Jacksonville Things to Do: Explore The Vibrant Theater Scene

Once called Cowford, but was eventually renamed after the 7th president - Andrew Jackson - Jacksonville is the largest city in Florida and the 12th most populous in the United States. When in Jacksonville, things to do abound, from visiting its numerous attractions to watching games of its major league sports teams. If you happen to be a performing arts buff, then of all the items in the Jacksonville things to do list, exploring the city's vibrant theater scene is most likely to stand out. Complete your lovely stay in a Jacksonville bed and breakfast by watching a show or two in these BBOnline recommended theaters.

Florida Theatre
128 East Forsyth Street
Jacksonville, Florida 32202
(904) 355-5661

One of four remaining Mediterranean Revival high-style grand cinemas established in Florida during the 1920s, The Florida Theatre aims to provide high quality entertainment, create various cultural opportunities and engage the community. The theatre, which seats a maximum of 1900 patrons, has played host to almost 4,500 performances and special events since 1983. This includes theatre productions like "A Midsummer Night's Dream," "Children of a Lesser God," "War of the Worlds Radio Play," "The 1940s Radio Hour" and "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" Pay the theatre a visit from your Jacksonville inn to watch a performance or catch a special event like Art After Dark, Uncommon Music, JAXROX and PetWalk.

Theatre Jacksonville
2032 San Marco Boulevard
Jacksonville, Florida 32207
(904) 396-4425

A volunteer-based nonprofit organization, Theatre Jacksonville is one of the oldest community theaters in the nation. Their mission is "to create opportunities for community participation in theatre arts," and they achieve it by continuously putting on productions throughout any given year and by running an annual summer children's camp called Camp Theatre Jacksonville. They also have a training center that caters to children aged 7 to 17 through the Young Actors program and Silly Shakespeare, and adults through classes like beginning and advanced acting, and believable acting for film. They also hold regular auditions and provide volunteer opportunities for those would like to be part of the crew or ushering team.

Five Points Theatre
1022 Park Street
Jacksonville, Florida 32204
(904) 358-0605

Originally called the Riverside Theatre when it opened in 1927, Five Points Theatre was the first in Florida and the third nationally to be equipped to show talking pictures. A major historic restoration which took place from 2004 to 2008 turned the city's oldest movie theatre into its newest. Today, the Five Points Theatre and Historic Event Facility features, along with the theatre, 14 loft condominiums on the 3rd and 4th floors, office space on the 2nd floor and retail space on the ground floor. The theatre can also be rented for private events. Be sure to add "watch a midnight movie in Five Points" to your Jacksonville things to do list.

Ritz Theatre
829 North Davis Street
Jacksonville, Florida 32202
(904) 632-5555

Designed by local architect Jefferson Powell in art deco style during the 1920s, The Ritz Theatre is located in the LaVilla neighborhood, which is "Harlem of the South" and "the Mecca for African American culture and heritage" in Florida. Seating 426 patrons, the theatre is a venue for various art, poetry, dance, music, drama and historical productions that celebrate the community's African-American legacy. The theatre has featured performances by blues legend Bobby "Blue" Bland and The Baba Ishangi African Dancers, storytelling by Kala Jojo and Queen Nur, and a stage production of August Wilson's Pulitzer prize winning "The Piano Lesson."