Jefferson Theatre

60 Cathedral Place,
St. Augustine, FL 32084

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Jefferson Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Jefferson Theatre stood at the corner of Cordova Street and Cathedral Place in the heart of the “old city” of St. Augustine.

Built in 1907, the Jefferson Theatre began as an opera and vaudeville house and later went to silent films.

The entrance portion of the theatre was a four-story building with arched windows on the upper story adorned with a continuous brick lintel.

During the silent era, there was a large (possibly lit) roof sign that said ‘Jefferson Theatre’.

In 1927, a small two-manual Robert Morton theatre organ was installed, (blower number 20290).

In the 1940’s, the Jefferson Theatre was operated by Paramount Pictures Inc. through their subsidiary E.J. Sparks. The theatre was razed around 1955 when the St. Augustine National Bank purchased the property and erected a new bank building on the site. This bank later became Barnett Bank in 1971, and is now a branch of the Bank of America.

Contributed by John Clark McCall, Jr.

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

ghamilton
ghamilton on November 3, 2005 at 12:02 pm

In a couple books I have on St.Augustine,there are several good pictures of this theater.The loss of this palace was and still is a tragedy for the old city.I often think what an addition to this magic place,this place would be now.

ghamilton
ghamilton on November 5, 2005 at 2:28 pm

Where’s MR.Memory with a good picture and info on what happened to the organ?

ghamilton
ghamilton on November 5, 2005 at 2:34 pm

St.A does have a rather odd little multiplex to the West of the Lightner.Serves some food and brew.Otherwise it’s a tiny multiplex at their tiny mall S.on US 1.On balmy St.A eves,I’d rather take a romantic stroll and dine and dance to the live musica at Havana Village.The Monterey is the best lodging location for the $.Right on the bay.Great family runs it.This town is my favorite place for a romantic weekend.Christmas lights and doings are great.Ck.St.Augustine.com.for all the info.

ghamilton
ghamilton on November 5, 2005 at 2:48 pm

Man,you are quick!You must be retired from one of the firms or companies with three letter names.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 20, 2011 at 2:35 am

The Jefferson Theatre was under construction by April, 1908, when the Trade Journal Brick and Clay Record reported that the contract to supply 1,000,000 white sand lime bricks had been awarded to the Florida White Pressed Brick Co., of Jacksonville.

The May 27, 1907, issue of the journal Daily Bulletin of the Manufacturers Record had carried this item about the project: “St. Augustine. Fla. â€"Theater and Business Building. â€"Realty & Theater Co-, has had plans prepared by Fred A. Hendrick for four-story office building, with store and arcade entrance on ground floor, theater in the rear; 90x155 feet; ordinary fireproof construction; steam or hot-water heating; gas and electric lighting: automatic electric elevators; cost $55,000; bids to be opened June 1 to 10.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 21, 2011 at 2:58 am

There is a vintage photo of the Jefferson theatre here. (This is one of those web sites with music, so you’ll also get to hear a MIDI version of “The Sheik of Araby” while looking at the photo)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 1, 2011 at 1:42 am

It turns out that Brick and Clay Record spelled the architect’s name wrong. The Jefferson Theatre was being designed by Fred A. Henderich, according to the Daily Bulletin of the Manufacturers Record, February 4, 1907. A quick Google search reveals that Henderich was one of St. Augustine’s leading architects during the first half of the 20th century, and several of his buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s too bad the Jefferson Theatre didn’t survive long enough to become one of them.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 1, 2011 at 1:51 am

Correction: The misspelling of the architects name was in a later issue of Daily Bulletin of the Manufacturers Record. Unlike me, they got it right the first time. The correct name is Fred A. Henderich.

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