One million dollars has been set aside in the proposed city budget to renovate the only remaining piece of Jacksonville’s once-busy silent film-making past so its silver screen history can be opened for regular public visits.
Announced last week in Mayor Lenny Curry’s budget proposal, the funding would be used to renovate the inside of the National Historic Landmark Norman Studios’ Production Building at 6337 Arlington Road so it can become a bona fide museum, according to WJCT News partner The Florida Times-Union.
Called a “rare, extant silent film studio and the only surviving race film studio in America” when it received that federal landmark status in 2015, the city funding still must be approved by City Council. But if it is, the funding would be a boon to a 103-year-old facility now open by invitation only, studio board president Devan Stuart Lesley said.
“If we can get the basics done and get closer to a finished facility, that will let us do more in the ways of events, tours and educating people on the film history and the importance of the facility to Jacksonville and film history as well as civil rights,” she said. “
An expanded version of this story that has more about the history of Norman Studios’ is at Jacksonville.com.