Florida Theatre

118 North Monroe Street,
Tallahassee, FL 32301

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Florida, 1981

Viewing: Photo | Street View

This Streamline Moderne style movie house opened in 1940 and featured a sleek facade with a large vertical sign, a marquee with the theater’s name in bold stylized lettering, and glass brick decoration. This stunning theater sat on Monroe Street between Park Avenue and Call Street.

In 1960, the Florida Theatre was heavily damaged in a fire. The theater was rebuilt to the plans of architect Theodore C. Poulos, albeit much more simple in style than the Moderne style original look. The large vertical sign was retained, however.

The Florida Theatre operated into the 1980’s and afterward, the building was converted into office space.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

irvl
irvl on October 3, 2005 at 12:22 pm

Actually, the building the Florida Theatre was in still stands. The Florida Education Association converted the theatre to an office building at least a decade or more ago. For a brief period, it was also the Florida “Circus”, utilizing acts from FSU’s circus, and it later also had a stint as a second run movie house.

GaryParks
GaryParks on January 3, 2008 at 10:57 pm

I saw and took one slide photo of the Florida in 1981. It was closed at the time, and indeed on the marquee where in the 1940s and 60s photos it says “Theatre” in neon, it said “Circus,” which at the time baffled me.

The exterior of the theatre was pale yellow, with some other colored accents on the vertical and marquee, like red and green.

irvl
irvl on May 3, 2008 at 1:43 pm

The last feature to play the Florida before the 1960 fire was, appropriately, THE LAST VOYAGE.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on January 23, 2009 at 6:48 pm

From Boxoffice magazine, April 1960:

TALLAHASSEE-The first-run, downtown Florida Theater, valued at $500,000, was completely gutted by a fire after closing the night of Friday, March 25. The cause of the blaze was not determined.

The Florida had been the favorite entertainment center for generations of lawmakers, their families and students and facult members of Florida State University in the state’s capital city. Managed for many years by Tommy Hyde, who indicated that rebuilding plans may soon be set in motion, the Florida was the flagship of Kent Theaters, owned by Fred Kent of Jacksonville.

AndyCallahanMajorMajor
AndyCallahanMajorMajor on October 29, 2010 at 10:33 am

Here is a picture of the former Florida Theatre that I took in October 2010.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on February 1, 2011 at 12:24 pm

thanks for the pictures,guys.July 20,1950 has A Double Feature,“TAKE CARE OF MY LITTLE GIRL” and “SEALED CARGO”.During those years Double Features were showned almost every day.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 23, 2011 at 4:14 am

I’ve been unable to identify the original architect of the Florida Theatre, but the architect for the rebuilding after the 1960 fire was Theodore C. Poulos. It is listed among his works in his biographical entry in the 1962 AIA Architects Directory.

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on May 13, 2012 at 5:22 pm

Interior, 1963, after reconstruction: View link

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