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Landmark Legend: Five Points Theatre

3:09 PM, Jul 12, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- An 86-year-old movie theatre has some interesting ties to Hollywood history. It's located in historic Five Points off Park Street and is known for being number one when it comes to sound.

What's known as the Five Points Theatre opened in 1927 as the Riverside Theatre, the very first movie house in all of Florida to play talking pictures. Using the Vitaphone system theatre goers could hear dialog by audio discs being played at the same time as the movie.

The theatre has had many lives since, including being a playhouse and a night club in the 90's. Current owners Tim and Shana-David Massett bought the theatre 2011, renamed it Sun-Ray Cinema and renovated it with a bigger screen, tables and chairs. "We just did it," said Shana David-Massett

It's not your run of the mill movie theatre. A giant moth and painted creatures on the wall greet you as you enter. The lobby is bathed in blue. Plus, the concession stand has beer on tap, wine, old fashioned candy and your choice of a dozen popcorn toppings.

"The movie magic happens upstairs but the food magic happens down here," said Massett as she refers to the theatre's kitchen. Speciality pizzas with names like the Pagan Love Song and Black Lagoon Supreme are delivered to your seat. David-Massett insists it's the food, first run movies and history of the building that draws customers to the single screen theatre. "People can say that single screen movie theaters went out of business because of multiplexes. They went out of business because they chose not to remain competitive," she said.

The Massetts say their working on expanding their one screen theatre at 1028 Park Street by having two screens towards the end of the summer. They also hope to open another movie theatre at the beaches in the next year.

From the talkies, to first-run movies, people like the Massett's continue to carry on movie magic in a Landmark building.

First Coast News

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