Jacksonville is the biggest city in the U.S. state of Florida. Long before Hollywood became a thing, in the early part of the 20th century, Jacksonville, or Jax as some fondly nicknamed it, was a big site for the film industry, especially during the winter season. It earned the title of the “World’s Winter Film Capital”. The performing arts eventually flourished in Jax and it went on to produce a lot of talent in the industry. One of the significant landmarks and testaments to this legacy is the Florida Theatre. The theater first opened in 1927 and ran through the 1980s until it went through some renovations and operational changes. It was reopened to the public in 1983. One of the iconic moments in the history of this theater was in 1956, when Elvis Presley performed two shows much to the disapproval of the local government due to his “bad image on the youth”. Today, it remains to be operational and has carried on to be a legacy for Jacksonville’s historic performing arts scene. Find out more about the interesting things to check out at Florida Theatre, Jacksonville, with our guide below.
Florida Theatre is deemed as a historical landmark in Jacksonville. Aside from the fact that it’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the architecture is definitely eye-catching. Outside it may seem like an ordinary building to many, but just by the vintage style of the entrance, you will already feel the nostalgic vibe surrounding it. It gets better when you enter because the architecture is quite breathtaking. The 1,918-seater theater gives off the feeling of sitting for a European opera. The management strives to give its guests the best service, so they see to it that renovations are made when necessary, to keep the historic theater up and running without losing its beauty.
Live performances and movies
The most common and obvious reason why people come to Florida Theatre is to see a show. It is more frequent, however, to see a live show rather than a movie. The theater always has a great line up, whether it’s a concert or a play. You can always check their website for the upcoming performances. Their permanent shows and acts include the Florida Ballet, Theatreworks, and the Community Nutcracker, which the locals come to see annually. You can even inquire to perform with your own group or band at the theater. On the other hand, movies are also still being shown at the theater. Aside from several film festivals, the theater takes pride in hosting “Summer Movie Classics”, a special collection showcasing some old and new classics. This usually takes place on Sunday afternoons.
Things to buy
The Florida Theater is proud to showcase its brand on several merchandise available for sale at the theater shop. These include but are not limited to shirts, caps, tumblers, mugs, and many more. You can also purchase gift cards for your loved ones. One of the unique things about Florida Theatre, though, is that it sells bricks to its guests, especially perfect for those who frequent the theater often. These are meant to be dedication bricks, similar to the idea of park benches, in which the proceeds will be directed to preservation of the theater, as well as support for artists and various outreach activities.
Accessibility and security
Although Florida Theatre has no elevator, don’t fret because the theater is actually wheelchair accessible. There is a designated area for those who will be needing them, which is in front of the orchestra. The bathrooms are wheelchair accessible, as well. Additionally, security check of bags are required at the entrance. The theater notes that backpacks and big bags with several pockets are prohibited, and they advise people to come early to avoid long queues at the security check.
Food and drink
Unfortunately, outside food and drink is not allowed in the Florida Theatre. However, there is a bar on site, with alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages available. There are also food stalls at the lobby for snacks like peanuts, chips, and candies. These you can bring with you inside the main auditorium, provided that you are responsible for proper disposal of your trash.
Photography and video recording are usually permitted, provided it is for personal use only and not to be used for commercial purposes. However, guests should take note that only smartphones are allowed, and cameras and other similar equipment are not allowed. This rule may only apply to live performances as movies have a general rule on piracy, but it’s best to check with the theater first to be sure.
How to get there
Florida Theatre is located in the Downtown area of Jacksonville.
It is easily accessible by car. If you’re coming with your own car, parking is available for 7 USD. You can always use Google Maps for directions since Jacksonville is very accessible through various highways and roads from its neighboring areas and states.
By Uber or taxi
You can get there by hailing a taxi off the streets. Alternatively, you can use an app-based taxi service like Uber.
How to book tickets
You may book your tickets at the theater’s official ticketing website. The theater advises to purchase through this website only and discourages ticket purchase from third-party websites. The reason behind this is that it doesn’t guarantee “best seats” in the house as they make it seem, rather the ticket is just actually way overpriced. Guests should also note that tickets already include a 2.50 USD charge called a restoration fee, wherein the proceeds go to the maintenance and preservation of the theater. Be sure to check their website for new shows, which are usually announced on Mondays, then tickets go on sale on Fridays. The ticket price of the course will depend on the act and the performance.
Florida Theatre, Jacksonville information
Florida Theatre, Jacksonville
Address: 128 E Forsyth St #300, Jacksonville, FL 32202, United States
Official website: Florida Theatre
Department of tourism: Jacksonville, Florida
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