Sunshine Mall 5

Missouri Avenue,
Clearwater, FL 33756

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The Trans-Lux Theatre was opened in October 1968 as part of Florida’s first indoor air-conditioned indoor shopping center. 60,000 people showed up on the mall’s opening day.

The theater was bought out by Plitt Theatres in the mid-1980’s.

It offered affordable ticket prices, around $2 or $3. The owner of the mall sold the entire property to a condo developer, which demolished the Sunshine Mall in 1998.

Contributed by moviefanaticfan

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

rosecoutre on June 24, 2008 at 6:58 pm

I used to play in the orange groves in the early/mid 1960s that became the site for Sunshine Mall in 1968. Sunshine Mall’s first theater in 1968 was a single-theater called “Trans-Lux Theater” — it was expanded and split into two theaters just a year or two later, about 1970. Soon after, it expanded again and split into the five-theater “Sunshine Mall 5” in the mid/late 1970s if I remember right. It was a great theater experience in all of its manifestations, and each theater was larger than nowadays. (The mall had a great diner called Robert’s Cafeteria too.)

rivest266 on September 10, 2008 at 4:46 pm

Google has posted Microfilms for the newspapers for this area.
1968 one cinema opened as Trans-Lux
1974 renamed Sunshine Mall Cinema
1977 2 cinemas
1986 5 cinemas
1974-1986 Plitt
1986-1995 Cineplex Odeon
I have not gone through the 1990’s.

tbpirate on June 25, 2009 at 1:51 pm

My family has a long history with Sunshine Mall Theaters. My grandmother worked there when it was Trans-Lux. My sister and brother worked there when it was an ABC and then as it was Plitt. I worked there when I was in high school when it was a Plitt and Cineplex Odeon. Great memories!

sandyrand on July 15, 2010 at 2:58 pm

The precise location of the Sunshine Mall Cinemas was 27.956221 N, -82.788905 W (can be googled) There is a retention pond there now. I liked it in the 80’s as it was never crowded and close to home!

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on August 1, 2010 at 5:24 pm

Yes,I saw that 1974-1986 Plitt.I am pretty sure that was an ABC THEATRE in 1974.I don’t think PLitt came in until 1978 or so.I worked for both chains.

clwcapman on July 20, 2012 at 8:17 am,3008484&dq=sunshine+mall+theaters&hl=en Article on twining the theater

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 10, 2012 at 11:39 am

This capsule history of Clearwater’s Sunshine Mall at Mall Hall of Fame says that the “…single-screen, Trans-Lux Theatre showed its first feature in mid-October 1968.”

The John and Drew Eberson Archives at the Wolfsonian Institute lists the Trans-Lux Sunshine Theatre as a 1968 project by Drew Eberson. He was also the architect for the theater’s twinning, which the Mall site says took place in 1977.

John and Drew Eberson were designing projects for Trans-Lux during the 1950s, and Drew Eberson continued to design theaters for the chain, both new houses and remodeling and twinning jobs, through the 1970s. He also designed offices for Trans-Lux at Norwalk, Connecticut in 1968.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 18, 2015 at 5:25 pm

The December 13, 1977 issue of the St. Petersburg Independent had an article about the reopening of the Sunshine Mall Theatre, which was to take place the following night (scan at Google News.) The article says that the architects for the twinning were Brookbank, Murphy & Shields, but they were most likely acting as supervising architects, as the Eberson Archives list Drew Eberson as architect for the remodeling as well as the original Trans-Lux Sunshine Theatre of 1968.

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