Inside Jacksonville Florida's SunRay Theater.
As you pass under the marquee entrance through SunRay’s front door, you’re instantly enveloped by the swirling, otherworldly work of talented local multi-media muralist Shaun Thurston (click www.ShaunThurston.com to see more of Shaun’s work). You’ve entered another zone, where art becomes more real than life, and anything can happen. SunRay’s touchable, 4-foot fuzzy moth unfailingly triggers my flight into fantasyland.
What could be more fitting for an indy house? Rather than a Regal or AMC replete with the latest audio-visual experience, SunRay is a throwback, a retro renegade, an indoor version of a drive-in, complete with vintage commercial and cartoon clip kickoffs.
|Kombucha, beer, and popcorn in a stainless steel bowl at SunRay.|
For Wayne and me, the most memorable travel experiences are not the big “must sees” guidebooks and glitzy websites tell you about. The hidden little neighborhood gems charm us most. The “Cheers” before there was “Cheers” (click here if you don’t remember “Cheers”) kinda places, except, since we’re just passing through, we don’t expect anyone to know our name. These are the places locals love; sweet unique escapes, that at the same time reinforce why they chose to call this particular place “home.”
|SunRay's appropriately retro logo.|
Back to SunRay…. What makes it special?
Settle in with a beer, a wine or even some locally brewed kombucha (click here if you want to know what the heck kombucha is), alongside your stainless steel bowl of buttered popcorn. Or, eating in movie theater darkness, instead you might attempt to not wear the nachos you ordered from SunRay’s diverse concession stand nummies. Our nocturnal eating finesse was decidedly lacking in that department.
|Don't you want to touch this cool moth at SunRay Cinema?|
“Captain Phillips” was probably the last flick we’ll see on anything larger than Wayne’s 15” laptop screen until we return to the States in June. No wonder I no longer recognize the magazine cover celebrities at the grocery store anymore.
Even though we’re in Nassau now, “the big city” of the Bahamas, it’s not a safe place to toodle after dark. Our next big film will be re-watching “Trading Places” again on Wayne’s little laptop from his hard drive stash of 200+ movies.
We challenge you to set your guidebooks aside, ask the locals what they do for cheap thrills, seek out and share the small surprises you find!
As they say in Trading Places’ conclusion, on their sailboat, “Looking good!”
Jan 31th 2014. BAHAMAS. By the time this posts, we'll be in Nassau. (This was pre-scheduled to run from the Berries).