Jacksonville was once the movie capital of the world. What started as a winter retreat for film-makers to shoot ended up becoming a prime location, but only for a few years.
Imagine if Jacksonville had stayed the movie capital. There would be movie premiers, the Jacksonville walk of fame and celebrity tour guides.
People would move from all over the world to be movie stars, and even more vacationers to see those stars. The Jaguars would be owned by Oprah, and seeing Steven Spielberg in Publix would be a norm.
Rumor has it, a couple years after their arrival Jacksonville residents would boot the movie industry from the area. Producers would use Jacksonville’s first responders at their leisure – crying wolf just to get a shot of responders in their films.
Just a taste of the consistent Florida weather was enough to keep producers from returning back to the northeast, but they had to get out of town. Hollywood would offer everything producers could want. Plus, they were willing to take them.
In the early 1900s, Thomas Edison and other movie pioneers brought the movie industry from New Jersey to Jacksonville. Jacksonville’s consistent weather and beautiful scenery would lure producers from the bitter northeast. It would also make the comparable weather of Hollywood a desirable and eventually permanent location.
By 1912, Hollywood would become the permanent location for the movie industry.