Tag Archives: Norman Studios

The Glitz of the Ritz Theatre and Museum in LaVilla

The Ritz Theatre and Museum has a rich history full of amazing stories, but it wasn’t always the Ritz we know today. Back in 1929, The Ritz was exclusively a movie theatre where people came to watch their favorite movies and Saturday cartoons. I was able to sit down and interview the Ritz’s marketing director and host of amateur night, . He told me, “The in 1929 was the Harlem of the South, the heart of . In 1929, The Ritz Theatre was exclusively one of the few predominantly black movie theatres in the south.” He then spoke about how, …

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Old Arlington: The New Place to Be!

Arlington is reinventing itself–it’s on the move. Rooted in history and continuing through the , Arlington development exploded with the opening of the Mathews Bridge in 1953. Miles and miles of riverfront property wrap around the first North-to-East bend of the river from Downtown, heading out to the Atlantic Ocean. In addition to indigenous peoples, the French, Spanish, British and Americans have walked its ground, shaded under towering oak trees through centuries. Its apex began in the mid-20th century as a post-haven for new housing, expansion of communities, and soon, a private university using the namesake of the city, . …

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OLD ARLINGTON: Norman Film Studios

In 1920, Flagler’s East Coast Railway trains rolled down the tracks from the cold North to paradise down South. With bags packed carefully with top hats, watches on gold chains, silk dresses and pearls in velvet bags, onwards the snowbirds came to enjoy the Florida sunshine and bask in warm weather with the sweet smell of orange blossoms in the air. Yes, the rich and famous left the snow and sleet…and stopped in Jacksonville, part of what some called America’s Riviera, which had become the winter film capital of the world. The Rockefellers, Astors, Tiffanys and their friends brought big …

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OLD ARLINGTON: History Revealed

Traveling through Arlington today, you might be surprised by its rich history and former cultural distance from Jacksonville proper. Geographically, some of its elevated land makes it unusual for North Florida. For early residents, that high land meant beautiful views and excellent drainage, a highly valued commodity when it came to public health through the 1900s. Like a lot of the land around the St. Johns River, shows evidence of human occupation by Native Americans, dating as far back as 5000 B.C. The most notable evidence in Arlington is several Indian mounds, such as the Shields Mound, a hill so …

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One Spark Creator-Norman Studios

Miles from downtown, in Arlington, the interests of culture and historic preservation intersect again in the effort to save . In the 1920s Jacksonville was America’s film capital. Five buildings that were a part of Richard Norman’s studio complex are all that remain of that era. Norman Studios also bears the distinct significance of being one of the first film production companies to feature African American actors in positive, non-stereotypical roles. At  (121 W. Forsyth St. Suite 30B) representatives of the nonprofit organization working to preserve Jacksonville’s film heritage will be on hand spreading the word about Norman Studios and …

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october, 2021

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