Florida Theatre reopens Oct. 28 with ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’

Closed since mid-July, the historic Downtown venue has undergone a $15 million restoration and renovation.

  • By Max Marbut
  • | 3:51 p.m. October 9, 2023
  • | 4 Free Articles Remaining!
The Florida Theatre at 128 East Forsyth St. Suite 300 in Downtown Jacksonville.
The Florida Theatre at 128 East Forsyth St. Suite 300 in Downtown Jacksonville.
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The newly renovated Florida Theatre says it will reopen to the public at 8 p.m. Oct. 28 for a screening of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

Mayor Donna Deegan and other dignitaries will participate in a ribbon cutting at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 27 inside the theater.

The historic venue Downtown at 128 E. Forsyth St. closed in mid-July to renovate the 96-year-old facility.

The Florida Theatre, closed for renovations since mid-July, will reopen Oct. 28 after $15 million in restoration and improvements to public amenities.
Florida Theatre

All the decorative plaster in the auditorium is repaired; the lobbies and the auditorium are painted with fidelity to the 1927 color palette; the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system is new; the building’s electrical vault is moved from the first to the third floor; and all of the public restrooms are remodeled.

“Our $15 million renovation has intensified the already unique Florida Theatre experience. As the Theatre approaches its 100th birthday in 2027, we must remember this is one of the last remaining theaters of its kind in our country. We have to take care of it, nurture it, and support it so we can continue to laugh, cry, dance, sing and do all that we do in our beloved Florida Theatre,” Leslie Gordon, chair of the board of directors, said in an Oct. 9 news release.

Work inside the Florida Theatre included repairing the decorative plaster in the auditorium and painting using the 1927 color palette.
Florida Theatre

The recent projects build upon others already completed, which include replacing the 1,865 seats in the two-level auditorium, doubling the wheelchair seating capacity, installing a new assistive listening system for people who are hard of hearing, improving the aisle lighting and handrails, installing a new concert sound and lighting system and repurposing the second floor of the office building into the Remedy Lounge.

Auld & White Constructors was the general contractor for the project. Sauer Mechanical did the HVAC work, EverGreene Architectural Arts did the plaster and paint work and restored the tapestries and Beacon Electric moved the electrical vault from the first to the third floor so it would no longer be a flood risk.

Workers use scaffolding to repair areas inside the Florida Theatre.
Florida Theatre



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