128 E. Forsyth Street,
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Florida Theatre - Jacksonville (Official)
Previously operated by: Paramount Pictures Inc.
Firms: Robert E. Hall & Company
The Florida Theatre, located on Forsyth Street in downtown Jacksonville, is beautiful. It opened April 8, 1927 and was designed in a Mediterranean Atmospheric style to look like a Moorish courtyard at night inside, complete with dark blue sky with glowing stars, lit balconies and fountains. It was equipped with a $1000,000 Wurlitzer theatre pipe organ which was opened by organist Bob Mitchell. The theatre was designed with central heating and air conditioning. It had a nursery located on the third floor which was for babies and children up to six years old. By 1941 it was operated by Paramount Pictures Inc. through their subsidiary E.J. Sparks. Elvis Presley made one of his first concert appearances on an indoor stage there in August 1955. The Florida Theatre was closed as a movie theatre on May 8, 1980.
In 1883 it was placed of the Register of Historic Place and renovation work began. It reopened as a performing arts theatre on October 2, 1983.
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