Alhambra Dinner Theatre in Jacksonville
The Alhambra Dinner Theatre is the oldest continually operating dinner theater in the United States.
During the '70s, the theater hired big names as headliners to bring audiences in. Dawn Wells of the TV show "Gilligan's Island" was the headliner of Alhambra's first performance, "Barefoot in the Park." Other performances featured appearances by soap opera actors, TV game show hosts and Playboy models.
In the '80s, big names became harder to hire because of competition from endorsements and commercials that paid more money in less time, as opposed to a theater run where actors would be required to travel or relocate. The productions starred fewer well-known actors, but all were seasoned theater performers. All performers at Alhambra Dinner Theatre are part of the Actors' Equity Association.
The theater offers patrons a full bar and dinners from a popular local restaurateur, Matthew Medure. Medure plans a new menu for each show. The bar seats 75 and the stage can be viewed by over 400 dinner guests. Renovations are taking place to give Alhambra new appeal to a past tradition.