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A gift guide for Tampa Bay movie buffs

Here are options that are available on DVD and through streaming services.
Justin Long, left, and, Christian Long, the actor and directors of “Lady in the Manor," pose for a portrait at the Gasparilla International Film Festival for the movie premiere at Tampa Theatre on June 10, 2021, in Tampa.
Justin Long, left, and, Christian Long, the actor and directors of “Lady in the Manor," pose for a portrait at the Gasparilla International Film Festival for the movie premiere at Tampa Theatre on June 10, 2021, in Tampa. [ MENGSHIN LIN | Times ]
Published Nov. 18

TAMPA — If you have a film aficionado in your life, holiday presents are easy.

If that aficionado digs movies made in the Tampa Bay area, presents are still easy.

There are plenty of options. For decades, Hollywood has used area locales for backdrops.

Here are options that are available on DVD and through streaming services. Take it up a notch and give the gift of a movie night experience: popcorn, drinks and one of these films.

Actress Emeraude Toubia in a scene for the movie "Love in the Sun," which was shot on location at Fort De Soto Park.
Actress Emeraude Toubia in a scene for the movie "Love in the Sun," which was shot on location at Fort De Soto Park. [ Times (2019) ]

Romance

Made in 2019, True Love Blooms is about a woman who honors her father’s memory by continuing the community garden he built in St. Petersburg. But the future of the garden is threatened when a condo builder buys the property for development.

Shot on both sides of the bridge during that same year, Love in the Sun is about an advertising executive who trades in her high school sweetheart and beach community for a gloomy job in a Midwestern city.

Katherine Heigl, Madison Iseman and Harry Connick Jr. star in "Fear of Rain."
Katherine Heigl, Madison Iseman and Harry Connick Jr. star in "Fear of Rain." [ Courtesy of Lionsgate ]

Suspense

Fear of Rain was made throughout the area in 2019. Starring Katherine Heigl and Harry Connick Jr., it’s about a schizophrenic girl struggling with terrifying hallucinations as she begins to suspect her neighbor has kidnapped a child. The only person who believes her is a boy she isn’t even sure exists.

Scenes for Disney's "The One and Only Ivan" were filmed in Lakeland. Big Top Mal is actually the Southgate Shopping Center.
Scenes for Disney's "The One and Only Ivan" were filmed in Lakeland. Big Top Mal is actually the Southgate Shopping Center. [ Courtesy of Disney ]

Family

The One and Only Ivan, about a gorilla who uses his ability to paint and draw to convince the world that he needs to be freed from captivity in a mall, was partially shot in Lakeland, including at the Southgate Shopping Center, in 2018.

Comedy

Made in 2020 in Tampa, Justin Long directed and acted in Lady of the Manor, about a historic estate’s tour guide who winds up befriending the manor’s resident ghost.

The poster for director Joe Davison's "Beauty Is Skin Deep." The movie is now streaming on Prime.
The poster for director Joe Davison's "Beauty Is Skin Deep." The movie is now streaming on Prime. [ Courtesy of Joe Davison ]
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Independent

Joe Davison battled a Demogorgon — and lost — in Season 2 of Stranger Things and recently partnered with the Tampa Bay Times in an investigation of the haunted Cuban Club. In 2018, he directed Beauty Is Skin Deep. Shot throughout the bay area, it tells the story of a string of teenage murders linked to high school romance drama.

Edward Scissorhands collectibles, acquired or on loan, are displayed on at the home of Joeyand Sharon Licalzi at 1774 Tinsmith Circle in Lutz. The home, where the film "Edward Scissorhands" was made in 1990, has been converted into a private museum dedicated to the movie.
Edward Scissorhands collectibles, acquired or on loan, are displayed on at the home of Joeyand Sharon Licalzi at 1774 Tinsmith Circle in Lutz. The home, where the film "Edward Scissorhands" was made in 1990, has been converted into a private museum dedicated to the movie. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]

Classics

There are also plenty of classics from which to choose. Both Cocoon and Summer Rental were made in St. Petersburg, The Punisher was shot in Tampa and Goodfellas filmed a scene at ZooTampa. Or watch the quirky Edward Scissorhands, which used Lutz as a backdrop, and then visit the home where the main character stayed. It is now a museum dedicated to the film.