Showing 26 - 50 of 178 comments
Just about every time we arrived at the drive-in I’d head for the children’s playground. My mother would usually be standing nearby or sitting on the benches. But once the movie began we always headed back to the car. I wonder if anyone remembers the rabbit cages behind the trees at the base of the screen. Kids would sometimes feed the rabbits through the wire grating. This was probably around the mid-to-late 1950s.
Darrenparlett: I love this page too!
Thanks Don. This is very interesing. An article on the closing of the Hillsboro mentions the drive-in originally had a plywood screen which I found hard to believe. But I guess it’s true. An old photo of the lot shows individual speakers in the ground and an opening day article mentions sound emerging from several underground speakers scattered throughout the lot. I wonder if the speaker you have was also utilized for the film’s soundtrack or maybe used as a backup. Your speaker has to be a collector’s item! Any idea if the screen in the photo showing the in-ground speakers is the original plywood screen? If so then the block screen was built over this one.
Sad to hear the in-car speakers were sold for scrap although this probably happened with just about every closing drive-in. I wish I had an original Hillsboro window speaker today. Amusing story about removing the poles and cement bases! I doubt they’re still buried at the rear of the property. They were probably dug up once the land was excavated and cleared for construction of the apartment complex. Any idea what happened to the screen? I’m guessing it too was demolished although it may have been dismantled for use at another drive-in.
Not sure since I didn’t see the film at this theatre and the ads make no reference to a stereo soundtrack. I had hoped to find a local critic’s review (who may have noted a stereo soundtrack) but did not see a review in the St. Pete Times.
Terry, Yes, it does appear the film was presented in Todd-AO 70mm. Although the opening day ad does not mention Todd-AO or 70mm, I just now checked the ad for the day prior to the opening and it does have the Todd-AO 70mm blurb.
Correction: I inadvertently typed June 25, 1970 above as the date opening date. The run actually opened on December 17, 1969 and ended on June 25, 1970.
Thanks Tim. “The Tingler” was digital and “Homicidal” was 35mm. I just checked the website and was amazed at this months line up of horror/sci-fi classics. Even “Village of the Damned”(1960) is scheduled. Time to vacation in NY for the next two weeks.
Thanks Bill. Love Castle’s films—he took showmanship to the upmost level. What I would have given to have been there. Any idea if showings were film or digital?
Just posted a review and ad for “Panorama Blue” an x-rated adult film supposedly shot in 70mm that played in 1974.
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”
“Gone With The Wind” ad from 1968 showing posted under photos tab.
Just posted a couple ads for showing of “The Sound of Music” under photos.
Just posted a couple ads under photos.
Thanks Terry. Great hearing from you again! Sure wish Loew’s was still with us.
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.
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.
Great shot. Those were the days when real operators ran the booth.
Mike, Thanks for posting. I hadn’t seen this shot of National Hills before. Is the building still standing?
This theatre opened as the Trans-Lux INFLIGHT Cine Theatre and later went through several name changes.
“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.
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.
Remains of lot and screen tower in 1993.
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.
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.
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.
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.