June 28, 2008

Getting Towed From Comedy Show Is No Laughing Matter

By Valerie Kalfrin, Tampa Tribune, Fla.

Jun. 27--TAMPA -- Anyone headed to see Andrew Dice Clay at the Tampa Theatre tonight should watch where they park: They might be towed.

That's what happened to about eight people who attended Eddie Izzard's show last week at the historic venue and complained about their misfortune, said Tara Schroeder, a spokeswoman for the theater.

The theater at 711 N. Franklin St. has no parking lot of its own; visitors must use meters or pay-as-you-go private lots nearby, Schroeder said.

"It's a bit of a sticky wicket," she said. "If you pay attention and read all the signs, most of them say, 'No parking after 8 p.m. without permission of management.' "

Although the theater has no control over the lots, Schroeder said she sympathizes with the towed motorists. "It's, like, $170 to get your car back in the middle of the night."

About 900 people are expected at Clay's performance this evening, spurring Schroeder to warn people about the parking situation further.

Theater staff already tells anyone who phones to ask about parking about the possible restrictions, Schroeder said.

The theater also has posted a small warning about the parking situation on its Web site. The warning reads: "Many lots surrounding the Theatre and throughout downtown Tampa are privately owned and it is strongly advised that patrons carefully read all posted regulations regarding these lots."

Reporter Valerie Kalfrin can be reached at (813) 259-7800 or [email protected]


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