Marketing Lesson - Florida Theatre

  • Oct 18, 2019

When I was young Forsyth Street in downtown Jacksonville, Florida, was where most the movie theatres were. First were the Imperial and Empress, and across the street the Arcade. But the Florida was on the next block. But they found a creative way to reach the people a block away.

The theatre ran two ropes, one about 6 feet above the other, from about the third story of their building to the building across the street. They had a mesh connected to the ropes and letters attached on it showing the movie or movies playing. So, from the location of the other theatres you could see what was playing at the Florida.

This paid off in a small way (two admission tickets) when I was a senior in high school. One night a friend and I were going to the downtown library to research for a school paper. While driving through downtown, a block from the library, we crossed Forsysth Street. Looking down the street my friend saw the Florida Theatre mesh. It read, "Dr. No and From Russia with Love," - two James Bond movies. We ended up going to the theatre and not the library.

The theatre found an innovative marketing channel. Think about your customers and where they might be going and how you can reach them. 

If you are interested, the Florida Theatre has a colorful history. Build in 1927 it originally showed silent movies. It started selling candy bars displayed on an old organ painted gold. This may have been the original movie theatre consession stand. Elvis performed on the stage there. My wife's great uncle, Roy Benjamin, was one of the architects. For more information go to

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