Comments from Nick DiMaggio

Showing 26 - 50 of 170 comments

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio commented about 4th Street Drive-In on Jul 30, 2013 at 9:20 pm

Just did some checking and found the closing date was May 28, 1956. The ad states, “closed till further notice” although checking the time clock listings monthly through 1957 showed no futher ads. The last features shown were “Carousel” and “New York Confidential”

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio commented about Palace Theater on Jul 23, 2013 at 6:24 pm

“Gone With The Wind” ad from 1968 showing posted under photos tab.

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio commented about Dale Mabry Drive-In on Jul 23, 2013 at 5:56 pm

Just posted a couple ads for showing of “The Sound of Music” under photos.

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio commented about Center Theatre on Jul 23, 2013 at 5:21 pm

Just posted a couple ads under photos.

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio commented about Grand Opening of Loew's Tampa on December 20, 1968 on Jul 22, 2013 at 7:40 pm

Thanks Terry. Great hearing from you again! Sure wish Loew’s was still with us.

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio commented about Fun-Lan Drive-In on Jul 22, 2013 at 6:59 am

Trish, My last visit was about 7 years ago. Since the 80s they’ve added two more screens and there isn’t a fence or barrier on the lot separating one screen from the other. Depending where you park you can easily see at least one other screen which was distracting. Once you enter the lot you head towards your screen number and park. Parking is erratic—no ryme or reason—I’ve even seen cars parked sideways! If the lot had to be cleared quickly due to an emergency it would be a nightmare trying to exit. As for being safe—it seemed to be o.k. 7 years ago although that area isn’t known for having the best reputation for many years. So whether it’s safe now I can’t really say. But regardless of all this I’m glad the Fun-Lan is still with us.

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio commented about David Falk Memorial Theater on Jul 17, 2013 at 8:38 am

In June of 1960 the Park had the exclusive Florida west coast showing of “Can-Can” in Todd-AO requiring the installation of 70mm projectors and a giant 60' by 30' screen. The film played for 10 weeks. Ad posted under the photos tab.

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio commented about National Hills Theatre on Jul 17, 2013 at 7:55 am

Great shot. Those were the days when real operators ran the booth.

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio commented about National Hills Theatre on Jul 17, 2013 at 7:49 am

Mike, Thanks for posting. I hadn’t seen this shot of National Hills before. Is the building still standing?

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio commented about Trans-Lux INFLIGHT Cine Theatre on Jul 13, 2013 at 5:46 pm

This theatre opened as the Trans-Lux INFLIGHT Cine Theatre and later went through several name changes.

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio commented about David Falk Memorial Theater on Jul 10, 2013 at 6:10 pm

“Windjammer” did in fact play at the Park Theatre in Cinemiracle. It premiered on December 25, 1959 and ran through February 7, 1960 for a total of 6 weeks and 2 days. It played as a roadshow attraction with two showings daily and reserved seating. Similar to Cinerama, the showings required 3 projectors, a stereophonic sound system, and a large wall-to-wall curved screen.

Cinemiracle did not compete with Cinerama at the nearby Palace Theatre. The Palace opened with Cinerama in April 1962. By this time the Park had closed as a commercial movie theatre and soon became the property of the University of Tampa.

Just posted some ads for the “Windjammer” opening under the photos tab.

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio commented about David Falk Memorial Theater on Jul 9, 2013 at 8:13 am

RRF: Thanks for this info. This is very interesting. I had no idea the Park had ever been renovated to compete with the Palace. I didn’t think the Park was large enough for the 3-projector process but maybe it was. “Windjammer” was in presented in Cinemiracle, a process very similar to Cinerama. I’d like to find the ad for “Windjammer” when it played here which should mention if the film was presented in Cinemiracle.

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio commented about Thunderbird Drive-In, Charlotte NC Remains of 1993 on Jul 6, 2013 at 5:35 pm

Remains of lot and screen tower in 1993.

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio commented about Palace Theater on Jun 8, 2013 at 1:48 pm

That’s right Dan. Also the Citizens Building was right next door to the Florida Theatre which may have been called the Franklin Theatre at the time. It opened as the Florida and later became the Franklin and was then changed back to the Florida years later.

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio commented about Palace Theater on Jun 6, 2013 at 2:05 pm

I checked the city directories for 1920-1929 and found a listing for “The Palace” under Sodas-Retail at 706 Franklin Street which places the fountain in the former Citizens Bank Building. The address for the Citizens Building is listed as 702-708 Franklin St. Strangely enough the fountain doesn’t appear under the listing for Soda Fountains in any directory.

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio commented about Palace Theater on Jun 4, 2013 at 6:52 pm

Great photo! The Victory Theatre became the Palace on Christmas Day 1947. If memory serves me correctly I recall reading something about a Palace cafe/restaurant in Tampa. On my next visit to the library I’ll check the 1925 city directory since it lists addresses for all businesses. Will be interesting to see where this was located at.

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio commented about Ritz Theatre on May 28, 2013 at 8:17 pm

Celeste, Thanks for the update. I had wondered what had become of this theatre. By placing your cursor over the image and sliding it towards the left you’ll see down N. Ft. Harrison. The theatre building is the second building from the corner on the right side painted either light brown or dark beige. I also followed the Google arrows down the side street to the rear of the building and the theatre exit doors are still visible at each end.

As I recall by the 1960s this theatre was under the same ownership as the Ritz in Tampa (Floyd Theatres as Chuck stated above) and both theatres were playing similar programs: double and triple features during the weekends. And both eventually became triple-X adult theatres.

As this theatre was not the Majestic the heading should be changed to Ritz Theatre.

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio commented about Dolphin Theater on May 21, 2013 at 9:28 pm

Just posted the opening day ad. The Dolphin opened on December 25, 1969 with “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice” and closed either on or just before December 13, 1981 with “Dr. Zhivago” as the closing attraction. Operated under ABC Florida State Theatres and later bought out by Plitt Theatres. The Dolphin was a first-run house for several years before reverting to and later closing as a second-run $1.00 theatre. Would love to see photos of the Dolphin which are evidently either very elusive or non-existent.

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio commented about Palace Theater on May 21, 2013 at 7:00 pm

Archived editions of the St. Petersburg Times are available online and luckily include several of Tampa’s theatres in the daily time clock listings. This makes it easy researching playdates from home rather than making a trip to the library.

I just checked the Palace listings for “Mary Poppins” and found that the film opened on January 14, 1965 and ran through April 6, 1965 when it was moved over to the Florida Theatre to continue the long engagement. The move was due to “The Sound of Music” set to open at the Palace on April 7, 1965. So the “Mary Poppins” engagement was after both “Mad Mad World” and “Circus World.”

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio commented about A 70mm Double Feature: "2001" and "Ice Station Zebra" on Apr 24, 2013 at 5:12 pm

Ad from the Tampa Tribune dated December 18, 1970.

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio commented about Auto Park Drive-In on Apr 21, 2013 at 4:02 pm

Eyerock4ever: thanks for commenting! It very rare to see comments from former managers of Tampa area theatres. Oh yes, I remember the deviled crabs at the Seabreeze which for many years were probably the best in Tampa. I’ve always thought both the Auto Park and Tower Drive-Ins could still be open today since the land they were located on remain deserted and undeveloped, whereas the properties of all other former Tampa drive-ins have been redeveloped for other uses. No doubt it would be a risky venture, but someone with enough cash and true desire could rebuild both drive-ins on the same property where they once stood!

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio commented about Opening Day Ad for "It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World" on Apr 5, 2013 at 11:15 am

Correction to my post above: Additional research shows that during the run of “It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World” the Palace did not have single lens Cinerama installed as yet. The installation of 70mm projectors was made directly following this engagement.

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio commented about National Hills Theatre on Apr 4, 2013 at 7:30 am

Hey Mike, When the Hillsboro in Tampa was twinned in 1978 they installed Dolby Stereo in one twin. “SUPERMAN” was the opening attraction and the sound was fantastic…crisp sharp highs and deep low bass. The best I had ever heard in a theatre at the time (except for Cinerama 7 track stereo.) Though many will disagree I still believe the original Dolby Stereo sounded just as good as today’s high-tech state-of-the-art systems.

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio commented about "2001: A Space Odyssey" 45th Anniversary – The Cinerama Engagements on Apr 2, 2013 at 8:30 pm

Several have said “2001” was a life changing experience for them but for me it’s been a lifelong love affair. I first saw “2001” at a Thursday matinee showing the day following the opening at the Palace in Tampa. From the start I was mesmerized by both the film and the music and I knew the audience and I were in for something truly extraordinary. I saw it again the following Saturday evening at a sold-out showing and many times since as well as purchasing the soundtrack album. Seeing the film in 70mm on a curved Cinerama screen is the only way to provide the viewer with the ultimate “2001” experience.

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio commented about Palace Theater on Apr 2, 2013 at 5:22 pm

Just finished some additional research. I’m trying to determine exactly when the 3-projector Cinerama booth was stripped and replaced with 70mm Cinerama single lens projectors. I began a week-by-week search following the engagement of “How The West Was Won” and it appears the equipment was more than likely switched out the week beginning August 15, 1964.

Here’s the timeline:

“How The West Was Won” was the last 3-strip film to play. The run ends on November 21, 1963.

“Under The Yum Yum Tree” opens on November 22, 1963 (first 35mm attraction to play on the Cinerama screen) and runs through December 8, 1963.

Theatre closes on December 9, 1963 and remains closed through April 14, 1964 for a total of nearly 19 weeks without any published explanation given for the closure that I could find.

Theatre reopens on April 15, 1964 with “Cleopatra” which runs through May 26, 1964.

Following the 19 week closure when the Palace reopened with “Cleopatra” I remember looking back towards the Cinerama booth and noticing no changes had been made to the portholes. “Cleopatra” was projected from the balcony booth.

“It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World” opens on May 27, 1964 and runs through August 14, 1964. The film was also projected from the balcony booth.

Theatre closes once again on August 15, 1964 for a total of 6 days. I believe this is the week the equipment was switched out in preparation for the next attraction.

“Circus World” opens on August 21, 1964 in 70mm Cinerama. “Photographed in Super-Technirama 70” is included in the newspaper ads in addition to “presented in Cinerama.”

So “Circus World” was the first 70mm film to play at the Palace. “The Sound of Music” which would open about 8 months later would be the second 70mm attraction. After playing for several weeks it would be exchanged for a 35mm print.

Correction and update:

In my initial post of the Palace I incorrectly stated the closing year as 1976. Between 1976 and 1978 the Palace closed and reopened at least 3 times. I verified the final day of operation was September 29, 1978 with the double feature “It’s Alive” and “Five Fingers of Death” as the final program. On September 30, 1978 the Palace closed for good. The building was demolished in December 1979.