Archive for the ‘Beat Story 2’ Category

Ruskin Family Drive-in

September 30, 2007

Jennifer Teuber

GA Beat 2

Ruskin Family Drive-in

The Ruskin Family Drive-In Theatre has been a community-gathering place since its first movie, “Singing in the Rain,” played in 1952.

Owner Ted Freiwald said he is trying to be what drive-ins used to be. He begins each night by telling the audience, “It’s always 1955 and we go by 1950s guidelines.”

At $4.50 per person for two movies, the drive-in offers a cheap night out for the whole family. Children under 8 are admitted free with their parents. Freiwald said he also lets children start the movie in the projection room and gives them a certificate that they are a junior projectionist at the theatre. He says he lets them do it because it’s probably something they’ll never see or do again.

The snack bar opens as soon as the box office opens at 7:15 p.m. and serves food each night through intermission and the beginning of the second movie. Straight from the grill come hamburgers, cheeseburgers, hot dogs and cheese dogs. Snacks consist of popcorn, dill pickles, nachos with cheese, candy bars and ice cream. 12-inch whole cheese or pepperoni pizzas also are sold. Beverages include Pepsi products, root beer, pink lemonade, fruit punch and bottled spring water. For those cold nights, coffee and hot chocolate (regular or sugar-free) are served.

“You make your money at the snack bar or you don’t make anything at all,” Freiwald said.

Comparing prices to an indoor theatre, a large popcorn at the Ruskin Family Drive-in costs $3.25 as opposed to $6. At $2.75 a large drink  is nearly half of the price as one at a movie theatre. The snack bar only accepts cash.

The drive-in is now showing Death Sentence and Dragon Wars. According to www.ruskinfamilydrivein.com, movies typically run weekly from Friday to Thursday and there is usually a 15-minute intermission after the first movie. Starting Friday, Oct. 5, the Dark is Rising and Fantastic 4: the Rise of the Silver Surfer will be shown. Both movies are rated PG.

The 2,000-square foot screen has been blown down by hurricanes and other storms seven times since 1952. Freiwald said he’s put it back up himself three of those seven times.

As a family-oriented drive-in theatre, as part of the admission price it is expected and demanded that every patron respect every other patron’s right to hear and see the movie in peace and quiet. The following are a few rules for patrons of the drive-in:

  • They do not allow alcohol or drugs on the premises (this includes opened container, unopened container or consumed)
  • No rowdiness is allowed.
  • Sitting or lying in the empty parking space is not permitted.
  • An adult must accompany children at all times.
  • All large vehicles must park on the last row of speakers.

Freiwald says the biggest problem he has is people sitting in empty parking spaces. He says if he catches someone with a beer they’re out for life. “If I put up the sign and don’t enforce it, I’d be a hypocrite,” he said.

No motorcycles or RV’s are allowed in the drive-in. The Drive-in allows you to bring your dogs with you as long as you keep them on a leash, they do not bark around people, and you clean up after them.

They never show X-rated or NC-17 rated films. The theatre is open every night – 365 days a year rain or shine, hot or cold, including holidays. For more information call (813) 645-1455 or visit www.ruskinonline.com or www.ruskinfamilydrivein.com.

beat story 2

September 26, 2007

 golden-frog.jpg

Story by: Marilu Muzzi 

Disappearing amphibians

 A Tampa zoo is participating in conversation programs to aid in the amphibian declining crisis that is occuring worldwide. More than 100 species are already gone and zoos are working hard to save the remaining species, said Herps and Aquatics keeper Dan Costello.    

At Lowry Park Zoo, two endangered frogs are being bred, the Panamanian golden frog and the Puerto Rican toad. The Panamanian golden frog could become extinct in the wild in about four months, according to Costello.

 The zoo releases the Puerto Rican toad tadpoles into the wild and they plan on doing the same with the Panamanian golden frog.

In addition to frog breeding, the zoo plans on transforming its educational building into an amphibian house. The building will display various species, as well as educate the public about the amphibian crisis, said Costello. They plan on having the amphibian house finished by the beginning of next year.

AZA, the associate of American zoos and aquariums have made amphibian conservation its main focus for 2008. All zoos and aquariums that are part of AZA will be participating in some form of amphibian conservation.

American zoos and aquariums are the only organazations concerned about amphibian declines. Elsewhere, a group of scientists are working together worldwide to try and save frogs and other amphibians. These scientists are part of a nonprofit organization called Amphibian Ark. Amphibian Ark works together with other conversation groups to help ensure that survival of amphibians. Kevin Zippel is one of those scientists. He is based in New York and has been studying the amphibian decline of years.

One main threat to amphibians is the chytrid fungus and it is a worldwide concern, said Zippel. The fungus is caused by plant spores and impacts the frog by clogging its skin and preventing water and oxygen from entering, which causes the animal to dry up.

“In captivity we have found ways to treat (infected frogs) by using medicines that are used to cure athlete’s foot,” Zippel said. “But, we can’t go out and treat every amphibian in the wild, it just isn’t possible.”

Scientists are studying the bacteria found in a frog’s skin. The goal is to use selective breeding in captivity to get animals that are more resistant to the fungus.

Pesticides, fertilizers and other pollutants are also a threat to amphibians. Pesticides cause deformities and affect the animals breeding abilities, according to zoo keeper Costello.

Frogs and amphibians are vital indicators to an ecosystem. If they are suffering, it is a sign of an unhealthy environment. They are highly sensitive towards their environment, because they breathe through their skin, zookeeper Costello said during a recent interview.

If they (amphibians) are being poisoned, imagine what’s going on in our own bodies,” Costello said.

If people are interested in aiding amphibian conservation in their own communities, they can volunteer with the Hillsborough River Alliance Frog Listening Network. The network provides volunteers with an audio CD that teaches them how to identify different species of frogs and toads in the area from their calls. For more information visit: http://www.hrgtf.org/froglistening.html

From swords to the plates

September 26, 2007

By Priscilla Mader

TAMPA – Boizão is the newest Brazilian churrascaria in Tampa. This steakhouse offers a fun and a different way to dine out.

With 14 types of meat, Boizão has its exclusive style to serve the meat on a sword, just like is done in Brazil. The clients can also enjoy a sophisticated salad bar with many options of exotic fresh vegetables, rice, beans and imported cheeses. All meals are accompanied by freshly baked cheese rolls, seasoned mashed potatoes and crispy fried plantains.

“I never saw or ate at such place before, this restaurant is fantastic,” said a client Grace Mayer, 42.

The steakhouse had previously 3 locations in Chicago, and just opened last March its location in Tampa. According to Gabriella Bernes, 19, hostess, in the low season Boizão serves about 450 people on Saturdays, and the average of 1,500 during the week.

The upscale restaurant has an elegant and contemporary architecture. It provides a very cozy atmosphere to the clients, which are pleased by this large selection of meat served table side by the gauchos (Brazilian cowboys). They keep serving you until you tell them to stop. Boizão features the “Churrasco,” the Brazilian barbeque of filet-mignon, sirloin, pork rips, pork sausage, chicken, lamb-chops, and many more.

“When I’m here, I just think about food,” said Eraldo Silva, 32.

The steakhouse reaches different ethnics, but specially Americans. “The majority of our clients, about 80%, are Americans and Hispanics,” said Regis Bernardi, 33, one of the managers of the steakhouse, and with the company for 13 years.

The restaurants also offers Brazilian soft and alcoholic drinks such as “Guaraná,” an energetic drink made of a fruit of the Amazon, and the famous “Caipinha,” a mix drink made with lemon, sugar and the Brazilian “Cachaça,” a Brazilian liquor made of fresh sugarcane juice that is fermented and distilled.

The prices vary. From Mo-Fr they offer a lunch special from $12.90 to $19.90 and dinner costs $ 41.90 at any day of the week.

The steakhouse is located at 4606 Boy Scout Blvd., Tampa. For reservations and further information, please call 813- 286-7100.

Big wins, big savings…it’s a WIN WIN deal for USF

September 26, 2007

     TAMPA- With all of the excitement with the football team’s continuous victories and being ranked No. 18 in the nation, the school has the chance of showing its “school spirit” by purchasing USF apparel from the school’s bookstore at a much cheaper price.

     Thanks to Barnes and Noble (barnesandnoble.com) the bookstore has a special discount to students and faculty through its marketing department. While the football team places high points on the scoreboard, the company is giving the university a chance to score big with a special discount after every game. The bookstore is putting money back into students’ pockets by offering 5-25% off any USF apparel, including dog shirts for dog lovers who dress their pets up for the games.

      The deal began this year and is in agreement with over 500 schools by Barnes and Noble. The advertisement could be found inside of the USF bookstore with the words “When our team wins, so do you,” which in some way has grabbed the attention of customers and fans here at the university.

       It’s a good deal, so what’s the catch? According to the floor supervisor for merchandise Debra McLeod, the discount is based on the spreading of the football teams’ points from every game regardless if the team win or looses.

       “It’s offered only on Mondays and for regular priced apparel with the USF symbol,” said McLeod.

      McLeod also said even if the team wins, for example, 37-10; the discount can not go any higher than 25%. However, if the team looses, for example, 3-24; students are still able to get 5% off when purchasing merchandise that following Monday.

       “The deal is that there must be points on the scoreboard,” McLeod said. “So even if the team looses, students still win.”

       Barnes and Nobles, Inc’s marketing team came up with the idea in order to increase sells on days that are slower while adding a little excitement by associating it with the football events. The company is granting the offer throughout the entire school semester and hopes to continue it next year.

-Shantrell Scott

Short Film Contest Prize Fell Short: By Courtney Herrig ( Revised)

September 26, 2007

 

 

 

I am still waiting to hear back from a few sources . . . but this is what I have so far:

 

 

It wasn’t until nearly a month after Team Persons won the novice category for the contest, “Collaboration . . . A Short Film Contest”, that Jon Wolding, “Dash’s” editor, began to think that they had been scammed.

 

 

“I had heard about the contest through a mass email,” Jon said. The application process was simple. The film team must consist of no less than six members and pay Entertainment Incubator Industry, Inc, an incorporated non-profit organization, $95 per person, i.e., $570 per team. The film must take no more than 30 days to produce, be less than five minutes long and cost no more than $500. Susan Schein, the organization’s leading member, claimed in a 2005 newsletter, that this annual contest has had over 2500 registrants thus far.

 

 

The contestants were competing for a private meeting with the head of Production and Development at Lions Gate Films in Los Angeles and more than $150,000 worth of Florida production services, inclusion in a gala premiere showcase before an audience of senior national film industry decision makers and others and an array of other prizes donated by entertainment industry leaders.

 

The prizes were cited in many news articles, online resources and directly from Susan Schein of Miami. In a blog website called Tampafilmfans.com, Susan titled the blog entry “Lions Gate Short Film Contest.”

 

Wolding states “I was under the impression that Lions Gate was directly involved with this contest.” At an October 25, 2005 orientation session, held at the Educational Channel offices in Tampa, Wolding spoke with the 2005 winner whom said he still had not yet met with the Lions Gate executives.

 

The film crew was featured on the cover of the TBT* on January 6, 2006. The article focused on “Dash” and another local production for the event entitled “Persuasion”. Both productions were chosen in the top 15 category and were invited to the awards gala.

On January 14th 2006, Team Persons attended the $95 per person awards gala in Miami, at the Mayfair Hotel and Spa. The film viewing and awards followed the reception at AMC Coco Walk Theater and finished at the Oxygen Lounge when the allotted time ran out at the AMC Theater.

 

Team Persons accepted the award for first prize winner in the novice category, thus entitling them to $50,000 in services donated by the entertainment industry leaders and a critique of their work by senior industry executives from such companies as Lions Gate, HBO and Picturehouse Films.

 

But this was not the case. Industry experts critiqued the top winning teams, but they were not from the above-cited organizations.

When Team Persons asked about the prize allocation at the awards gala, Schein told them “to just enjoy the evening and we’ll talk about that later.” When “later” came, she said that she was too busy to discuss the details. Wolding called Schein a second time and was told by her that she was going to Europe and would call him when she got back.

 

Finally, Schein divulged to Jon more information about the $50,000 prize, “We are looking for arrangements in your area.” This is when Wolding realized he might have been scammed; Entertainment Incubator Industry Inc, had not secured the prizes before advertising and planning the event.

 

In December of 2006, Team Persons were emailed a “certificate” which appears to have been unskillfully created on the Microsoft Paint software program. The document claimed they had received $35,000 worth of studio time from GStar Studios. Manolo Celi, the winner of the 2006 professional category, had warned Wolding of this offer. Turns out, GStar is a film school out of West Palm Beach that offers free studio space to any independent filmmaker producing a film under one million dollars.

 

Team Persons is disappointed because “She (Schein) is trying to give us something that is free and trying to put a monetary value to it.”

 

When asked if anything positive came out of this endeavor, Wolding did state that “it was cool to work with so many people and to have such a huge collaboration.”

 

 

Currently, Jon Wolding has a lawsuit against Entertainment Incubator Industry, Inc. and is attempting revoking their non-profit status. Susan Schein has not returned phone or email messages to comment on this story.

Short Film Prize Fell Short

September 26, 2007

I am still waiting to hear back from a few sources . . . but this is what I have so far:

 

It wasn’t until nearly a month after Team Persons won the novice category for the contest, “Collaboration . . . A Short Film Contest”, that Jon Wolding, “Dash’s” editor, began to think that they had been scammed. 

 

“I had heard about the contest through a mass email,” Jon said.  The application process was simple.  The film team must consist of no less than six members and pay Entertainment Incubator Industry, Inc, an incorporated non-profit organization, $95 per person, i.e., $570 per team.  The film must take no more than 30 days to produce, be less than five minutes long and cost no more than $500.  Susan Schein, the organization’s leading member, claimed in a 2005 newsletter, that this annual contest has had over 2500 registrants thus far.

 

The contestants were competing for a private meeting with the head of Production and Development at Lions Gate Films in Los Angeles and more than $150,000 worth of Florida production services, inclusion in a gala premiere showcase before an audience of senior national film industry decision makers and others and an array of other prizes donated by entertainment industry leaders. 

The prizes were cited in many news articles, online resources and directly from Susan Schein of Miami. In a blog website called Tampafilmfans.com, Susan titled the blog entry “Lions Gate Short Film Contest.”

Wolding states “I was under the impression that Lions Gate was directly involved with this contest.” At an October 25th 2005 orientation session, held at the Educational Channel offices in Tampa, Wolding spoke with the 2005 winner whom said he still had not yet met with the Lions Gate executives. 

The film crew was featured on the cover of the TBT* on January 6th 2006. The article focused on “Dash” and another local production for the event entitled “Persuasion”. Both productions were chosen in the top 15 category and were invited to the awards gala.

On January 14th 2006, Team Persons attended the $95 per person awards gala in Miami, at the Mayfair Hotel and Spa. The film viewing and awards followed the reception at AMC Coco Walk Theater and finished at the Oxygen Lounge when the allotted time ran out at the AMC Theater.

Team Persons accepted the award for first prize winner in the novice category, thus entitling them to $50,000 in services donated by the entertainment industry leaders and a critique of their work by senior industry executives from such companies as Lions Gate, HBO and Picturehouse Films.

But this was not the case.  Industry experts critiqued the top winning teams, but they were not from the above-cited organizations. 

When Team Persons asked about the prize allocation at the awards gala, Schein told them “to just enjoy the evening and we’ll talk about that later.” When “later” came, she said that she was too busy to discuss the details. Wolding called Schein a second time and was told by her that she was going to Europe and would call him when she got back. 

Finally, Schein divulged to Jon more information about the $50,000 prize, “We are looking for arrangements in your area.” This is when Wolding realized he might have been scammed; Entertainment Incubator Industry Inc, had not secured the prizes before advertising and planning the event.

In December of 2006, Team Persons were emailed a “certificate” which appears to have been unskillfully created on the Microsoft Paint software program.  The document claimed they had received $35,000 worth of studio time from GStar Studios.   Manolo Celi, the winner of the 2006 professional category, had warned Wolding of this offer.  Turns out, GStar is a film school out of West Palm Beach that offers free studio space to any independent filmmaker producing a film under one million dollars.

Team Persons is disappointed because “She (Schein) is trying to give us something that is free and trying to put a monetary value to it.”

 

When asked if anything positive came out of this endeavor, Wolding did state that “it was cool to work with so many people and to have such a huge collaboration.” 

 

Currently, Jon Wolding has a lawsuit against Entertainment Incubator Industry, Inc. and is attempting revoking their non-profit status. Susan Schein has not returned phone or email messages to comment on this story. 

Hundreds gather to remember USF student

September 26, 2007

By: Eric Moeller

TAMPA – Hundreds of mourners gathered at USF’s Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza on Monday night to celebrate the life of Rachel Futterman, a student who died earlier that day after being hospitalized with bacterial meningitis.

“It is not only the Futterman family that is mourning today, but the USF family as well.” University President Judy Genshaft said to the somber crowd, estimated at about 500 people.

Along with Genshaft, Futterman’s memorial featured remarks from members of USF student government, various Greek organizations and several members of the Delta Gamma sorority. Several local television networks were in also in attendance.

“I didn’t have the pleasure of knowing Rachel but I know she was a great person because of all the people who have gathered here today to mourn her,” student body president Garin Flowers said.

The most shocking aspect of Futterman’s death was its suddenness.

Bacterial meningitis is an aggressive affliction that can spread throughout the body in as little as 12 hours. The disease can be treated if detected early, but its flu-like symptoms often cause victims to shrug it off as not that serious until it’s too late.

Futterman first complained of a stomachache Thursday night. Early Saturday morning, her sorority sisters took the 19-year-old Delta Gamma member to the hospital after she began suffering from seizures. On Sunday, Futterman slipped into a coma and she was pronounced dead at University Community Hospital on Monday.

The most emotional part of the memorial occurred when several members of Futterman’s sorority approached the podium to make their remarks.

Between pauses to compose herself, Megan McNerney, president of the Greek organization the Pan-Hellenic Council, expressed sorrow for the loss and conveyed the impact it has had on the University’s Greek society.

“The loss of Rachel has affected the hearts and homes of every sorority woman on campus,” McNerney said.

Following McNerney’s remarks, approximately 50 members of Futterman’s Delta Gamma sorority in attendance performed an emotional recital of the Delta Gamma ritual song titled “Tell me why”.

To close the ceremony, Nicky Spiwak, the executive director of the Hillel Jewish Student Center, led the crowd in a reading of the Mourner’s Kaddish, a traditional Jewish prayer often recited at funerals and memorials.

In memory of Rachel Futterman, the USF Pan-Hellenic Council has opened a fund at the USF Federal Credit Union in which donations can be made in her name. All donations will be given to the Futterman family.

New local supermarket gets spiced up Spanish style

September 26, 2007

By Christine Wolstenholme

   

Maribell and Hoover Rengifo left Colombia for a better life and a chance at the American Dream nine years ago.  Their supermarket and deli, Olimpica, opened six months ago and business has been great.

The Rengifo couple, married for eight years, lived in Tampa for a while before moving to Land O’ Lakes.  They saw that there weren’t many Spanish markets or grocery stores in the area so they saw an opportunity to open one of their own.

“Olimpica means to win, to be huge.  I believe how you name it is how it’s going to be,” said Maribell, whose brother named the store.

Watermelons and pineapples greet you at the front door and a Spanish radio station plays all day, everyday in the supermarket, which is located at 19017 US 41 N. 

The Rengifo’s have a lot of products shipped from other countries including Colombia, Peru, Argentina and Puerto Rico.  The market offers a wide range of Spanish products such as,

Fresh produce like mangoes, papaya and plantains,

Spanish spices like ancho chili pods and linden flower,

Flan and majarete, a corn pudding

Tropical drinks made from aloe vera, tamarind juice, guanabana and pear nectar,

Chorizo, chicken, ribeye steaks, pork and an arrangement of Spanish cheeses.

 

The Rengifo’s also offer homemade empanadas and stuffed yucca/casaba.  They have fresh baked bread, homemade soups and homemade sandwiches, but their Cuban sandwiches are their most popular product.  The twelve-inch sandwiches cost $5.49 and the six-inches are $3.49.  “We use a seasoned pork, they’re delicious,” said Maribell.    

“I’m a regular here.  I come for the meat, the Spanish food and the excellent service,” said Mario Rivas of Lutz.

Olimpica also sells a lot of their “Deli Fruity Ice Cream Bars,” which come in coconut, passion fruit, blackberry, mango, pineapple and cheese and guava flavors.  The store, which is operated by family and friends, also sells plenty of the American products you would find in a corner store. 

Maribell, who learned how to speak English just by listening to others when she moved to America, said that their clientele is about 50-50, half Spanish and half American.  “Americans love Spanish food.”

Aside from food, Olimpica sells lottery tickets and has a Metro PCS station set up inside the store.  It’s like a typical convenience store in the neighborhood.  “People can buy phones or pay their bills,” says Hoover.  The Rengifo’s also have a wire system that sends money to other countries, similar to Western Union.  They’ll also send products like toys and clothes to other countries.  “We miss home.  We wish we could combine both countries,” said Maribell.

Business has been good thus far said Maribell, “We’re thinking positive about it, we see a big opportunity here.”  Hoover, who owned a small electronics store when he lived in Colombia joked, “Maribell does the money and the business, I just work here.”

The Rengifo’s have two children, Alejandro, 4, and Sebastian, 2, and they can be seen around the store from time to time.  The store is open Mon-Fri 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., on Sat from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Sun 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Olimpica supermarket and deli is located at 19017 US 41 N., just passed Lutz Lake Fern Rd.  For more information Maribell can be reached at (813) 909- 8929.

Police show Respect

September 26, 2007

By: Aaron Oberlin
Temple Terrace, Fla. – Temple Terrace Police Detective Michael Pridemore has a genuine respect for the now deceased Dovie Moore Hamby, 92, the mother of missing Sandra Prince.

Hamby was a retired school teacher and resident of Boone, N.C. She passed away March 11 this year at Watauga Medical Center.

She never found out what happened to her daughter, who was last seen by a co-worker December 30, 2005.

In the last two years, she developed a trustful, professional relationship with Pridemore and the Temple Terrace Police Department as they investigated her disappearance.

According to Pridemore, Hamby would frequently travel to Temple Terrace. She would ask the detectives to “carry” her. “That was her Southern term for driving her somewhere.”

While she was here, she would stay in her daughter’s house, according to Pridemore. “It was very hard on her.”

Pridemore says not bringing closure to Hamby is sometimes hard to deal with.

“You can’t help it to establish that bond with someone when you see their pain, you feel their pain and you know that you are the one that’s trying to bring closure to her.” Pridemore says. “I wanted to bring closure, and it didn’t happen.”

“She was amazing.” Pridemore says. She could remember things that I would have a hard time remembering. “Sharp as a tack.”

Hamby’s funeral was in Boone. Pridemore and Corporal Bernard Seeley attended.

Pridemore said they got to meet family members whom they hadn’t met before. Hamby had talked highly about them.

Hamby willed approximately $500,000 in property to the Temple Terrace Police Department.

According to Pridemore, Hamby mentioned she wanted to leave money to the police department.

Finding out what happened to her daughter was very important to her, according to Pridemore. “She was devastated.”

“Justice will be served, eventually.” Pridemore says. “I am confident this will be resolved.”

According to Michael Dunn, Temple Terrace public information officer, the city is not sure what it will do with the money.

On January 3, 2006, according to police, a neighbor reported Prince missing. Police found the trunk of her white, four-door Buick Park Avenue with a considerable amount of her blood in it.

Police say there were not any signs of struggle.

After her disappearance, according to police, an individual withdrew money from her accounts several times.

Police released surveillance tapes of ATM’s, located in Temple Terrace and North Tampa, showing what police describe as a man wearing a green mask with a large, stocky build. He has dark hair on his arms with no visible marks or jewelry. The car he was driving was a white, four-door sedan.

Earl C. Pippin III was Prince’s boyfriend for five years. In her will, he is the main beneficiary of an approximated $2.8 million estate. She has no children or husband.

He was named a “person of interest,” says Pridemore.

“Drink up, it will only get funnier”

September 26, 2007

By Tiffany B. Talley

Improv Comedy Theater and Restaurant puts the fun in funny.

YBOR CITY -“Drink up, it will only get funnier”, reads the front cover of the drink menu at the Improv Comedy Theater and Restaurant. Located in CENTRO YBOR, the Improv Comedy Theater hosts some of the most well-known comedians and provides laughter to thousands of guests since its opening in 2001.

“Comics say the sound quality in the building is excellent”, said Jennifer Hensleigh, Improv Comedy Theater promotion specialist.

Not your typical comedy club, the 100-year-old building is outfitted with original bricklaying, and columns providing a warm ambience and rich historical context . Known for its beautiful interior design, the theater consists of 3 levels of seating and VIP rooms rented out for private parties. http://www.improvtampa.com/tour.asp]

“One older man told me he remembers coming here to watch movies for a nickel”, said Hensleigh.

The Improv Theater and Restaurant is also equipped with full menu, bar and over 50 staff members to assist guests. Part of a franchise, the Improv Comedy has 12 to 15 partner theaters in cities including Orlando, FL and Kansas City, Kansas.

“The best comic we’ve had is John Morgan”, said Sam Stewart, hostess at the Improv Theater.

Upcoming guest comedians include Shawty, Jamie Kennedy, Sheryl Underwood and Tampa native, Bert Kreischer. Reservations for shows can be made online. Featured events include open mic nights, t-shirt Wednesdays, and the Tampa Improv driving school.

Visit Tampa Improv on myspace.com and sign up on the mailing list for a chance to receive offers for free tickets in the mail.