so excited, I made my entire family watch “Fantastic Fungi,” an 80-minute documentary about mushrooms. It was good, too—and that’s not the mushrooms talking.—Jennifer Ring

See all winners from Best of the Bay 2020.