Alhambra Announces 2019 Schedule
In August of 2009, the then-named Alhambra Dinner Theatre was all but shuttered and on the edge of extinction. In came Jacksonville native Craig Smith and his business partners to purchase the nation's longest-running dinner theater and return the community's cultural gem to glory. Now called the Alhambra Theatre & Dining, with an equal nod to its critically acclaimed culinary experience, Smith and his Theatre Partners LLC are celebrating their 10th season at the helm. Smith and partners are proud to introduce the Alhambra's slate of shows for the 2019 theatrical season:
Said Smith, "We've got something for everyone in 2019 and everything for many. It's really a fun mix of classic shows like Ain't Misbehavin' and some titles that we haven't done before like Big The Musical." Smith noted that the theme of this season was picked to really tie in the Alhambra's culinary success. Six years ago he changed the food service from a buffet to table service, creating a more fluid and relaxed experience. "People come here for a mini vacation. They don't want to get their own food at a buffet. Our job is to make memories, and that speaks to the dining portion of the Alhambra as well as the shows. We committed 10 years ago to an enhanced guest experience from the moment one arrives until they depart, and now food and show are equal stars."
Sales numbers would indicate Smith and his partners - Bill Barnett, Karl Frisch and Fraser Burns - have delivered on their promise. In 2009 the theater seated less than 50,000 guests and had fewer than 1200 subscribers. In 2017, the iconic theater welcomed more than 110,000 guests and now has nearly 5,000 subscribers, now referred to as Season Partners. The Alhambra celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2017, complete with a Mayoral Proclamation on its official birthday, December 15. The Alhambra employees more than 70 people. In addition to its Broadway-quality shows, under Smith's watch, the Alhambra has added a sub-brand called Alhambra After Dark, which features a live music series as well as comedy and magic shows. The Alhambra is often rented during the day for business meetings and conferences and has hosted weddings and birthday parties. The Alhambra is reputed in the industry as one of the best small theaters to play for actors, having recently hosted the likes of Mike Farrell, Morgan Fairchild, Michael Learned, Barry Williams and Loretta Swit.
"Time really does fly when you're having fun. This was the fastest decade of my life," added Smith. "I have met so many wonderful people. It is amazing how this theater has touched the hearts of its guests and been a memorable part of their lives for three generations. The future is bright for this old girl, and we are all as enthusiastic today as we were 10 years ago."
The Alhambra Theatre & Dining is located at 12000 Beach Blvd, Jacksonville, FL. Alhambra tickets start at just $38 and include a three-course meal that changes for each show, a Broadway-style performance and complimentary parking. Tickets can be purchases on line at www.alhambrajax.com or by calling 904.641.1212.