Since its transition toward the end of 2011, the new Sun-Ray Cinema (formerly known as the Five Points Theatre has become an entertainment hotspot and popular hangout for those in the Riverside/Five Points area, not only due to its close proximity to several popular nightlife establishments, but also because the new theatre has a lot of offer.
Tim Massett, a Jacksonville native and film buff who has been instrumental in bringing underground movies to the city in the past, raised over $100,000 through crowdsourcing last year to renovate and re-open the theatre. The major changes include an interior overhaul, more comfortable permanent seats with running tables, and a larger projection screen.
Under the previous management/ownership, the theatre rarely played new releases, instead focusing primarily on independent films and older films. The new theatre provides a solid mix of both, debuting films such as "The Avengers," "Men in Black III" and "Moonrise Kingdom," as well as showing independent and classic films.
This summer, Sun-Ray will be running a children's film series, showing classics like "The Neverending Story" as well as modern kids' movies like "How to Train Your Dragon" and "The Fantastic Mr. Fox."
The films are shown at a discount rate -- kids' tickets are only $5.50, while adult tickets are $6.50.
Sun-Ray's revamped kitchen includes a full menu, including pizza -- both vegan and standard variety, nachos (available with vegan cheese), hot dogs, hummus with grilled vegetables, and even a couple of hot sandwiches.
Beer and wine are also served at the theatre, including several local craft beers. Sun-Ray also sells candies from Springfield candymaker Sweet Pete's, as well as coffee from Jacksonville's own Bold Bean Coffee Roasters.
The Summer Kids' Film Series kicks off with "The Fantastic Mr. Fox" on July 11th, which repeats on July 14th. "How to Train Your Dragon" shows on July 18th and 21st, and "Wallace & Gromit Curse of the Were-Rabbit" shows on July 25th and 28th.
All films part of the kids' program start at 10 a.m. During other times, the theatre will be showing its normal film rotation, which includes "Moonrise Kingdom" (showing until the 19th), "Raising Arizona" and "To Rome With Love."
Tickets can be purchased online or at the box office. Military members and students (with proper identification) receive a discount on tickets but not on concessions/refreshments.
If you have any questions about Sun-Ray Cinema or the films being shown as part of the Summer Kids' Program, contact Sun-Ray at 904-359-0049, or visit the theatre website. Sun-Ray Cinema is located at 1028 Park St. in Jacksonville's Five Points district in Riverside.