Palace Theatre

32 E. Forsyth Street,
Jacksonville, FL

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Palace Theatre, Jacksonville, FL in 1930

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened in 1919, the Palace was an early theater design by local architect, Roy A. Benjamin, who also designed the Imperial down Forsyth Street (Benjamin earlier designed Jacksonville’s Arcade Theatre, later renamed the Center, as well as the opulent Florida Theatre some years later, also on Forsyth.) The Palace, which sat nearly 1900, was built for S.A. Lynch of Asheville, North Carolina and was originally part of the Keith vaudeville circuit. Around the time it opened, it was called “The Theater Beautiful” and “Equal of any and peer of many in the East”.

During the 20s, with vaudeville on the wane, the Palace became a movie house, though after the larger and much more ornate Florida opened in 1927, the Palace’s days as the premier movie house on Forsyth Street were coming to an end. The theater survived until 1956, when it was demolished along with the nearby Imperial. A parking garage is now on the site.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on November 2, 2004 at 6:21 pm

The street address for the Palace Theatre was 32 East Forsyth Street. It had a seating capacity of 1,878

EDDY66
EDDY66 on February 22, 2005 at 1:52 am

I was an usher at the Palace Theater from 1946-1948. It was one of the many theaters iin jacksonville that was owned by Paramount theaters, Inc. Paramount owned all the downtown Jax theaters except the St John (WB) and the Casino (ind). The palace was remodeled in the early 1940’s. The second balcony was blocked off with a drop ceiling. Air conditioning was added and the theater took on an art-deco/modernist theme. Periodic stage shows (Eddy Arnold, Blackstone the Magcian and others) continued until I left in Oct. 1948, EDDY66

StanleyNorton
StanleyNorton on July 16, 2007 at 7:44 pm

I saw the first 3-D film here —“Bwana Devil” and the theatre was packed. I also saw “The THING"
which to me (at eleven) was so scary. To advertise the film I rmember they had a coffin outside the theatre with a voice coming from inside with screams saying the thing is coming.

Harvey
Harvey on June 25, 2008 at 7:35 am

Link to Palace pictures here (sorry for bad repro):

View link

erikljohnson
erikljohnson on April 17, 2010 at 10:44 pm

i’m searching for some information about a Vaudeville show that may have performed at the theatre in the late 1920’s somewhere between 1927-1929. The show was called “Jungleland” which was a traveling contortionist show. If anyone could help out, that would be great.

DonLewis
DonLewis on October 10, 2010 at 2:40 am

From the the 1940s a postcard view of a busy Jacksonville street along with the Palace Theatre.

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