Here’s a post I started back in February 2019 and didn’t finish — until now! Jo Koy returns to Tampa at the end of February, and I wanted to publish this before then.
There aren’t many theaters like this one left. It first opened in 1926, and was the first commercial building with air conditioning. It had its heyday during the golden age of movies but fell into disrepair during the era of suburban flight in the 1960s. The city rescued the theatre in the early ’70s, with Hillsborough County’s arts council taking over the theatre’s program and selecting its films and events. This effort became the model for saving endangered theaters nationwide.
We had VIP tickets, which entitled us to a quick selfie session with Joseph Glenn Herbert (that’s his actual name; “Jo Koy” is derived from “Jokoy”, which is one of many possible Filipino nicknames for “Joseph”) himself: