Murray Hill Theatre
, a nonprofit organization, is a nightspot like no other in Jacksonville. The live music venue offers a positive, smoke-free and alcohol-free environment providing cutting edge, faith-based entertainment. Performers include local and regional bands, as well as top, nationally touring names.
"We believe it is important for Jacksonville to have an alternative to bars--a place where people can go any Friday or Saturday night for great Christian entertainment, and a place where you can invite un-churched friends to get a taste of Christian music, entertainment, and fellowship," the website says.
Murray Hill Theatre accepts only Christian artists, both popular national acts and local or regional unknowns. National acts are negotiated through their agents. Unsigned artists must submit demos, copies of lyrics a reference from a pastor and a solid commitment to help promote their appearance. Sounds range from hip-hop to metal to alternative and everything in between-so long as the message is a positive one.
Housed in a 1955 movie theater, Murray Hill Theatre features a main auditorium that can accommodate upwards of 700 patrons, an Internet cafe with a small stage for acoustic performances, and a shop selling Christian CDs, books, magazines, bumper stickers and other gifts.
Murray Hill Theatre also boasts a professional recording studio that, in keeping with the theater's mission, records only positive tunes. The aim is to support and promote up-and-coming local artists, so the rates are affordable. Still, the equipment is top-of-the-line and Murray Hill's drum room is the largest of any Jacksonville studio.