Mabel and I stopped by the Five Points Theatre yesterday to talk Tim Massett and witness the first steps of the buildings transformation into Sun-Ray Cinema. The plan includes new seats will be on more of a riser with each seat will have bar table in front of it – running the length of the row. A new kitchen will offer a variety of pizzas, and of course copious amounts of beer. The entrance lobby will be covered in a mural by Jacksonville’s own Shaun Thurston. The mural will feature early tourist images of Florida to the tune of orange groves and general swampiness and highlight the famous, or not so famous, monsters from Florida made movies. The lobby will have two, maybe three, arcade games including Street Fighter and Terminator. Come for a movie, and come back again and again because the place is awesome and a great place to chill.
The theater project started gaining momentum, and cash backing, from the excited and supportive neighborhood in August with it’s crowd-sourcing page on Ulule.com – helping earn over $100,000 towards the endeavor. Considering Tim’s programming from The Pit and San Marco Theatre, I’m excited. Events won’t be limited to great films either. Tim mentioned an upcoming event with the showing of Beerwars, that will also feature an evening of getting to know your local breweries and microbrew aficionados. Occasional live shows are on the table as well. I booked live shows frequently at his micro-cinema The Pit, and Tim was sure to mention “when The Body rolls thru again, I want to have them play at the theater.”
A webpage for Sun Ray is in the works, but for now they’ll be using the old Five Points Theatre Facebook page and rebranding it. So if you haven’t ‘liked’ it yet, do it now.
The theater was formerly known as Riverside Theater upon it’s completed construction in March of 1927. When the theater began showing talking pictures, it was the first in the state and only two other facilities did so in the United States. Admission at the time was $1.10, an expensive ticket considering the prevailing wage was less than a quarter per hour. I think the new admission price will be a bit higher.