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Drive-in Theatres Florida

Watching a movie at an open-air theatre is a must have experience, especially in the tropical climate of Florida. Or else, turn on a heat lamp and check out these ozoners here at Roadside Peek's Florida Drive-ins.

 

28th Street Drive-in (Demolished)
St. Petersburg, FL
Photo courtesy Georg Balandran

In the St. Petersburg area of Florida is a grand colorful drive-in theatre called the 28th Street. One of the few remaining open theatres, stop by when you're in the area and watch a flick or two. You won't be able to miss the colorful screen tower. Back in 1970, the 28th St. had two projectors, each running 2,000 foot reels with RCA supplying all the booth equipment. The theatre is still doing well.

(Many thanks to two-time former projectionist Budd Ballard for above info)

The 28th Street's marquee sports a colors harking back to the deco era.

28th Street Marquee
Photo courtesy Georg Balandran

 

UPDATE 02/04 : The 28th Street Drive-in shut down for good on June 30, 2000. In operation since 1950, the 28th Street was purchased by the Pinellas County School Board. Many thanks to Maria R. for update. 02-04

UPDATE 06/06 : As of 2005, the site of the old 28th Street Drive-in is now a new Middle School. The Fun-Lan in Tampa, Ruskin Drive in, Silver Moon in Lakeland, and Joy-Lan in Dade City are still open serving the Tampa Bay Metro area. Many thanks to Bryan Otto for update. 06-06

 

Photo courtesy Andy Callahan

To the left is a Microsoft Terraserver image of the 28th Street Drive-in, possibly behind the old public housing buildings.

 

 

The Ruskin marquee and screen tower
Ruskin, FL
Photo courtesy Andy Callahan

Welcome to the Ruskin Theatre of Florida. This theatre was built in 1952 with the screen location approximately where the box office is now. When U.S. 41 was built, the screen was moved to its present location.

 

The Exit
Photo courtesy Andy Callahan

 

The Snack bar
Photo courtesy Andy Callahan

The snack bar is right in the corner of the lot. The Ruskin has a capacity of 200.

 

 

Auto-Park Drive-in
Photo courtesy Andy Callahan

Here is the Auto Park Drive-in. Shown below are the sides of the lot near to where the screen tower once stood.

These views are typical of what's left of many ozoners from decades past.

 

UPDATE 05/12 : The Ocala Drive reopened again back in October of 2011 and is now going strong. Many thanks to David Hughes for update. 05-12

 

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© Copyright 1998-2013 Syd Nagoshi. All rights reserved. No portion of this document may be reproduced, copied or revised without written permission of the author.