Beginning in 1908, Jacksonville had a two-decade-long love affair with the film industry. Where New York City was cold in the winter and Hollywood was still waiting to be established, Jacksonville became known as the “Winter Film Capital of the World.” Norman Studios was established in the midst of this film Renaissance.
Begun as Eagle Film City in 1916 and purchased by Richard E. Norman in 1920, Norman Studios became one of the principal studios working with Black actors in town. The studio made films from 1920 to 1928, using predominately Black actors, and had a fair measure of success. Eventually, the growing film industry in California and an emphasis on “talkies” forced Mr. Norman to pivot to film distribution and the production of training videos. Norman Studios was one of the last film studios in Jacksonville to close.
Norman Studios stands today as a testament to the brief history of film in Northeast Florida and the many Black actors and films that played a part in that history.
Know Before You Go
To schedule a tour contact them on their website.