Tower Drive-In

E. Bird Street at N. Florida Avenue,
Tampa, FL 33604

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Playbill for Tower Drive-In

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Named after the Sulphur Springs water tower, a local landmark, this drive-in was located on the Hillsboroough River. The theater was leveled in anticipation for an apartment complex that never materialized. The ramps, driveway, assorted debris, and outline of the property remain, however. The site has since been purchased by the City of Tampa as part of its Sulphur Springs riverfront park. The water tower still stands, as well, and is visible for miles.

Contributed by Andy

Recent comments (view all 61 comments)

landolutz
landolutz on April 20, 2012 at 1:24 pm

Hello Juan, this is Dan Perez of Tampapix. Nick is correct, the photo came from Johnny Cinchett’s book. I think it also may be online somewhere, but not at this quality. I also did a little enhancing with the brightness and contrast to bring out the shadows. The only others I have are aerials.

redjayd
redjayd on April 20, 2012 at 7:11 pm

Did any one know Lois McLeod? Not sure when she became manager of the Tower Drive Inn but I use to help her with concessions in the mid 70’s. Before that she managed the Skyway Drive Inn.

Juan1941
Juan1941 on April 20, 2012 at 10:35 pm

I left the Tower at the end of 1963, USF diploma in hand. Ernie Plitz was still manager. Regrettably, I lost touch with the Tower gang after I started my career, so I can’t tell you when she came along.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on April 20, 2012 at 10:36 pm

redjayd if any one knows about TAMPA theatres it is Nick.He did a book on THE Ritz that would drive you crazy if you like old theatres during the 60’s.

Juan1941
Juan1941 on April 20, 2012 at 10:39 pm

Thanks, Dan, for enhancing the Tower signage photo. I did, indeed, come across a poor-quality version of the photo at another site. This is great. Too bad there isn’t a shot of the concession stand, or of all the cars in the theater. I guess we should feel lucky to have the signage.

Thomas_Rogers
Thomas_Rogers on January 12, 2013 at 9:57 pm

the shakes pizzaria use to be across the street eat there and hurry over to catch the attack of the killer tomatoes and the return of the killer tomatoes with very young george cloony! Thomas Rogers

Juan1941
Juan1941 on January 13, 2013 at 3:30 am

I don’t recall a Shakey’s Pizza there, but my experience is limited to the 1960s. What time period are you talking about?

tampapix
tampapix on January 13, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Shakey’s Pizza Parlor was on the west side of Fla. Ave. at Bird St. Hear this radio ad I posted a while back. I think you’ll need to be a Facebook member to hear it, since I posted it at Tampa Natives facebook page. http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=405216566157221&set=o.144613012277765&type=3&permPage=1

tampapix
tampapix on January 13, 2013 at 4:06 pm

Sorry, meant to include that the Shakey’s radio ad is from 1966, when it just opened.

Juan1941
Juan1941 on January 13, 2013 at 4:40 pm

Thanks, tampapix. I moved from Sulphur Springs to near downtown Tampa in 1964, so the 1966 opening explains why I didn’t remember it.

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