Town & Country 1 & 2 Theatre

825-845 University Boulevard,
Jacksonville, FL 32211

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Town & Country Twin Concession Stand (1982)

The Town & Country Theatre was opened by Eastern Federal Theatres in the 1950’s. It was initially a single screen theatre and was twinned in 1979. It was closed in 1983

Contributed by Jack Coursey

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

Harvey
Harvey on August 9, 2006 at 3:49 pm

Still sits. Was a nightclub called THE EDGE during the 90’s. I believe it’s a club now called PLUSH.

glenjay
glenjay on September 2, 2006 at 10:53 am

The Town and Country opened in the 1950s. It was the first non-downtown first-run theater in the Jacksonville area. It was in a small pre-mall strip shopping center; the box office was on the sidewalk in line with the facades of the shops.

The address originally was not University Boulevard; it was only later that a number of long streets from Arlington to Lakewood were consolidated with that name. I don’t remember what the street was called when the Town and Country opened.

I saw “Auntie Mame” and “Advise and Consent” there. It wasn’t a twin until considerably later.

Kenclarke
Kenclarke on September 18, 2006 at 12:25 pm

Chaseville Road was the name of the street. I grew up in Arlington in the 1950s-60s and saw many a movie at the Town and Country. It was a classy place — clean and well run.

Troy4u
Troy4u on March 17, 2007 at 2:07 pm

I remember back in the early 80’s that eastern federal had leased the corner of the mall and the lease ran out and I went with jim tripp over there to strip out the equipment there when the midway twin drive in had shut down.Jim Tripp was at that time the service engineer for eastern federal corp.I lived right across the street at arco villa apt.in arlington.What a crying shame!!!!

gemsroadwarrior
gemsroadwarrior on June 29, 2008 at 6:13 am

You could see the Town and Country Theater from the Arlington Expressway. I saw “Pretty Baby” with Brooke Shields and “The Jerk” with Steve Martin at this theater.

gemsroadwarrior
gemsroadwarrior on July 13, 2008 at 10:14 pm

There was a theater located at the Cedar Hills Shopping Center in Jacksonville’s westside. Does any reader here remember any info about that theater?

Harvey
Harvey on July 14, 2008 at 4:24 pm

OP5,

Here’s the Cinema Treasures Listing:

/theaters/17398/

The original exterior looks the same but it’s now a gym.

gemsroadwarrior
gemsroadwarrior on July 14, 2008 at 6:05 pm

Thanks. I did a search the other day, but it didn’t come up.

EFCMike
EFCMike on September 7, 2018 at 9:36 am

Before we continue our tour of the old Movie Theatres of Jacksonville (Duval) County Florida, I hope everyone had a good Labor Day Weekend. We now head back across the St. Johns to Arlington. There we will find the old Town & Country Theatre. It was another suburban theatre managed by Charlotte (NC) based Eastern Federal Corporation. It was Jacksonville’s first suburban first run movie house, opened in the 1950’s. It operated as a First Run Theatre until 1982. In 1979, Eastern Federal remodeled the theatre, making it a twin, and installed all new seats. In 1982 they switched to the $1.00 theatre format for a short while. With stiff competition from other area Dollar Theatres, Eastern Federal changed the format again in 1983 to Foreign and Art Films. When their lease ran out at the end of 1983. they closed the theatre and removed their seats and equipment, turning the empty theatre over to the Shopping Center Landlords. The building still stands and has seen several tenants since Eastern Federal closed the theatre, but it has never again reopened as a theatre. In hindsight, it was sort of a good idea that Eastern Federal closed the theatre when they did. Even though most thought that the old Movie House had a beautiful interior, the Theatre would not have been considered accessible when the American’s with Disabilities Act became law. The restrooms were located upstairs, and there was no elevator. Eastern Federal had two other Arlington operations over the years. They built and operated the Capri Theatre down University Blvd., about a half mile. That theatre was a single screen operation that during Eastern Federal’s time of operation was an “Art House” playing foreign films. When that didn’t work out for Eastern Federal, who owned the strip center the theatre was located, they leased out the Capri to an independent operator, who ran it as an Adult Theatre for several years. Now, I understand that it may be a Church. Also, on University Blvd., Eastern Federal Built and Operated the University Drive-In, a single screen Drive-In. The University Drive-In served as Eastern Federal’s area office and operated from the 1960’s to the late 1970’s when real-estate prices convinced the owners to sell the land to K-Mart, where a K-Mart Super Center operated for many years. The site is now the location of a Public Library. As for Eastern Federal’s area offices. They just moved down the street to the strip center they owned where the Capri Theatre was located.

Rstewart
Rstewart on September 7, 2018 at 5:43 pm

Eastern Federal was a commercial property developer who happened to run a theater chain. One of their standard operating procedures was to build the shopping center, give themselves a dirt cheap ground lease in case they decided to sell the center, that way they kept bargain basement rent and could continue on with minimal overhead. With the ground lease they only paid rent on the ground under the building, the building and all of the contents were theirs to do with as they pleased. Needless to say they couldn’t take the building with them but they could/would strip them clean if they left. They could have torn the building down if they wanted to! I saw them tear up old filthy aisle carpet that was worthless when their lease ran out just because they could. I saw them lease a property where they only had a year left on the ground lease and the independent who was operating it had no idea how the ground lease worked. He redid some drain plumbing from a newer set of bathrooms that never worked correctly the whole time EFC had it just a month or so before the lease was up. The independent thought he’d be able to get a new lease with the landlord but EFC came in and took everything down to the block walls. They took the toilets and the suspended ceiling! The landlord would have leased it to him but he’d have to re-equip the whole operation, not something he had the money to do and would not have been a financially viable option. I’m not saying they were bad guys, they just knew exactly what they were doing. In a couple of instances they had decent properties and the new owner of the center eventually wanted to buy them out, so they would sell the lease back. It was like a bonus sale after the initial sale. They eventually sold the theaters to Regal but are still in the property development game today.

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