Before there was George Clooney, there was Cary Grant. Before there was Angelina Jolie, there was Rita Hayworth. And before all of them, there was the original “it” girl, silent film seductress Clara Bow.
This weekend, the historic Tampa Theatre will kick off a steamy new series of eight classic movies guaranteed to heat up those chilly winter weekends! Sunday afternoons will sizzle with some of the most iconic Sex Symbols of the Silver Screen on select Sundays, Jan. 13 – March 17, at 3 p.m.
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof starring Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman
3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 13
Alcoholic ex-athlete Brick (Newman) and his captivating wife, Maggie (Taylor), celebrate Big Daddy Pollitt’s (Burl Ives) 65th birthday, unaware that Big Daddy is dying of cancer. While Maggie tries unsuccessfully to coax her husband away from the bottle, alternately enticing him and taunting him about the inheritance of his father’s wealth, Big Daddy worries himself with the couple’s turbulent and childless marriage.
The Big Sleep starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall
3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20
General Sternwood (Charles Waldron) hires private detective Philip Marlowe (Bogart) under the guise of resolving his daughter Carmen’s (Martha Vickers) gambling debts. But Marlowe soon finds himself falling for Carmen’s older sister Vivan (Bacall), who suspects her father’s true motives have more to do with solving the mysterious disappearance of a family friend.
A Streetcar Named Desire starring Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh
3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 27
When disgraced Southern belle Blanche DuBois (Leigh) leaves Mississippi to seek solace with her sister Stella (Kim Hunter) in New Orleans, Stella’s husband Stanley Kowalski (Brando) quickly grows tired of her pretentiousness and forced gentility. But as Blanche struggles to maintain appearances, Stanley’s vicious attempts to expose her scandalous past set them on a collision course that ends in a brutal confrontation.
The Seven Year Itch starring Marilyn Monroe
3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 3
With his wife and son off summering in Maine, nerdy, faithful husband Richard Sherman (Tom Ewell) concocts a rich fantasy life as an irresistible Casanova who seduces the woman upstairs (Monroe) with his piano playing. But when Richard is overcome by his daydreams and a budding friendship with his stunning neighbor, his resolve to resist temptation wanes in a comedic series of imaginary escapades. (Film subject to change.)
The Lady From Shanghai starring Rita Hayworth and Orson Welles
3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 10
After rescuing beautiful blonde Elsa (Hayworth) from a group of thugs in Central Park, seaman Michael O’Hara (Welles) agrees to help crew her husband Bannister’s (Everett Sloane) yacht for a cruise through the Panama Canal. But after agreeing to help Bannister’s business partner fake his own death, Michael finds himself tangled in a complex murder plot that spirals out of control toward the film’s famous climactic scene: a surreal shoot-out in a fun house hall of mirrors.
To Catch A Thief starring Grace Kelly and Cary Grant
3 p.m. Sunday, March 3
Notorious jewel thief John Robie (Grant) has retired to the French Riviera, and when police accuse him of a series of robberies matching his old style, he vows to clear his name by catching the real criminal in the act. He charms the owner of the Riviera’s most valuable gems, Francie (Kelly), who falls for his advances until her jewels turn up missing. But as Robie tries to solve the case and win Francie back, the crook he exposes is not who he expected.
It starring Clara Bow
3 p.m. Sunday, March 10
In a film that gained her the title of the original “it” girl, Clara Bow stars as spunky shop girl Betty Lou Spence, who has a crush on Cyrus Waltham, Jr. (Antonio Moreno), her wealthy and handsome boss at the department store. But despite vastly different social classes, competition from his socialite girlfriend and Betty Lou’s plot to help protect a sickly friend’s baby from meddling social workers, Cyrus just can’t resist that “it” factor for long. Silent film with live accompaniment by Dr. Steven Ball on the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ.
Roman Holiday starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck
3 p.m. Sunday, March 17
Frustrated by her tightly controlled and overly scheduled life, Princess Ann (Hepburn) slips out of the embassy to enjoy a day in Rome, where she meets Joe Bradley (Peck.) The American reporter doesn’t immediately recognize his royal acquaintance, but once he does, he smells a story and quickly offers to play tour guide with the help of his friend and photographer, Irving (Eddie Albert.)
Tickets for the Sex Symbols of the Silver Screen classic movie series are $9 for adults and $7 for Tampa Theatre members; tickets for the silent film “It” with live accompaniment are $12 for adults and $10 for children, seniors, military and members at the box office, or online at www.TampaTheatre.org ($2 convenience fee applies).
Built in 1926, Tampa Theatre hosts more than 600 events each year, including first-run films, classic movies, concerts, corporate events, educational programs, weddings and tours. The historic Theatre is a passionately protected landmark and one of America’s best-preserved movie palaces, maintained as a dynamic cultural institution by the Tampa Theatre Foundation. Programming is sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, Florida Council on Arts and Culture. Classics film series are presented with the support of the Arts Council of Hillsborough County and the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners.
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