The Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1949, and currently plays at the 1,800 seat Robert E. Jacoby Symphony Hall in the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts downtown. Over the years, the orchestra has hosted renowned artists such as Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington and Luciano Pavarotti. It’s currently led by Music Director and Principal Conductor Fabio Mechetti, who has been in the position since 1999. He will be stepping down in May, but not until helming productions of The Marriage of Figaro and Verdi’s Requiem in the spring. The Jacksonville Symphony also partners with Duval County and three other public school systems to provide some 84,000 children the opportunity to both listen to and participate in youth-oriented symphony events. The orchestra’s charitable works, world-class facility and enduring star power have helped keep Jacksonville culture on the map for decades.
Frankenstein will be there. So will Batman, Spider-Man, Dr. Zaius, and Yongary the Monster from the Deep. If it's old fashioned, fantastic, and a little bit kitschy, chances are it's going to be represented. From toys to comic books to movie posters, Retr-O-Rama celebrates the science fiction and fantasy of yesteryear. Co-founder Dan Tuchmann loves classic toys and collectibles, but he "found that dealers were growing tired of all the rules, regulations, and fees associated with eBay and they really missed the days of in person shows.” That's why Retr-O-Rama was created, and today it serves as place not just for buyers to make informed purchases, but for like-minded individuals to share their passion, make friends, and start arguments over whether "Biff!" or "Bopp!" is a more appropriate sound effect when throwing a punch.
In the center of Jacksonville’s southside neighborhood lies Cinemark Tinseltown, a twenty-screen megaplex movie house that is widely considered one of the best places in town to take in a flick. With outdoor walk-up ticket windows, an electronic ticket kiosk inside and large lobby area to welcome visitors, the sprawling complex makes every attempt to attend to their guests. A plentiful parking lot helps in that regard, as does the main concession stand, outfitted with all manner of movietime snacks or heartier fast meals. Every theater offers stadium seating and offered in supple leather, meaning even spots close to the screen are a luxury. Movie posters and the typical red hallway carpeting give off a luxe theater experience, rounding out the large, stately feel at Cinemark Tinseltown.
When life simply isn't dramatic enough, Jacksonville's stage shows at Murray Hill Theatre are for you.
Check out this theater's restaurant, where you can stay for lunch or grab your meal to go.
You won't need to get a sitter before heading to this theater — kids are more than welcome at this family-friendly establishment.
Catch the sports highlights on one of the TVs at Murray Hill Theatre.
Get down after dinner to some live music — theater often hosts bands and other musical acts.
The noise at the theater can be positively thunderous, so save intimate conversations for another night.
Those in a rush are better off dining here during the week, as the theater draws a crowd during the weekend.
Parking is plentiful, so guests can feel free to bring their vehicles.
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.
For more than three decades, The Florida Ballet's teachers—all certified by the American Ballet Theatre—have introduced students to the art of the leap, the pirouette, and the tutu. And those students have gone on to high places: Orlando Ballet, the Joffrey Ballet, and even The American Ballet Theatre. Founded by Laurie Picinich-Byrd and Michael F. Byrd., accomplished dancers who met during a rehearsal at the Metropolitan Opera House, the training and performance haven refines young dancers' technique with the American Ballet Theatre's 8-level training program. This curriculum not only focuses on the beauty of ballet, it also pays special attention to the health of dancers and the principles of child development.