When it opened in 1927, the Florida Theatre was the largest of 15 cinemas in downtown Jacksonville. Today, it's the city's last surviving vestige of that era's iconic architecture. Designed by New Yorker R.E. Hall and Jacksonvillian Roy Benjamin, the venue is a prime example of the Mediterranean Revival style, with a ceiling covered in glittering stars and a six-story proscenium arch. And even as the entertainment industry shifted towards television, the Florida Theatre survived by hosting interactive game nights and concerts from underground artists, including Elvis Presley. The space was renovated In the early 1980s, and today it returns to its entertaining roots by hosting live events and classic film screenings.
Jackrabbits, one of Jacksonville’s primary downtown live music venues, is an intimate home for local and national bands like The Hives, Slightly Stoopid, Incubus and many others. The newly renovated bar area serves beer and wine only – though the selection, while focused, features many otherwise hard-to-find craft brews. Though this venue can get quite crowded depending on the act, tickets are reasonably priced and guests can always get an up close and personal experience, thanks to the limited floor space. The nondescript entrance can be hard to spot, as it’s little more than a gray door with the name Jack Rabbits scrawled across. The décor is typical dive bar, dark and grayish with sturdy seating, while most of the focus is on the stage, where lighting and sound are top-notch.
They tell a tale to quake your bones at Warehouse 31?on October 13, 1875, a woodcutter by the name of Billy Turner killed his nine-year-old daughter in a horrific accident. Unable to cope with his grief, Turner killed himself. But the pain was too great for death to assuage. Soon Pelham was under siege from a series of mysterious events. A young girl found roaming unattended along a railway. The sound of a chainsaw echoing from the forest. Glass doors sliding open as soon as somebody stepped in front of them. Today, Warehouse 31 stands on the site of that ill-fated lumberyard, and guests can experience some scares of their own, thanks to a cast of monsters, high-tech animatronics, and gravely unhinged clowns.
Parked on a high ledge next to a bust of Ronald Reagan wearing a party hat, a miniature DeLorean patrols The Wormhole, a sit-down coffee shop that doles out caffeine and pop-culture kitsch in equal doses. For children of the 1980s, the cafe delivers a "wormhole" experience, surrounding them in emblems of an era: Nintendo games (available for play), ET collectibles, plush gremlins, and Star Wars doodads. The menu also smacks of the 80s, although it frequently changes to accommodate seasonal tastes. In recent times, baristas have fused espresso with cocoa puffs, and dished out donuts encrusted with Fruity Pebbles. Select beverages come with a Nilla wafer-chaser. As for edibles, Fritz Pastries supplies homemade tarts (a gourmet variation of the kind that come in silver foil) and other handheld treats.
Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival is celebrating a decade of musical performances with a season of world-class concerts such as the June 8 show featuring the Grammy-award-winning sextet eighth blackbird. Attendees may pick up their two general-admission tickets at will-call before settling into their seats to take in a performance more mellifluous and theatrical than a troupe of circus cats harmonizing in the shower. Marvel at displays of mental and physical dexterity as eighth blackbird’s members harmonize through six pieces, often playing from memory on flute, clarinet, viola, cello, and piano. The Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival will continue through June 19, with a full schedule of similarly inspiring and enjoyable performances, including chamber ensembles, tango and flamenco, American roots music, and jazz.
Located on Jacksonville’s south side, The Comedy Zone has been hosting some of the nation’s finest standup comedians for decades. Tucked away inside the Ramada Conference Center and Hotel, the Comedy Zone is a quaint, dim, charming nightclub venue filled with cozy tables and chairs. The thick carpet underfoot cushions the space further and keeps noisy shoes and squeaky chairs to a minimum. The small, gleaming wood stage is back-dropped by a large brick wall, reminiscent of so many other famous comedy clubs. Over the years, the stage has played host to a variety of national touring comedians and lots of local Florida talent. A full bar and a variety of burgers, sandwiches and appetizers are available to order, and can count toward the room’s industry-standard one drink or item minimum. Of course, that means comedy fans must be at least 21 years of age to enter the Zone.