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A little bit about the theatre

Who owns the Theatre? The city?
The theatre jumped the nest back in 1987, separating from the Arts Assembly of Jacksonville (now the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville). She spread her wings as an independent entity, being governed legally and financially by a board of directors…However, the actual physical building is owned by the city, but it is leased back to a non-profit for the duration of 99 years, at $1 a year.

How many patrons can it hold maximum?
The fire marshal would get really mad if we went past 1900—so that sounds like a good number.

How old is the Theatre?
She is at the healthy young age of 86 years. A single Aries native to Jacksonville, she enjoys Sunday movies, all kind of music and a nice refreshing cocktail.

What is the Florida Theatre’s mission—as a non-profit organization?
The Florida Theatre Performing Arts Center, Inc. is a non-profit Florida organization whose mission is:
1) To provide to the community high quality entertainment and educational experiences in a unique, historic downtown theatre
2) To create diverse cultural opportunities by sharing and partnering its varied resources with artists and other organizations, both established and emerging
3) To engage the community and stimulate pride and ownership in the theatre and its programs

When was it renovated?
The theatre re-opened its doors on October 1, 1983, after a grand renovation the same year. It was a facelift like Jacksonville had never seen before, bringing together the entire community in efforts to save this historical venue.

So I heard you guys used to show movies in here?
Yes we did. This theatre’s career began by showing stage shows as well as feature films during Vaudeville’s heyday. So when you think your seat in the balcony isn’t going to be a good view, just think, back in the day, our patrons were enjoying movies and plays just fine in the same seats. And…You can enjoy movies in the same seats too, as we still carry on the movie tradition as a participating venue of the Jacksonville Film Festival as well as through our Summer Movie Classic series.

What are those things under the seats?
Those would be the petrified relics of dental conscious children who have attended our shows from over the years…in other words gum…Wait, what? Oh! Those others things under the seats…yes, those would be air returns.

Tickets and Questions at the Box Office Window

Can I get a refund on my tickets if I can’t come?
Sorry, we cannot do any ticket refunds. If you are unable to attend a concert for any reason, your best bet is to ask your friends and family if they can take the tickets. This way the tickets won’t go to waste, and plus you’ll know exactly who to call when you decide to rearrange your living room.

Okay, what’s with your service charge?
When purchasing your tickets through our box office, you will see a $3.50 added service charge to the price of the ticket — $2 of that goes to the Florida Theatre Endowment Fund and the other $1.50 goes to maintaining our ticket office.

But if I’m standing in line at your ticket office, why are my seats not there anymore?
Our shows are not just on sale through us. Ticketmaster outlets as well as their Web site are constantly selling tickets also. So even though you may be first in line at our ticket counter, does not mean someone else is also interested in the same seats…and could possible grab them first. So, be sure to get your tickets as early as possible to ensure your seats.

Are you a TM outlet?
We are a Ticketmaster outlet, but you can only pay with cash when buying a show being held at a different venue, and you will pay a higher service charge then you would if you just went to the show venue. So if you really like using cash and having less of it, definitely buy your outlet tickets here.

How do I buy tickets?
There are a few ways. You can come up to ourticket office and order them in person, or you can call our box office (904-355-2787) and charge them over the phone. Both of the above options will put you in contact with the sweetest ladies in our  ticket office who will help you find some good tickets. Basically that means you don’t have to talk to any robot machines. Or you can call/log on to Ticketmaster…and talk to some robot machines.

Can you cash my check?
Sorry, we are not Publix.

Can I give you an IOU?
Here at the theatre we do not function on the honor system…we work on the money system.

Can you make change for a dollar?
We can but does that mean we will? Okay, we’re just giving you a hard time. Anyway, if it’s not terribly busy, we can change your dollar, but that is only at the discretion of our fabulous box office ladies.

Can I go in and check out the seats before I buy?
(At the ticket counter…) No, but you can look at this cool diagram in front of you and pick your seats here.

If it’s half over can’t I get a half price ticket?
Ha! No.

Day of Show: Can I have front row? Don’t you release the good seats day of show?
Once again…you can buy a front row seat if one is available. And anyway, there are “good seats” all over the auditorium. Seat discrimination is not cool. Just give our seats a chance.

Well how do you join the Friends of the Florida Theatre?
Contact our director of development, Angela Gieras, at 904-355-5661 ext 232 or angela@floridatheatre.com.

First day of show on sale: Can I have front row? Why not?
Only if there is a seat available…but for big concerts that is usually a no. That is because we have a membership club called the Friends of the Florida Theatre who, for an annual donation, receive advance concert news and the option to order tickets before they go on sale to the public.

About the Music

Why doesn’t the Florida Theatre bring _ for a concert?
We get this question a lot, and there are times when that act is either not together anymore, not touring anymore or not alive…anymore. But for some acts that happen to be none of the above, bringing them into the theatre would be too expensive. In order to afford the cost of putting on the show, we would have to raise ticket prices to a ridiculous amount, and we just don’t want to do that to our patrons. But we always strive to put together a diverse collection of shows each season that will indulge the musical tastes of our whole community as well as fit their wallets.

Will this pass get me backstage?
What pass? If you made it yourself, then no. If not, then you’ll be told by whomever gave it to you what you get from it.

Can I ever get to meet the artists?
The only times you can meet the artist are:
1) If they hold a meet and greet where anyone can stay.
2) You won a contest through a radio station doing promotions that offered a special meet and greet.
3) The artist pointed you out in the crowd and said, “I must meet that person!” (which never happens, but hypothetically speaking…)
4) You are their mom.

Is there an opening act? What time does the headliner start?
We will announce an opening act whenever we are notified. If you think you missed the tip, just take a look at that bright marquee outside; it will have the names of everyone performing. The opener will start at the beginning of a show, which is usually 8 pm.

Soooooo…will you book my band??
We are always in support of emerging artists, but can’t always put them on our stage. We do have a few local music events each year, where we highlight some of Jacksonville’s best artists. The best way to keep in contact with us about this is through our Facebook.

Are you going to remove the seats for the concert?
We do not remove the seats. They happen to be firmly connected to the ground…right where we like them.

8:45 PM-Has the show started yet?
Our concerts usually start at 8 pm. More family oriented shows usually start at 7:30 pm. We’re quite punctual.

Inside the Theatre

So no elevators…how then can I get in if I am in a wheelchair?
When ordering your tickets, be sure to tell whomever you speak with on the phone that you will have someone in your party that needs wheelchair access. This will help our box office ladies find you an appropriate seat near the wheelchair ramp on our orchestra level.

Is there an elevator?
The elevator is located right past the gold-clad fountain and the Venus de Milo on loan from the Louvre….okay so no, there isn’t an elevator.

Is the balcony upstairs?

Where is the bathroom?
There are bathrooms located in the entry lobby to the left as you walk in the front doors, as well as on opposite sides of the Mezzanine level. There are signs and ushers to point you in the right direction if your urgency has clouded your thought process.

What’s the loge?
The loge is the first four rows of the balcony, which still holds our original gold upholstered seats from 1927.

Where are the orchestra seats?
They would be located on the orchestra level…that is the first floor.

Where’s row QQ?
Row QQ is also known as row Q. Some of the row letters have been doubled on the ticket for ease of reading by our ushers (if it was just one Q, that could be mistaken as O, so the Q is doubled). The other rows are V and W…they will look like VV and WW on your ticket.

Do you have a bar?
We do have a bar complete with beer, wine, liquor, sodas and water.

Do you serve food?
On concert nights, we will usually offer some light snacks including but not limited to: peanuts, candy bars, fruit snacks and chips. You could make a totally killer trail mix.

Is there a smoking section?
Yes, and it is called anywhere outside of the theatre—but please still be considerate of those around you.

Miscellaneous, but Still Important!

Do you have an age limit?
As long as you enjoy music and the arts, we’d love to have you. For our youngest patrons, many of our shows are not tailored to children (like rock concerts, comedians, etc.). We ask that for those nights you dial up your favorite babysitter. However, we do offer a special family series as well as other children-oriented shows that your kids will love.

Are flash cameras allowed?
Like you will hear from that sweet-voiced announcement before each show, the use of flash photography and audio/video recording is STRICTLY prohibited. It isn’t just a random policy or a copyright issue, but it can be dangerous to those on stage, distracting to the act as well as your neighbors, and just plain annoying.

Where can I park?
After 5 p.m. on the weekdays and throughout the weekend, parking on the street next to a meter is free. You don’t have to feed it any quarters. But if parking on the street doesn’t make you feel all warm and cozy inside, we have an adjacent pay-to-park lot to our left and a pay-to-park garage to our right. Each is about $5, unless the owners are trying to save extra for the holidays.

Can I rent out the theatre?
You may, just give our director of rental operations, Toni Chadwell, a call at 904-355-5661 or e-mail her at toni@floridatheatre.com.

What should I wear to the theatre?
At any given concert, you can see a smorgasbord of fashions, from one person’s Sunday best to another’s best cape. So as long as you dress appropriately for the concert—making sure all necessary things are covered—you will be fine, maybe not fashion forward, but fine.

Why is there a horse in the theatre?
We just love horses. No, no… like service dogs, service horses are welcome. Seriously, it’s a question we’ve been asked