A Guide To Florida Theatre, Jacksonville

Florida Theatre Jacksonville
Marga
Marga 
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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.

Highlights

Florida Theater at night
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Craig ONeal used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Architecture

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

Florida Theatre, Jacksonville, FL, U.S. (07)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user bubba73 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

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.

Travelers tips

Theater popcorn
Source: Pixabay

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

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

Jacksonville, Florida skyline
Source: Pixabay

Florida Theatre is located in the Downtown area of Jacksonville.

By car

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

NutcrackerFloridaTheatre14
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Excel23 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

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

Entrance, Florida Theatre
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Michael Rivera used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Florida Theatre, Jacksonville

Address: 128 E Forsyth St #300, Jacksonville, FL 32202, United States

Official website: Florida Theatre

Department of tourism: Jacksonville, Florida

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Marga is a self-employed aspiring writer and budding artist from the Philippines. On days she's not writing, she paints and creates art which she later sells at craft bazaars. Marga also has...Read more

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