City Drive-In

3853 Cleveland Avenue,
Fort Myers, FL 33901

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City Drive-In

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The City Drive-In opened on April 3, 1952, featuring the 1951 western “Fort Defiance” with Dane Clark, Ben Johnson & Peter Graves. The second feature was “Wish You Were Here”. The City Drive-In was opened by C.L. Singleton and Park T. Pigott. Pigott’s family was very well known in the Fort Myers area in the early days. In 1955, it was operated by Robert Blatchley of Lee Theatres and could park 388 cars. Blatchley also operated the Lee Theatre, an indoor theatre in Fort Myers. I do believe the City Drive-In and the Fort Myers Drive-In were both operated by the same person in the late-1950’s and early-1960’s.

The City Drive-In closed in March 1966. The drive-in was demolished and cleared for retail. Kmart is on the property now.

Contributed by Chuck, Randy Studer

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

NYozoner
NYozoner on January 24, 2011 at 9:55 pm

U.S. 41 & Winkler Ave, Fort Myers, FL 33901

The above address will map accurately to the location of the drive-in. The address in the heading is off by about 1 mile to the south.

Here is a 1958 aerial photo of the drive-in, courtesy of Earth Explorer and USGS.

NYozoner
NYozoner on January 25, 2011 at 1:14 am

@Chuck: If you are referring to the area on the east side on Cleveland near N Airport Rd, I do not see a footprint there. It looks like the runway used to extend all the way to Cleveland Ave, and was shortened. The leftover property was graded off, but I do not see any remains for a drive-in there in current aerials, or the aerials I reviewed from 1958 and 1960.

NYozoner
NYozoner on January 25, 2011 at 5:08 am

Cleveland Ave at McGregor Blvd takes me to the center of downtown Fort Myers, and I did not see a footprint anywhere near there.

4700 Cleveland Ave, Fort Myers, FL 33907 puts my Google Earth on S. Cleveland Ave near N Airport Rd, near the Fort Myers Airport.

This is what I have documented for Fort Myers, there are four addresses which have been verified as drive-ins through aerial photos:

City Drive-In – U.S. 41 & Winkler Ave, Fort Myers

Northside Drive-In – 2521 N Tamiami Trail, North Fort Myers

Southside (AKA Starlite) Drive-In – 13972 S Tamiami Trail, Fort Myers

Twilight Drive-In – 3901 Dr Martin Luther King Blvd, Fort Myers

The Northside Drive-In is the only one visible using Google Earth imagery, to the best of my knowledge.

There may have been a fifth drive-in, Lincoln Drive-In, which I am still researching.

Also, why are you calling me Brad? My name is Rick.

NYozoner
NYozoner on January 25, 2011 at 5:14 am

U.S. 41 & Winkler Ave is the same as 3920 Cleveland Ave, Fort Myers, FL 33901.

I try to use intersections when practical, since road numbers can sometimes throw of the mapping features on certain mapping websites or programs.

jwmovies
jwmovies on September 21, 2012 at 12:46 am

Approx. address for this drive-in was 3853 Cleveland Avenue. Now KMart.

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