BEST UNDERGROUND ART SCENE THAT COULD’VE BEEN

The Ybor Cigar Theater

When Blake and James Emory petitioned Angel “Trey” Oliva III last September to renovate the 117-year-old Oliva Cigar Factory — only one of two wooden cigar factories in Florida — they envisioned an arts mecca that would not only uplift Ybor City’s arts scene, but would attract performers from across the country and world. For 13 months, the Emorys managed to attract thousands to the Ybor Cigar Theatre for performance art shows and create a buzz within Tampa’s underground music, art and theater scenes. But, alas, in May Oliva agreed to sell the building to a hotel developer and by October, the Ybor Cigar Theater will be no more.

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