Earlier this month, Tampa Theatre announced the successful completion of a Power2Give.org campaign that raised $10,000 in 10 days toward the purchase of a new, bigger popcorn popper.
In the weeks since, there has been even more good news for the outdated concessions stand: several Theatre patrons have come forward with individual gifts above and beyond the online campaign. In total, the Theatre now has $34,600 to spend on concessions stand upgrades in the coming months.
Five Theatre patrons pledged gifts ranging from $2,000 to $10,000 toward more concessions stand improvements beyond the popcorn popper. Although all of them also wish to remain anonymous, they all had their reasons for wanting to support this project in particular: one long-time Theatre supporter who attends shows regularly is looking forward to faster-moving lines at the concessions stand. Another has fond memories of working at Tampa Theatre in the 1950s as a teenager, and the opportunity to support concessions stand upgrades struck a chord.
The Theatre team had already placed an order for new popcorn popper with twice the Theatre’s current capacity per batch. With the additional funds, they are also moving forward with a modern point-of-sale system, including new computer terminals and digital menu boards.
“Once the funding for the popcorn popper was secured, we started considering ways to sell the popcorn faster,” says the Theatre’s House Manager, Anthony Gonzalez. “Up to this point, our concessions staff has been doing excellent work with little more than a calculator and a cash box. But with an up-to-date system in place, transactions will be that much faster and patrons will be that much happier.”
With as generous as the community has been in responding to this campaign, Gonzalez says, the Theatre feels an obligation to move as quickly as possible on giving the people of Tampa what they paid for. Orders have already been placed for all of the new equipment, and installation will begin as soon as it arrives, with hopes of having everything up and running in time for the Theatre’s popular Christmas Classics movie series.