In the early 1900s, Jacksonville became known as “the World’s Winter Film Capital”. The city's moderate climate and diverse scenery made it a gem for filming with more than 30 film companies calling Jacksonville home. Studios and film manufacturing companies were built in Springfield, Riverside, Arlington and along the Downtown Southbank.
In 1908, Kalem Studio out of New York City was the first to set up shop in the Tallyrand area. Shortly after, MGM Studios opened a subsidiary called Metro Studio. Before long there was an influx of film production companies. Eagle Film Studios built in 1916 and later became Norman Studios, a historical redevelopment staple in the Arlington community making African-American movies Jacksonville, the first of its kind.
Follow the map tour for descriptions of each movie house & theatre.
Movie Houses & Theatres
- Beaver Theatre, 2950 Beaver St. W
- The Fairfax, 3242 Dignan St
- Griffith Theatre, 2412 W. Beaver St.
- Sun-Ray Cinema, 1028 Park St., 1927
- San Marco Theatre, 1996 San Marco Blvd, 1938
- Little Theatre, 2032 San Marco Blvd, 1920
- The Dixie Theatre, Dixieland Park – Southbank, 1909
- Florida Theatre, 128 E. Forsyth St, 1927
- The Palace Theatre, 32 E. Forsyth St. 1919
- Imperial Theatre, 26 E. Forsyth St., 1920s
- Empress Theatre, 18 E. Forsyth St., 1921 (Vaudeville & picture house for AA audiences)
- Roxy Theatre, 38 W. Forsyth St.
- Saint Johns Theatre, 109 W. Forsyth St.
- Arcade Theatre – Center Theatre, 32 W. Adams, 1915
- Temple Theatre, 221 N Main St.
- Savoy Theatre, 11 E Forsyth St.
- Casino Theatre, 212 W. Bay St, 1918
- Little Savoy Theatre, 610 W Forsyth St, 1904 (for colored performers)
- Excelsior Hall, Bridge St in Lavilla, 1898 (black-owned theatrical venue) (Patrick Chappelle, vaudeville performer)
- Colored Airdome Theater, 600 W. Ashley St., 1909
- Bijou Theatre, 601 W. Ashley St, 1908…Globe Theatre 1910
- Roosevelt Theatre, 818 W. Ashley St, 1949
- Strand Theatre, 701 W. Ashley St, 1915
- Frolic Theatre, 741 W. Ashley St., 1925 (AA theatre-currently Lavilla School for the Arts), 1925
- Ritz Theatre, 829 N. Davis St., 1929 (AA movie house), 1929
- Brentwood Theatre, 3725 N Pearl St.
- Capitol Theatre, 1741 N. Main St., 1927
- Atlantic Drive-In Theatre, 5854 Atlantic Boulevard, 1939
- Old Arlington Theatre, 1409 University Blvd N, aka Capri; Renaissance
- Arlington Theater, 1127 N. Arlington Rd – SciFI and Horror, 1950
- Royal Palm Theatre, 751 Atlantic Blvd, Atlantic Beach, FL 32233