St. Johns County Seeks Community Input on Fate of IMAX Theater


ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - The St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners is set to consider a plan of action for the World Golf Hall of Fame property in St. Augustine this year. As of now the facility is set to shut down on September 2nd as the United States Golf Association plans to relocate the Hall from St. Augustine back to its original location in Pinehurst, North Carolina.

Of particular interests to residents of St. Johns County and the surrounding area is the IMAX movie screen located within World Golf Village, the largest in north Florida and second largest in the state. Though residents have little shortage of movie theaters in the area, many travel miles to this screen for movies that lend themselves to the biggest screen possible. Sellout showings of 'Oppenheimer' this past weekend prove that much.

Due to local demand for the screen's continued usage, the St. Johns County government will be holding town hall events this year to solicit the community's input for a course of action. One independent and local theater company, Sun-Ray Cinema, is lobbying the county for the opportunity to run the theater, and is asking its patrons to write to the commissioners in support. As of now they're the most notable potentially viable solution to present themselves.

When contacted for an article by News4Jax, one County Commissioner was hesitant to endorse any particular ideas this early in the process. "The offer from Sun-Ray Cinema is news to me," said Commissioner Christian Whitehurst, District 1 member of the St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners. "There are multiple ownership interests in the property in and around the World Golf Hall of Fame and that makes doing any transaction a little bit complicated."

Another commissioner concurred with the Whitehurst's uncertainty, and marked that as a reason the upcoming town halls are necessary. "There are so many possibilities that can be realized," said District 2 Commissioner Sarah Arnold. "To listen and learn about what the community wants will be a part of the process the Board of County Commissioners uses to make its decisions about these assets."

The St. Johns County Economic Development Department will be hosting the town halls and posting surveys to gather community feedback, with no set details yet revealed for when these outreaches will take place. For now, the September closing of many of the attractions in World Golf Village is still moving forward as planned.