Florida Theatre Restoration

Jacksonville, FL

When the Florida Theatre reopened in the 1980’s, a major restoration was completed and it appears that the design team at the time toned down the original colors, departing somewhat from the authentic 1927 palette. The Florida Theatre retained some of its original historic decoration intent, but it was purposely toned down for the times. Our conservators took the critical steps early on in the restoration process at the Florida Theatre by creating mock-ups showing what the original techniques look like.

EverGreene returned to the Florida Theatre to assist with repairing the flaking and peeling decorative plaster in the auditorium, painting the lobbies and the auditorium with fidelity to the 1927 color palette, and restoring four historic faux tapestries. Additionally, we glazed ornament, completed faux bois on the Main Lobby Ceiling, and stenciling at the Mezzanine Ceiling Beams.

The four balcony tapestries were original to the Florida Theatre. The original turn-of-the-century wall-hangings depicted scenes inspired by the 1500s Flemish Lady and the Unicorn tapestries, specifically “Taste,” “Smell” and “Desire” (with “Desire” appearing twice). EverGreene used high-resolution photographs of the original Florida Theatre tapestries, and the Flemish tapestries they were inspired by, to inform the recreations. The “millesfleurs” (or “thousand flower”) motifs and figures were meticulously painted onto a textured woven surface. New borders, tails, swags and appliques were embroidered to frame the wall-hangings were completed with the help of  iWeiss.

The Florida Theatre reopened to the public in October 2023. This project was funded by the Centennial Capital Improvement Plan, which started in 2019, prepares the historic Florida Theatre for its 100th birthday in 2027 and the next 100 years.