Jacksonville’s Center Theater Collapses Forcing Early Demolition

posted by Ross Melnick on September 6, 2002 at 9:05 pm

JACKSONVILLE, FL — The Center Theater, the last of 12 downtown movie houses in Jacksonville, partially collapsed early yesterday morning forcing officials to speed a planned demolition of the historic theater. Following the collapse, much of the old movie house was demolished yesterday with the remaining elements to come down during the week.

The Center Theater had previously been deemed a safety hazard by city officials and plans to demolish the theater were two weeks away when the theater unexpectedly folded in. No one was injured despite the Center closing out its days as an illegal residence for transients.

According to the Florida Times-Union, the Center originally opened in 1915 as the Arcade Theater. With its passing, only the Florida Theatre remains from that era.

(Thanks to Mark Reed for the news.)

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