Brandon Twin Theatre
306 W. Robertson Street,
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Architects: Ivor M. Farnell
Styles: Colonial Revival
Previous Names: Bandon Theatre
The Brandon Theatre was a long-running movie theatre on Robertson Street. The theatre debuted November 14, 1964 with Burl Ives in Walt Disney’s “So Dear to My Heart”. Auto dealer John Sheppard Jr. was one of the initial owners. The Brandon Theatre was of Colonial Revival style to the plans of architect Ivor M. Farnell of Tampa, FL. It had large columns and a large balcony at the opening. The $100,000 theatre was operated as a family movie house. The theatre operated just over thirty years.
Projectionist Floyd Burdett purchased the theatre in 1968. On March 31, 1972, the venue was twinned becoming the Brandon Twin Theatre launching after a brief closure with Disney’s “The Barefoot Executive” and “Carnal Knowledge”. Burdett’s Brandon Theatre, Inc. sold the venue to the Floyd Enterprises Circuit effective with the December 16, 1977 screenings.
As multiplexes were built around the metroplex, the theatre became a sub-run discount house. The theatre was updated losing much of its Colonial style charm. The Elks purchased the venue in 1985 subleasing it to Floyd Enterprises until the theatre was acquired by Carmike Theatres in March of 1995. Carmike shuttered the operation on December 7, 1995. The films “Babe” starring James Cromwell and “Clueless” starring Alicia Silverstone were the final screenings. The seating was removed shortly thereafter for refurbishing and use in a different location.
Carmike would ostensibly move the sub-run policy to its nearby Plitt IV in 1996 while the Brandon Twin became a bingo hall followed by a long-running retail lighting store that altered virtually all remaining Colonial accents from the building’s exterior. That retail shop was still active in the 2020’s.
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