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Jimmy Geurts, Times Staff Writer

Jimmy Geurts

Jimmy Geurts works in the Tampa Bay Times' Tampa bureau and has reported on news, features and art and entertainment. He joined the Times in 2012 after graduating from the University of South Florida with a degree in journalism. He has also written for Creative Loafing, the Tampa Tribune and the USF Oracle.

Phone: (813) 226-3402

Email: jgeurts@tampabay.com

Twitter: @JimmyGeurts

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  1. Vacant historic Palmetto Beach cigar factory a 'total loss' after fire

    Fire

    TAMPA — Fire tore through a vacant former cigar factory in Palmetto Beach early Sunday, rendering it a "total loss," according to Tampa Fire Rescue.

    Firefighters arrived at the former V. Guerrieri Cigar Co. factory at 201 N 26th St. about 12:30 a.m. and battled the blaze for nearly two hours before bringing it under control about 2:10 a.m., authorities said. The fire heavily damaged the first, second and third floors, causing a four-sided collapse of the walls and roof, according to Fire Rescue....

    Firefighters fought the blaze at the four-story former cigar factory in Tampa for more than two hours early Sunday.
  2. In Hillsborough County, renewed debate over giant Confederate flag

    Nation

    TAMPA — Seven years after it was first raised, the Confederate battle flag still dominates the highway skyline, an enormous streak of red towering over the palms along Interstate 75.

    As hundreds of protesters in South Carolina call to remove the Confederate flag flown at the state's Capitol after nine black church members were slain last week in what authorities are calling a hate crime, local leaders are reflecting on one of Florida's own monuments to Dixie....

    An honor guard fires a volley as re-enactors lift a giant Confederate battle flag during the dedication of Confederate Memorial Park at 10418 U.S. 92 in Tampa in April 2009. 
  3. Fans gather to send off Lightning players to Chicago

    Human Interest

    The grass lots outside Tampa International Jet Center were packed with cars sporting blue-and-white stickers, license plates and flags Sunday afternoon as hopeful Tampa Bay Lightning fans came to cheer on the team to victory.

    Crowd members waved "Go Bolts" signs and took photos of the players as they arrived for a 2 p.m. flight to Chicago, where they play the Blackhawks in Game 6 today. Tampa Bay has to win the game to force a seventh game and a chance at the Stanley Cup, following a 2-1 loss Saturday night....

    Lightning fans hold signs of support, and a big cutout of coach Jon Cooper, as the team departs for Chicago on Sunday from the Tampa International Jet Center.
  4. Documentary 'The Wrecking Crew' digs into music history at St. Petersburg screening

    Movies

    Denny Tedesco decided to make a movie about studio musicians who played on some of the most iconic songs of the '60s and '70s, and it took him nearly two decades to see it released.

    He started filming The Wrecking Crew in 1996 when his father, Tommy, a guitarist in a group of widely used L.A. session musicians known by the same name, was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

    "I wanted to always tell this story about him and his friends the Wrecking Crew," he said in a phone interview. "My biggest fear was if I don't do it, it's going to be the biggest regret of my life if I didn't take advantage and tell this story."...

    Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson, left, works with drummer Hal Blaine.
  5. Author, actor from cult hit 'The Room' coming to Tampa Bay

    Events

    In order to find success in the film industry, Greg Sestero had to start from the bottom — in terms of movie quality, at least.

    The aspiring actor met Tommy Wiseau in Los Angeles during the '90s and agreed to play Mark in his directing-writing-acting vehicle The Room. When the movie was finally released in 2003 to nonexistent critical and financial success, it seemed like it would be just another poorly made, immediately forgotten independent feature....

    Author and actor Greg Sestero will be at Inkwood Books in Tampa for a book talk and signing. The next day he will attend a screening of The Room in Palm Harbor.
  6. Greg Sestero talks cult classic movie 'The Room'

    Movies

    In order to find success in the film industry, Greg Sestero had to start from the bottom — in terms of movie quality, at least.

    The aspiring actor met Tommy Wiseau in Los Angeles during the '90s and agreed to play Mark in Wiseau's directing-writing-acting vehicle The Room. When the movie was finally released in 2003 to nonexistent critical and financial success, it seemed like it would be just another poorly made, immediately forgotten independent feature....

    Author and actor Greg Sestero will be at Inkwood Books in Tampa for a book talk and signing. The next day he will attend a screening of The Room in Palm Harbor.
  7. UT student filmmaker couple's short heading to Cannes

    News

    Still in college, two University of Tampa students have reached a milestone many aspiring filmmakers dream of — having their work screen at the Cannes Film Festival.

    Director Travis Misarti, a 20-year-old junior majoring in film, and co-director Alexandra DiGiacomo, a 21-year-old senior majoring in communications, had their short film Tea Time accepted into the renowned French film festival, which runs May 13-24....

  8. Jensen Serf Company: Breaking out of the garage

    Blog

    (Welcome to tbt*’s 2015 Ultimate Local Music Guide! All week we’re spotlighting 10 of our favorite local artists of the past year. Up next: Surf-styled garage punks Jensen Serf Company.)

    In March, Jensen Serf Company played the Spring Beer Fling, a contemporary take on the ’60s beach party with Georgia garage group the Black Lips replacing the Beach Boys and craft beers replacing Cokes....

    Jensen Serf Company
  9. Walkability heightens life in Seminole Heights

    Human Interest

    For the first time in the nearly nine years I've lived in Tampa, I feel able to walk where I live.

    Last summer, I moved into a bungalow in Seminole Heights. Since then, I've enjoyed being able to travel on foot to a handful of places in an overwhelmingly car-centric city.

    I can now walk to one of my favorite Tampa restaurants (the Refinery), bars (the Independent) and record stores (Microgroove), all in a small cluster on Florida Avenue. The nearby Seminole Heights Branch Library taunts my (procrastinated) resolution to read more books daily....

  10. Review: Swans immerse fans in deafening display at the State Theatre in St. Petersburg

    Blog

    It’s somewhat fitting that Swans’ show at St. Pete’s State Theatre on Wednesday was on April Fools' Day.

    The legendary New York group is the sort of act local concertgoers express disbelief would ever come here, and turn out in droves when they do. Though the group has actually toured Florida relatively often since reforming in 2010, they hadn’t played the Bay area until now....

    Swans performed at the State Theatre in St. Petersburg on April 1, 2015.
  11. Review: Against Me! revisit the past with epic energy at the Ritz Ybor in Tampa

    Blog

    If you walked into Against Me!’s show Wednesday during their encore, as singer Laura Jane Grace played an acoustic rendition of Baby, I’m An Anarchist! off their 2002 debut Reinventing Axl Rose, you might think the band hasn’t changed much from their humble origins.

    You’d be wrong, as the large crowd at the Ritz Ybor would quickly indicate. But not entirely so....

    Against Me! performed at the Ritz Ybor in Tampa on Feb. 18, 2015.
  12. Paul Reiser talks 'Whiplash,' returning to stand-up, his rejuvenated acting career and more

    Blog

    When Paul Reiser performs at the Palladium in St. Petersburg on Saturday, it will be on the eve of a film’s he in competing for Best Picture at the Oscars.

    The comedian and actor plays Miles Teller’s father in Whiplash, which was nominated for five Oscars, as a loving contrast to J.K. Simmons’ ruthless music teacher. He also has a role in the NFL drama Concussion, which just set an awards season-friendly Christmas release date....

  13. Review: Parquet Courts, Merchandise bring indie rock buzz to the American Legion in Tampa's Seminole Heights

    Blog

    Weird Florida remains as much of a commodity as ever, but one unlikely way that’s proving true is the ever-changing array of unusual music venues for national acts visiting Tampa.

    Last January, local concertgoers could see much-buzzed about punks Perfect Pussy perform in a storage unit. And for their sold-out Tampa show Saturday on their first-ever Florida tour, critically acclaimed New York City rockers Parquet Courts chose to play an American Legion in Seminole Heights....

    Parquet Courts performed at the American Legion in Tampa's Seminole Heights on Jan. 31, 2015.
  14. Busch Gardens' Gwazi roller coaster's clickety-clack goes silent (w/video)

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — Katrina Devane walked around the rolling tracks, taking photos, as guests waited in line to ride the coaster one last time on Sunday.

    Devane, 36, of Seffner said she was Gwazi's longest-serving employee, working there for 14 years and through life events, including meeting her boyfriend there.

    "It's just so sad to see it go," she said. "I've spent my whole adult life here."...

    Gwazi opened in 1999 with dramatic dueling tracks. There’s no word on what Busch Gardens will do with the space.
  15. Review: King Tuff, Ex Hex bridge rock and punk with throwback show at Crowbar in Tampa

    Blog

    The longstanding war between classic rock and indie rock may finally be coming to a close, if Friday night's King Tuff and Ex Hex show at Crowbar was any indication.

    For a long time, indie rockers seemed to view bands like Led Zeppelin and T. Rex as dinosaur acts to consider extinct, with a few exceptions, such as the guitar-solo shredding, Peter Frampton-covering Dinosaur Jr. Yet lately, more Pitchfork-approved artists like Ty Segall have been vocal about their classic rock influences — and judging by his sold-out Skatepark of Tampa show in September, audiences are more receptive to it as well....

    King Tuff performed at Crowbar in Ybor City on Jan. 16, 2015.