Lights, Camera, Jacksonville! A Brief History of Film Production in Jacksonville, Florida

Get ready for a reel treat as we take a rollicking ride through the captivating history of movies and film production in the sunny First Coast of Florida. From silent classics to blockbuster hits, our beloved city has been a shining star in the cinematic universe. And who’s bringing you this entertaining scoop? It’s your friendly team at Easy Edit Video, Jacksonville’s homegrown video production wizards since 1993! So grab your popcorn and let’s dive into this epic tale.

The Silent Beginnings: Jacksonville’s Film Legacy (1908-1920s)

Way back in 1908, Jacksonville witnessed the early sparks of film production when the ambitious Kalem Company set up shop here. They churned out dozens of short films, taking advantage of the city’s diverse landscapes and vibrant streets. Jacksonville gained the nickname the “Winter Film Capital of the World” because the sunny winter climate attracted several movie studios to locate here. 

The Roaring Twenties: La-La Land in Jacksonville (1920s)

As the Jazz Age swung into full gear, Jacksonville saw an upswing in film production. This vibrant period witnessed the creation of exciting films, ranging from heartwarming dramas to rip-roaring comedies. Unfortunately, the Great Fire of 1901 destroyed many of these early film archives, but the spirit of creativity and storytelling lived on! (Source: Jax Daily Record)

Hollywood of the East: Jacksonville’s Golden Era (1930s-1950s)

In the 1930s, Jacksonville earned the moniker “Hollywood of the East” as it blossomed into a film production paradise. The Ritz Theatre and LaVilla district became hotspots for movie premieres, and esteemed filmmakers flocked to our city. Jacksonville’s allure as a filming location grew, with numerous studios producing films that captured the essence of the times.

The Silver Screen Renaissance: Revival in the 1980s to Present

The Pippi Longstocking house in Fernandina Beach, Florida (Source and Image credit:

After a period of relative quiet on the film production front (much of the industry moved to California), Jacksonville experienced a silver screen revival in the 1980s. Iconic movies like “The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking” (1988) and “Parenthood” (1989) brought lights, cameras, and action back to our beloved city. The enthusiasm was contagious, and Jacksonville once again found itself in the spotlight of the movie-making world.

For a fun list of TV shows and movies filmed here in Jacksonville, see Visit Jacksonville TV and Movie Watchlist.

There you have it, folks – a whirlwind tour of Jacksonville’s illustrious journey in the world of movies and film production. From its silent beginnings to the silver screen renaissance, our city’s cinematic history is nothing short of extraordinary. And as the reels keep rolling, Easy Edit Video remains your trusted companion, ready to capture the magic of your stories with cinematic finesse!

Master Rasaji is updating his "Circle of Life" DVD series and Easy Edit Video is assisting in the journey.

If you are a Jacksonville resident with a tale to tell, remember – Easy Edit Video is just a call away! Let’s make some movie magic together, right here in the heart of sunny Florida. Until next time, keep those cameras rolling and dreams soaring high! Cheers to the wonderful world of cinema and Jacksonville’s unending legacy in it!