One of former Jacksonville Mayor Jake Godbold’s most vivid memories of the Florida was taking his future wife Jean there in August 1956 to see 21-year-old Elvis Presley perform in concert - shown right. Presley’s performance style had earned him the nickname "Elvis the Pelvis," which alarmed many of the adults of Jacksonville.
Presley was summoned to meet with Juvenile Court Judge Marion W. Gooding, who told Presley he could perform, but he needed to tone down his hysteria-inducing style and keep his hips still. To make sure Presley complied with his instructions, Gooding sat in the front row, monitoring Presley’s movement. "Those are the kind of memories we had about the theater," Godbold said.
He remembered the movies that showed on the big screen in Jacksonville’s greatest movie palace, movies such as 'Gone with the Wind' and other classics.
So when civic leaders came to him in the early 1980s, during his first term as Jacksonville’s mayor, asking for help in saving the theater, which had closed on May 8, 1980, Godbold said yes. The money was raised, the building was renovated as a performing arts center and on Oct. 1, 1983,
That’s why Elvis is one of four people who will be honored when the Florida Theatre celebrates the 30th anniversary of its reopening.
source: http://www.elvisinfonet.com - Elvis Information Network