JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It has been over a month since the Florida Theatre returned to live performances since closing nearly a year ago in March. For Theatre President, Numa Saisselin, it’s been quite a journey.
“We thought we were closing for, ha ha, two or three weeks,” Saisselin said. “We were terrified that we were going to be closed for just two or three weeks.”
As most people now know, the Theatre was closed for three quarters of the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The same goes for multiple live performance venues throughout Northeast Florida. Saisselin said one of his biggest concerns upon closing was the possibility of a stampede of people rushing for refunds. He says to his pleasant surprise, the mad rush didn’t happen. With that, as they say in show business, the show must go on.
“It’s a cliche, but it’s a cliche because it’s true,” Saisselin said.
Saisselin said while live performances are back on, the theatre is still at half capacity. Strict safety protocols are in place. For instance, masks and temperature checks are required on entry, there are no intermissions or opening acts, and the bar closes when the show starts.
While quite a few shows are planned throughout Jacksonville venues, no one can say for sure if they’ll go on as planned. Saisselin has seen it himself.
He says both Frank Valli and REO Speedwagon are coming to the Theatre, along with several others. He says all of those shows have been rescheduled two or three times already.
“They’ll play eventually,” Saisselin said. “The tickets will be valid then, and the customers have been great with rolling with the punches during the pandemic.”
So, Saisselin’s advice? Hang onto your ticket and be patient. He’s personally doing that as we speak.
“I have Hamilton tickets and that show’s not even playing at the Florida Theatre,” Saisselin said. “I hung onto my tickets because I know the show is eventually coming to Jacksonville, and I want to see it.”
News4Jax looked throughout town. There are multiple performances scheduled at several venues around the city, and not just the Florida Theatre. What you need to do is still keep an eye on your email for any updates or postponements. To see concert information or buy tickets, click here.