Center Theatre

914 Central Avenue,
St. Petersburg, FL 33705

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Alcazar Theatre, Roxy Theatre

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Center Theater's Adult Membership Club, St. Petersburg, FL

The building was a converted grain-house, which became the Alcazar Theatre from November 4, 1928. It was one of the many theatres lining St. Petersburg’s Central Avenue. By 1941 it had been renamed Roxy Theatre.

It became the Center Theatre from December 25, 1958 and was equipped to screen 70mm films in the 1960’s. In the early-1970’s it operated as an adult movie theatre. It ended its days screening kung fu movies and closed on March 28, 1974. Today, 914 Central Avenue is a parking lot.

Contributed by Andy

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

AndyCallahanMajorMajor on November 15, 2010 at 11:32 am

It appears that the Alcazar and the also-listed Center were the same theater. It was also called the Roxy at one point. The Alcazar moved into a converted grain warehouse in 1926 and its final incarnation, the Center, closed in 1977.

Nunzienick on November 15, 2010 at 12:29 pm

Thanks Andy. This is very interesting. I remember when the Center was a 70MM house. They advertised heavily in the Tampa Tribune the many reserved-seat roadshow attractions that played though most of the 1960s. But by the mid-1970s it had gone adult and was reduced to showing X-rated films. I only saw one adult film here and as I recall it was a nice theatre with a fairly large screen. Had no idea it was formerly known as the Alcazar and later the Roxy.

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio on July 23, 2013 at 5:21 pm

Just posted a couple ads under photos.

P. K. "Budd" Ballard
P. K. "Budd" Ballard on November 27, 2016 at 11:33 pm

The 70mm equipment was installed when the theatre changed from the ROXY to the CENTER. BEN HUR played there for over a year and THE SOUND OF MUSIC played there for almost a year. The projection and sound were superb.

HDEngineer on February 3, 2017 at 11:53 am

Projection and Sound were indeed superb. This was an early Phillips (Norelco) 70 mm installation. They had a chain hoist to help handle the big 70mm reels. Cliff Brigham?? was one of the projectionists there. I saw a 70mm release of the Cinerama feature “How the West Was Won” there.

rivest266 on October 7, 2017 at 1:23 pm

This opened as Alcazar on November 4th, 1928 and reopened as Center on December 25th, 1958. Grand opening ad in the photo section.

Coate on October 12, 2017 at 10:03 am

In response to P.K. “Budd” Ballard’s comment of November 27th, 2016, I believe he’s confusing “The Sound of Music” with another long-run musical roadshow since the Tampa Bay region roadshow run of “The Sound of Music” was at the Palace in Tampa and its first general release run in St. Petersburg was held at the State. Perhaps he’s thinking of “My Fair Lady” which had a long run at the Center?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 4, 2021 at 5:52 pm

The Roxy changed hands multiple times in the early 1950s. Boxofficeof July 14, 1951 said that Roxart Theatres of Tampa had bought the house from Florida Coast Theatres. Then the May 7, 1952 issue of The Exhibitor reported that local developer W. R. Parsley had bought the Roxy from Roxart. The April 26 1952 issue of Tampa Bay Times said that Parsley had leased the Roxy to Claughton Theatres.

dallasmovietheaters on October 7, 2022 at 6:03 pm

The Center Theatre lists all the way to March 28, 1974 with its last showtimes of Henry Yu Yung in “Fists of Double K (Fist to Fist)” and Wang You in “Blood of the Dragon.” (The theater’s final transition had been from adult cinema earlier in the 1970s to Chopsocky films.) The theatre reached the expiration of its lease but is then listed for sale thereafter for $89,500 with the caveat of “needs work.”

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