MacDill Happenings

Things to do in and around MacDill AFB

Archive for December, 2009

Movies at MacDill AFB 2 January

December 31, 2009 By: Laura Category: Events No Comments →


For an inexpensive break from the holiday season, stop by the MacDill AFB movie theater on Saturday to catch a movie.  Admission is only $4 for 12 and up and $2 for 11 to 4.  Refreshments are very reasonable with a medium popcorn and medium soft drink costing only $7.50.  You can also get free refills on the soft drinks.  At 3pm the animated comedy, “Planet 51” is playing. This movie is rated PG for mild sci-fi action and some suggestive humor and has a run time of 96 minutes. Planet 51 is a galactic sized animated alien adventure comedy revolving around America astronaut Captain Charles “Chuck” Baker, who lands on Planet 51 thinking he’s the first person to step foot on it. To his surprise, he finds that this planet is inhabited by little green people who are happily living in a white picket fence world reminiscent of a cheerfully innocent 1950s America, and those only fear is that it will be overrun by alien invaders…like Chuck! With the help of his robot companion “Rover” and his new friend Lem, Chuck must navigate his way through the dazzling, but bewildering, landscape of Planet 51 in order to escape becoming a permanent part of the Planet 51 Alien Invaders Space Museum. At 7pm, the action movie “2012” is playing. This movie is rated PG-13 for some language and disaster sequences and has a run time of 120 minutes. Never before has a date in history been so significant to so many cultures, so many religions, scientists, and governments. 2012 is an epic adventure about a global cataclysm that brings an end to the world and tells of the heroic struggle of the survivors.

Pianos in Ybor City

December 30, 2009 By: Laura Category: Events No Comments →


As part of a public art initiative, 10 pianos have been placed around Ybor City as part of “Pianos in Ybor: Please Play Me!”. The pianos are tied down and placed underneath roofs to protect them from the weather. When the event ends on 9 January, the pianos will be donated to charity. There is no charge to use the pianos. If you every wanted to perform for an audience, large or small, or in an outside venue, this is the time to do it! If your looking to see if your child is musically inclined, then the pianos present the perfect opportunity.  Known as Tampa’s Latin Quarter for over a century, Ybor City is an exotic blend of aromas, flavors, sights and sounds. From the scent of roasting Cuban coffee early in the morning to the rhythms of Latin music late into the night, Ybor is a feast for the senses. There is plenty of parking in Ybor City and don’t forget about the TECO streetcars!

The Young Victoria at the Tampa Theatre

December 29, 2009 By: Laura Category: Events No Comments →

 Courtesy of the Tampa Theater

The Tampa Theatre is presenting the historical movie “The Young Victoria” this week with a showing tonight at 7:30pm. Starring Emily Blunt, who has been nominated for a Golden Globe Best Actress for this movie, this movie is a romantic and historic bio-pic of the young Queen Victoria of England depicting her life leading up to the assumption of the throne and the early years of her reign and marriage to Prince Albert. On the eve of her 18th birthday and ascension to the English throne, young Princess Victoria (Emily Blunt, The Devil Wears Prada, Sunshine Cleaning) is caught in a royal power struggle. Her first years of rule are turbulent, and the court is filled with intrigue, but it is her blossoming love affair with Prince Albert (Rupert Friend, Pride & Prejudice), the suitor who wins her heart, that will determine the strength of her reign. Built in 1926 as one of America’s most elaborate “movie palaces”, the Tampa Theatre today is a historical treasure of Tampa. Located in downtown Tampa, the Theatre is easily accessible from I-275 and I-4. Designed by famed theatre architect John Eberson, the Tampa is a superior example of the “atmospheric” style of theatre design. Inside the Tampa, audiences are transported to a lavish, romantic Mediterranean courtyard replete with old world statuary, flowers, and gargoyles. Over it all is a nighttime sky replete with twinkling stars and floating clouds. Tampa Theatre was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978, is a Tampa City Landmark, and is a member of the League of Historic American Theatres. There is on street parking nearby and parking lots within walking distance. Remember the street parking meters are not in service during the weekend so parking at street meters is free. It’s a tradition to hang out at The Hub, downtown Tampa’s classic dive that’s located two doors down, before or after a theater outing.

Free Cocktail Class at Old Hyde Park Village Today!

December 27, 2009 By: Laura Category: Events No Comments →


Be the perfect host at your New Year’s Eve party or learn how to impress a date by learning how to make cocktails! The Williams-Sonoma store in Old Hyde Park Village in south Tampa has a free cocktail making class today at 2pm. Williams-Sonomais a specialty retailer of home furnishings and gourmet cookware in the United States. They offer high-quality, stylish products for every room in the house: from the kitchen to the living room, bedroom, home office and even the hall closet. Located in south Tampa, Hyde Park Village has great mix of boutiques, stores and unique restaurants that can pique anyone’s interest. South Tampa is the area generally defined as the part of Tampa that is south of Kennedy Blvd. MacDill AFB is located at the southern end of South Tampa. There is plenty of free parking available in Hyde Park Village with several parking garages available and also complimentary valet parking during the holiday season!

Walking Tour of Historic St. Petersburg 26 December

December 26, 2009 By: Laura Category: Events 1 Comment →


If you want to try something else besides hitting the stores to return presents or looking for the after Christmas sales, then how about learning the history of St. Pete.  St. Petersburg Preservation is sponsoring a walking tour of the historic Downtown, Old Northeast, and the historic Kenwood neighborhood for a bungalow tour. The historic Downtown reflects early St. Petersburg’s success in transforming itself into one of the best known tourist destinations in the United States. Although the remaining resources are extremely varied, ranging from frame garage apartments to grand Gothic Revival churches, most were built to serve and/or impress winter visitors. This dedication to the tourist industry changed St. Petersburg from a fishing village to a major American city in the first half of the 20th century. After the tour of the waterfront, everyone will board a tolley to the Kenwood neighborhood. The Kenwood Historic District is a 375-acre residential area best known for its historic bungalows. However, it contains a variety of residential architectural styles including Frame and Masonry Vernacular, Craftsman Bungalow, Minimal Traditional, Tudor Revival, Mediterranean Revival, Colonial Revival, Ranch, Prairie, American Foursquare, Dutch Colonial Revival, Mission, and International. It starts at 10 am on Saturday with everyone meeting at Central Avenue and Second Street. There is a $5 suggested donation, which includes bus tokens. St. Petersburg Preservation (SPP) works to preserve St. Pete’s important sites and structures and foster an appreciation of St. Petersburg’s shared heritage and culture.

Movies at MacDill AFB 26 December

December 24, 2009 By: Laura Category: News No Comments →


For a break after all the after Christmas sales, stop by the MacDill AFB movie theater for an inexpensive night of fun.  Admission is only $4 for adults and $2 for children from 11 to 4.  And the price of refreshments is a lot cheaper on base compared to movie theaters out in town. The price for a medium popcorn and soft drink with free refills is $7.50.  At 3pm, the movie is “Amelia” starring Hilary Swank, and Richard Gere. This movie is rated PG for sensuality, language, thematic elements, smoking and has a run time of 111 minutes. After becoming the first woman to fly across the Atlantic, Amelia was thrust into a new role as America’s sweetheart – the legendary “goddess of light,” known for her bold, larger-than-life charisma. Yet, even with her global fame solidified, her belief in flirting with danger and standing up as her own, outspoken woman never changed. She was an inspiration to people everywhere, from First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt to the men closest to her heart: her husband, promoter and publishing magnate George P. Putnam, and her long time friend and lover, pilot Gene Vidal. In the summer of 1937, Amelia set off on her most daunting mission yet: a solo flight around the world that she and George both anxiously foresaw as destined, whatever the outcome, to become one of the most talked-about journeys in history. At 7pm, the suspense movie “The Fourth Kind” is playing starring Milla Jovovich. This movie is rated PG-13 for violent/disturbing images, some terror, thematic elements, sexuality and has a run time of 98 minutes. In 1972, a scale of measurement was established for alien encounters. When a UFO is sighted, it is called an encounter of the first kind. When evidence is collected, it is known as an encounter of the second kind. When contact is made with extraterrestrials, it is the third kind. The next level, abduction, is the fourth kind. This encounter has been the most difficult to document…until now. Structured unlike any film before it, The Fourth Kind is a provocative thriller set in modern-day Nome, Alaska, where—mysteriously since the 1960s—a disproportionate number of the population has been reported missing every year. Despite multiple FBI investigations of the region, the truth has never been discovered. Here in this remote region, psychologist Dr. Abigail Tyler began videotaping sessions with traumatized patients and unwittingly discovered some of the most disturbing evidence of alien abduction ever documented.

Orlando Ballet’s The Nutcracker at the David Straz Center for the Performing Arts 22 & 23 December

December 22, 2009 By: Laura Category: Events No Comments →

Photo courtesy of TBPAC 

Today and tommorrow, the Orlando Ballet will present classic holiday ballet “The Nutcracker” at the David Straz Center for the Performing Arts (formerly know as the Tampa Bay Center for the Performing Arts). Orlando Ballet presents a condensed version of The Nutcracker featuring all the highlights, complete with stunning sets and costumes, special effects, Tchaikovsky instantly recognizable score and exquisite dancing. The performance also features 80 students from the Patel Conservatory Youth Ballet in partnership with the Orlando Ballet School. The Nutcracker is performed to pre-recorded music. The Nutcracker is a two Act ballet. In Act I, the first scene occurs at the house of a well-to-do family in a small town in Germany. The President of the Town Council, Herr Silberhaus, and his wife are having a party for their family and friends. Councilor Drosselmeyer, an eccentric but kindhearted old man arrives and distributes presents to the children. Among her gifts, Clara, President Silberhaus’ daughter, receives a nutcracker in the shape of a man that cracks nuts between his jaws. Clara’s brother snatches the nutcracker from her and breaks it, leaving Clara heartbroken. After the guests depart and Clara has gone to bed, she cannot forget the broken nutcracker. She creeps downstairs and when the clock strikes midnight, she is startled to see mice appearing from all corners of the living room. Clara watches in amazement as soldiers and the nutcracker come to life to battle the mice. The fighting reaches a climax when Clara strikes the Mouse King to the floor with her slipper. With their leader fallen, the mice disperse. The victory that Clara has brought about breaks the spell on the nutcracker, transforming him into a gallant prince. Turning to her gratefully, the prince invites Clara to accompany him to the Kingdom of the Sweets, where the Sugar Plum Fairy reigns as queen. In Act II, Clara and the Prince have reached the Kingdom of the Sweets and are received in the great hall of the Sugarplum Fairy’s castle. When the Prince reveals how Clara saved his life, the entire court greets her with acclaim. Clara is escorted to a miniature throne to view the presentation that has been prepared in her honor. Delicacies of the Kingdom of the Sweets appear. Chocolate, coffee and tea are represented by Spanish, Arabian and Chinese dancers. Other dances follow – a lively Russian trepak, dance of the merlitons (penny whistles), Mother Ginger (the French equivalent of the Old Woman who lived in a shoe) and her children, the beautiful Waltz of the Flowers, and the great pas de deux by the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier. In the finale, the courtiers of the kingdom kneel in homage to Clara for rescuing their Prince. The ballet concludes with a brilliant waltz. Tickets start at $22.50. TBPAC is located on the eastern bank of the Hillsborough River in downtown Tampa and easily accessible from I-275, I-4 or the Crosstown Expressway. Parking is available at several nearby lots or at the William F. Poe parking structure next to the German Library for about $4. If you can find a spot on the road on the north side of TBPAC, you can park at a metered spot. Metered spots are free during the weekends in Tampa.

Gregorian Chant Performance 20 December

December 20, 2009 By: Laura Category: Concerts, Events No Comments →


For a calming break from the holiday shopping season, tryout the Florida Pro Musica’s annual Gregorian chant performance, which has turned into a popular holiday event at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in downtown Tampa at 509 N Florida Ave. The cross street is Twiggs. The performance is starts at 4pm. The Sacred Heart Catholic Church, an atmospheric domed space in downtown Tampa that seats about 600, was filled to overflowing for last year’s concert. Concerts over the first ten years have included some wonderful highlights, from large-scale works like Mozart’s Requiem and Handel’s Messiah to intimate offerings such as the complete Masses by William Byrd, baroque trio sonatas, madrigals in costume, and a whole spectrum of choral and instrumental programs. Florida Pro Musica was founded in 1998 by Larry Kent and environmental attorney George F. Gramling III. The creation of FPM was, in large part, due to the need for a professional music ensemble performing varied and diverse repertoire from the Middle Ages to the 20th century and beyond. FPM’s first concert was in May 1999, and since that time, the group has performed pieces for the smallest ensembles (instrumental and vocal solos, duets, trios) to large works such as Mozart’s Requiem and Handel’s Messiah. Historical periods covered include Gregorian Chant from the 10th century, Renaissance and Baroque choral and instrumental masterworks (Palestrina, Byrd, Bach, Handel), the Classical period (Haydn and Mozart), the Romantics (Brahms, Mendelssohn, Bruckner), and the 20th and 21st centuries (Messiaen, Britten, Russo). Cost is $10 and includes a Wine and cheese reception after the performance.

Free Movie at MacDill AFB 20 December

December 19, 2009 By: Laura Category: Events, News No Comments →


The MacDill AFB movie theater is presenting a free showing of the new movie, “Sherlock Holmes”, on Sunday 20 December at 1pm. The public release of this movie is on Christmas Day. Robert Downey Jr. is Holmes and Jude Law plays the sidekick, Watson. After finally catching serial killer and occult “sorcerer” Lord Blackwood, legendary sleuth Sherlock Holmes and his assistant Dr. Watson can close yet another successful case. But when Blackwood mysteriously returns from the grave and resumes his killing spree, Holmes must take up the hunt once again. Contending with his partner’s new fiancée and the dimwitted head of Scotland Yard, the dauntless detective must unravel the clues that will lead him into a twisted web of murder, deceit, and black magic – and the deadly embrace of temptress Irene Adler. Although not free like the movie, the refreshments are very reasonably priced with a medium popcorn and soft drink costing $7.50. Free refill on drinks.

Movies at MacDill AFB 18 & 19 December

December 17, 2009 By: Laura Category: Events No Comments →


For an inexpensive night out, stop by the MacDill AFB movie theater this weekend.  Admission for adults is only $4 and $2 for children.  Refreshments are half the price of refreshments out in town.  On Friday at 7pm, the new Disney movie “A Christmas Carol” will be playing. This movie is rated PG for scary sequences and images and has run time of 98 minutes. Ebenezer Scrooge begins the Christmas holiday with his usual miserly contempt, barking at his faithful clerk and his cheery nephew. But when the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come take him on an eye-opening journey revealing truths Old Scrooge is reluctant to face, he must open his heart to undo years of ill will before it’s too late. On Saturday at 3pm, the Micheal Jackson movie “This is It” will be playing. This movie is rated PG for suggestive choreography and scary images and has run time of 151 minutes. Michael Jackson’s final film is a compilation of rehearsal, behind-the-scenes and other footage of the pop legend preparing for the This Is It concert series which was to be held for 100 shows in London. High School Musical’s Kenny Ortega directs and handles all of the choreography. On Saturday at 7pm, the suspense movie “The Box” will be playing. This movie is rated PG-13 for thematic elements, some violence and disturbing images and has a run time of 113 minutes. Norma and Arthur Lewis, a suburban couple with a young child, receive a simple wooden box as a gift, which bears fatal and irrevocable consequences. A mysterious stranger, delivers the message that the box promises to bestow upon its owner $1 million with the press of a button. But, pressing this button will simultaneously cause the death of another human being somewhere in the world; someone they don’t know. With just 24 hours to have the box in their possession, Norma and Arthur find themselves in the cross-hairs of a startling moral dilemma and must face the true nature of their humanity.