St. Johns to hold town hall meetings on future of World Golf Hall of Fame site
Sun-Ray Cinema says it is interested in taking over the IMAX theater as the Hall is moving to North Carolina.
| 11:43 a.m. July 27, 2023
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As the World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine prepares to shut down beginning Sept. 1, St. Johns County is seeking input from residents on what to do with the properties.
The United States Golf Association announced in July 2022 it would close the St. Augustine properties and relocate the Hall of Fame to its original home in Pinehurst, North Carolina.
The Hall of Fame was founded in Pinehurst in 1974 and moved to St. Augustine in 1998 as the centerpiece of the World Golf Village resort community, located off of International Golf Parkway west of Interstate 95.
Besides the Hall of Fame, the properties include an IMAX Theater, PGA Tour Productions facility and 36.7 acres of parking lots and other amenities.
The building that houses the Hall of Fame, along with the theater, is owned by World Golf Village Inc. while the property it sits on is owned by St. Johns County.
“There are so many possibilities that can be realized, and to listen and learn about what the community wants will be a part of the process the Board of County Commissioners uses to make its decisions about these assets,” District 2 Commissioner Sarah Arnold said in a July 26 news release.
The World Golf Foundation said it would close its 64,113-square-foot facility Sept. 1 but has proposed a temporary lease extension to Dec. 31, the news release said.
PGA Tour Productions is planning to relocate from its 32,329-square-foot facility at the site to the PGA Tour headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach at the end of 2024.
The 17,865-square-foot IMAX theater is scheduled to close on or about Sept. 1, the news release said.
At least one party has expressed interest in taking over the theater.
Sun-Ray Cinema in the Five Points neighborhood of Jacksonville said in a July 17 Facebook post that it would like to take over the IMAX facility.
“We’d hate to see the second largest screen in all of Florida close for good and have reached out to the St. Johns County Commissioners to offer up our services so to speak,” it said.
Sun-Ray asked its customers to contact the commissioners and express support for that plan.
The news release said the county’s Economic Development Department plans to hold town hall meetings and conduct online surveys to solicit public feedback on future uses of the Hall of Fame property.
When it announced the closure in St. Augustine, the USGA said it planned to reopen the Hall of Fame in 2024 at Golf House Pinehurst, a new USGA campus with administrative offices and a testing and research facility.