“The damnedest multiplex this side of Hell”—Tampa, Florida

This is the second entry in my Twelve Days of Southern Spirits Series celebrating traditional ghost story telling over Christmas.  

Britton Cinema 8
3938 South Dale Mabry Highway (US-92)
Tampa, Florida

A 2012 article from the Tampa CBS affiliate describes the city as “the damnedest city this side of Hell,” and with that perhaps the Britton Cinema 8 could be called “the damnedest multiplex this side of Hell.” This article goes on to note that there’s no rhyme or reason for the theatre to be haunted, but it is, apparently.

When the Britton Theater opened in 1956, it was hailed as the “first modern indoor theater in 32 years.” Situated in the Britton Plaza Shopping Center, the theater was built for $750,000 and seated 2,200 patrons in front of a single, large, seamless screen measuring 60-feet across. Seven years later, the large auditorium was split into three separate theaters. In 1992,  the building was divided into eight screens. This multiplex remains in operation.

Tampa Times 1956 ad opening Britton Theater Tampa Florida
Advertisement for the opening of the Britton Theater, 1956, from the Tampa Times.

An anonymous report from the Ghosts of America website describes an encounter a patron had in the building around 2009 or 2010. This patron took advantage of a $1 movie ticket deal the theater offered on Tuesday nights. As the movie started, the patron looked around and realized that they were the only person in the theatre. About a third of the way through the movie, the patron spied an older woman sitting in a seat across the aisle, but she apparently disappeared a short time later.

A little while later, the patron then noticed a man in the theater who was seated in a different place every time they looked, though they never saw that person move. When they left, they perplexingly noted there was no one in the theater.

Speaking to a friend who was employed there, the patron discovered that their friend had numerous experiences while working there. One of the most significant things to occur happened in the employee corridor that links all of the projection rooms. A large piece of equipment used to transfer heavy reels of film was moved one evening to block the entrance door to the corridor. Curious as to why the door could not be opened, the employees had to enter the corridor via the fire escape.

Perhaps the spirits are just attracted to the films?


  • Tampa, Florida Ghost Sightings.”  GhostsofAmerica.com. Accessed 26 December 2019.
  • Britton 8 Theater.” CinemaTreasures.org. Accessed 26 December 2019.
  • “Britton Theater, Tampa’s Largest, Will Seat 2000.” The Tampa Times. 15 August 1956.
  • Mole, Amanda. “Tampa Bay’s most haunted places.” CBS Tampa. 25 October 2012.

2 Replies to ““The damnedest multiplex this side of Hell”—Tampa, Florida”

  1. Is it true also that dunkin donuts in the brittan plaza is haunted? Ive heard a story of an old lady. That was a cook had died and now is haunting the place .can you let me know ?

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