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Friday, Jun 22, 2018
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Tampa Theatre raises $10,000 for new popcorn maker

It took only 10 days for Tampa Theatre donors to raise $10,000 to replace the historic venue’s troubled popcorn maker.

The final contribution in the theater’s first crowdfunding project came in Sunday through Power2Give.org, the Arts Council of Hillsborough County’s new funding site.

The current 15-year-old popper recently sustained a motor malfunction, and a fire in the oil pump cost the nonprofit theater nearly $2,000 in maintenance and repairs.

With the goal reached, the theater can place an order for a new Gold Medal popper with a 52-ounce kettle.

It will be able to produce 10 gallons of popcorn at a time, twice the rate of the current popper. That will mean faster-moving concession lines during high-attendance shows, theater spokeswoman Jill Revelle Witecki said.

“The community’s support for Tampa Theatre is tremendous,” Witecki said in a news release.

The new machine should be delivered in six to eight weeks and installed before the winter holidays, Witecki said. Donors will receive popcorn-themed benefits, Witecki said. They include an invitation to a “Popcorn Party” and film screening, as well as free popcorn for a year for those making high-dollar donations.

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