Tuesday evening, The Florida Theatre will mark the 30th anniversary of its renovation and renewal with "Blues, Brews and BBQ."
The historic Downtown entertainment venue opened April 8, 1927, and for more than 50 years, motion pictures filled the movie screen and the most popular performers of the day trod the boards behind the red velvet curtain.
The venue experienced hard times during the 1970s and was relegated to showing B-grade action films to stay open, but the screen went dark May 8, 1980.
A year later, grants from the city and state, combined with support from the private sector, allowed the theater to re-open after a complete restoration and again serve as an entertainment destination.
Four people instrumental in the revival of The Florida Theatre will be recognized Tuesday: Jeff Dunn, who was chairman of the board of the Arts Assembly of Jacksonville; William Nash, who in 1980 was CEO of the Prudential Insurance Co. and chairman of the $4.1 million capital campaign that led to the theater's second opening; Arts Assembly President Trinita Logue; and former Mayor Jake Godbold, who championed the renovation.
The evening's script includes Toots Lorraine & The Traffic sharing the stage with Grandpa's Cough Medicine, food from Mojo BBQ and craft beers from Aardwolf Brewery, Intuition Ale Works and Pinglehead Brewing Co. Tours of the historic theater and a cash bar will be available.
To purchase tickets to the 5:30-8 p.m. anniversary celebration, visit floridatheatre.com.