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Sun-Ray Cinema’s last day has come; community reacts

Sun-Ray Cinema’s last day has come; community reacts

  • PublishedJuly 10, 2024

The Five Points icon displayed its final marquee message Tuesday. It’s a blow for moviegoers, but locals are optimistic about the music venue replacing the theater.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — It was the end of an era Tuesday as an employee a Jacksonville’s iconic Sun-Ray Cinema took the letters spelling out movie listings off the marquee for the last time.

Movie titles were replaced with, “Thanks for watching movies with us! Love, Sun-Ray.”

Now Five Points moviegoers and musicians are reacting as news spreads about what kind of business will replace Sun-Ray. Nashville-based venue management company Marathon Live plans to open a live music venue named FIVE in the former Sun-Ray location in January. The company is also developing a space at the coworking and multi-use facility Dennis + Ives in the Rail Yard District.

“More music in general is definitely a good thing,” said Jacksonville musician Matt Henderson. “But it’s, again, up to who or what they’re planning on doing, as far as are they bringing comedy acts? Is it more of a talent-buying situation? Or is it a local music-driven situation?”

First Coast News asked Marathon Live this question and a spokesperson said they couldn’t answer just yet, but should be announcing the first lineup of shows soon.

“It made Five Points a little more special and I think we’re gonna miss that,” PJ Caruso said of Sun-Ray.

Caruso and his sister Julia Barrow shared memories of Sun-Ray with First Coast News, from chowing down on different popcorn flavors to watching Christmas Eve movies with their family. The siblings said a live music venue fits in Five Points.

“Music is something that fits in and I think it will be an adjustment for the community, but I think it will be a good addition,” Barrow said.

Though Sun-Ray will be missed, they’re hoping this new era in the historic building hits the right chords.

“There’s tons of local music happening so hopefully this will be a good thing for local musicians,” said Henderson.

First Coast News reached out to Sun-Ray’s owners to ask about their future plans but they said they wouldn’t be able to participate in the story at this time.

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