Loew's St. Petersburg

3150 Fifth Avenue N,
St. Petersburg, FL 33713

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Showing 1 - 25 of 28 comments

P. K. "Budd" Ballard
P. K. "Budd" Ballard on December 1, 2016 at 5:08 pm

I worked as the projectionist at the FIFTH AVENUE CINEMA for GENERAL CINEMA both when the theatre was a single screen house and as a twin. The projectors were CENTURY with CENTURY sound heads. The projectors were running 6,000 foot reels. When it was made into a twin, both sides were the same with the exception that theatre one now had CENTURY “reverse scan” sound heads with both theatres having KELMAR amps. The arc lamps were ASHCRAFT “ CORE-LITEs. The booth utilized CINAMATION automation with a matrix board and diode pins for programming. The arc lamps would "self-strike” by means of “bullets” places between the positive and negative carbons. These “bullets” would explode when power was applied, thus establishing the arc. We never used them because they tended to blow ash onto the reflectors. I have still photos and video of the booth in operation. I also have one of the CINEMATION automation units ( with diode pins.) GENERAL CINEMA ( a wonderful company to work for ) did it right. This was the only theatre I worked that had four arc lamps and FIVE rectifiers with switches to change rectifiers if one went bad. Now that’s class.

rivest266 on November 19, 2011 at 3:55 pm

I posted the grand opening ad in the photo section for this cinema.

TLSLOEWS on March 3, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Thanks for the info Nick.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on June 8, 2010 at 6:58 pm

Nick see Mustang Drive-in.

Nunzienick on June 3, 2010 at 12:37 pm

The Loew’s St. Pete was bought out by GCC at about the same time they bought the Loew’s in Tampa. I think this was about 1972. Shortly afterwards both theatres were twinned and renamed. The Loew’s in Tampa became the Austin Cinema I & II and the Loew’s St. Pete became the 5th Avenue Cinema I & II.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 17, 2010 at 11:55 am

S.Porridge,It does look like GCC took over looking at that Road marquee.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 17, 2010 at 11:53 am

Grand opening with “THUNDERBALL” Great opening Flick. Much better than when Loew’s in Tampa opening a major theatre with the soft-core"CANDY".

sporridge on March 13, 2010 at 8:44 pm

Forgot to mention the alternate name indicated at the page above: Fifth Avenue Cinema. While I’m here, this page has a current exterior photo:


sporridge on March 13, 2010 at 7:03 pm

King of Peace MCC’s history page fills in some blanks:


Based on the font of the sign, looks like General Cinema took over at some point.

TLSLOEWS on March 3, 2010 at 4:21 pm

Another LOEWS that is a church now.

Ron3853 on February 27, 2009 at 5:17 am

Thanks, Mike. I need St. Paul, MN, Milwaukee, WI, San Diego, CA, Buffalo, NY, Kansas City, MO, Indianapolis, IN, Tampa, FL, Columbus, OH, Phoenix, AZ, Portland, OR, Providence, RI, Charlotte, NC, and Toronto, ONT – various years for each from 1957-1975. I’m trying to document what played each week in the first-run theaters or the date and theater(s) that other b-type films opened. I’ve been having my library borrow microfilms through Inter-Library Loan, but can only get 6 reels at a time (roughly 2 or 3 months) and it takes forever for stuff to come. The one market for which I have no research is Tampa, FL. I’ll consider St. Pete as part of that metro area, but does the St. Petersburg paper also have listings for Tampa? And how do you get to where you can type in the various dates you want – the link above just has December 25, 1965. Thanks!

rivest266 on February 26, 2009 at 2:37 pm

Major cities covered are St. Petersburg and Pittsburgh only. but the archive will grow over the years. also good archives for Victoria,TX, Rome,GA and Salt Lake City,UT. They also have many smaller Quebec papers.

Ron3853 on February 26, 2009 at 1:58 pm

Mike Rivest – what newspapers can you find like the links you posted for http://news.google.co/newspapers above – it could save me years of newspaper research if I knew how to work google’s newspaper archives – can you get most big city papers in the microfilm-type versions you put here?

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on September 9, 2008 at 4:19 am

What’s an “all-electric” movie theatre? Did earlier theatres in this city have hand-cranked or gas-lit projectors?

KingBiscuits on September 8, 2008 at 10:14 pm

Actually Loews was sold to TriStar Pictures, who later merged with their parent Columbia Pictures when Sony bought them. Just wanted to mention that.

rivest266 on September 8, 2008 at 6:51 pm

another ad at View link along with the Crossroads

LuisV on December 3, 2007 at 7:55 am

Thanks Ron! That description does make it sound just like a moderist box, however, if one was to look at The Ziegfeld in New York (which I believe opened around 1968) you would think the same. Instead, the interior of The Ziegfeld (in my opinion) fully qualifies this theater as a movie palace. I believe it is the last “Palace” built in New York. I hope that the city has the wisdom to landmark The Ziegfeld when it hits its 50th anniversary.

Since drumrboy above actually went to services in this theater he might be able to shed light as to what the interior of this theater looks like.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on December 2, 2007 at 10:34 am

I am the person who added this theatre page to CinemaTreasures. Unfortunately I do not know anything more about the theatre, besides what I posted above from the Loew’s 1965 corporate annual report. Here is a link to page 7 of that report. You will need to rotate it 90 degrees in order to read it. I do not know whether the printed annual report was in color; this copy is in black-and-white.

The page has an artist’s drawing (not a photo) of the new theatre, which appears to me to be a non-descript modernist building with blank sidewalls but a lot of glass windows in the entry lobby. There is no marquee, but instead a free-standing sign outside the entrance. The drawing’s caption reads:

“Loew’s new Theatre in the heart of St. Petersburg, Florida, adjoins one of Florida’s largest and most successful shopping center complexes. Opens Dec. 25, 1965.”

Also on the same page is this text:

“Loew’s Theatres growth program is proceeding according to plan, with a minimum of twenty new theatres projected during the next two years. Before leasing arrangements are consummated, each theatre location is carefully researched as to immediate and future potential. The majority of these acquisitions will be located in important shopping centers situated in fast-growing suburban communities. Each theatre will provide extremely large parking facilities, be equipped to project all modern screen sizes, including 70 millimeter films, be seated with rocking-chair seats and be colorful in decor. Capacities will range from 1,200 to 1,400.”

LuisV on December 2, 2007 at 10:07 am

There is no mention on this thread as to the style this theater was constructed in. There are no photos posted. Why was Loews so proud of this opening? What made is special? Another poster states that the building is “meticulously maintained”. What exactly is being maintained? Any info would be appreciated.

drumrboy36 on August 9, 2007 at 4:15 am

This theatre is not torn down. I just attended church services there last week. The building is intact and meticulously maintained. Though it is a church, the exterior is restored and perfectly maintained.

darklight on May 6, 2007 at 10:27 am

this theater has been torn down i was in st petersburg in may of 2006

maleman on August 21, 2005 at 6:00 am

when i lived in st. petersburg in the 70s it was a twin screen.i saw jaws there also many others.it was still open as a movie theater. when i left st/petersburg in 1977

rocsal on August 1, 2005 at 2:01 pm

The theater building is still there. It is located at 3150 5th ave n in St. Petersburg. It currently houses the King of Peace Metropolitan Communty Church. The shopping center complex was Central Plaza. At the time it contained A Publix grocery store, a Wards dept store, A Grants Department store and a William Henry Dept store. Not much remains now. The Pubix and William Henry have been torn down. The new YMCA is located there. The Grants building is still there; but I don’t know what is in there. The Wards is a auto supply warehouse.
I attended premire ofthe theater with my grandparents. The movie shown was “Our Man Flint” with James Colburn. I also remember seeing the new version of “Gone with the Wind” in either late 1969 or early 1970.
I moved from St Petersburg in 1970 and do not remember how long it remained a movie theater.