Suds-n-Cinema is the latest incarnation of a theater business in a building that was originally constructed in 1940 by John Tringas. The theater was one of the first buildings on what was then called Main Street in downtown Fort Walton. Its height, prominent entryway stairs, and neon lights made it the anchor for all the surrounding businesses.
For many years the theater was owned and run by the Tringas family, and for its first few decades the Tringas Theater was the only place around to take in a movie. But, over time, new theaters came to the area. Multiple screens, larger concessions selections, and more modern technology meant that the theater needed to revise its business model in order to stay around.
Sometime in the 70’s the building was remodeled. The traditional sloped theater floor was converted to a series of level areas and a kitchen was added (which also resulted in more than doubling the capacity of the balcony). Level floors allowed the seats to be replaced by tables and chairs which meant that theater patrons could enjoy a meal along with the show.
Over time the Tringas’ decided to lease the space to others and let them manage the theater business. Through the years the business has been known by several names, Suds and Cinema, Cinema Plus, Downtown Cinema Plus, and even a brief stint as Apples Disco. Each of these businesses put their own slant on the movie/pizza/beer theme, but none made significant changes that really set them apart from their predecessors.
This all changed in late 2018 when Jayme Nabors of BLN, Inc. bought the theater from the Tringas family. Mr. Nabors decided to perform a major renovation to the interior and exterior of the building. The building was stripped to the bare brick and terra cotta walls. Most of the wood structure was replaced; a complete overhaul of the electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems was conducted; and the exterior was improved to make the building as exciting in 2019 as it was in 1940. This effort resulted in the theater once again being the hightlight of Downtown Fort Walton Beach.
Remodeling began in early October 2018 and took about 9 months to complete. It was conducted as a coordinated effort by BLN and the new business owners. As a team, they converted the building into one that has a combination of Art Deco and Soda Fountain motif. The facility is more comfortable, the aesthetics more enjoyable, there are more food options, and the theater can once again show multiple movies each week.
Suds-N-Cinema is the only locally-owned and operated theater on the Emerald Coast.
The new management team understands the significance of this statement. They strive to be an integral part of the community and enjoy creating memories with their friends. In order to provide a fun and comfortable atmosphere, they work hard to highlight the building’s history (and quirkiness) and to make sure that every visitor has an opportunity to both reminisce and to make new memories.
If you previously attended shows at the Tringas theater, then come back to visit - you won’t recognize the place!
If you have not attended shows here, then come in and enjoy a small piece of Northwest Florida history.
Slide to see the theater
BEFORE & AFTER
All ticket prices are $5 - Always.
Suds is accessible via the rear doors. The interior has ramps and ADA-compliant restrooms. (Its best to coordinate with a staff member to ensure the rear doors are unlocked when you arrive).
Rent the theater for your event. Depending on your needs we can provide use of the projector and stage for presentations. Food and refreshments can also be made available. Click here to learn more.
We recommend arriving 20-30 minutes before the scheduled showtime to allow time to purchase tickets, find a table, and place a kitchen order with your server.
Our main parking is just to the west of the theater. However, it is public parking and during peak hours downtown it fills quickly. There is additional public parking across the street from the theater on the north side of Hwy 98 which does have a crosswalk.
Outside food and drink
We do not allow for outside food or drink.
The new owners of Suds-n-Cinema want to create an inviting place for locals and visitors to our area. We aren’t a large corporation. Instead, we’re a group of friends that wanted to start a business that would bring some fun back to downtown F-dub.
The team consists of Steve Caldarelli, Rodney and Julie Walker, Tony Giordano, and Matt Robinson. We are all familiar with the theater and the area. Most of us were born and raised in Fort Walton Beach. In fact, Steve is the newest transplant -- he moved to the Emerald Coast in 1984.