Wales Drive-In

1920 Old Bartow Road,
Lake Wales, FL 33853

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What was left of the tower in 2004

Open prior to 1955, the Wales Drive-In was located west of town on the original alignment of Highway 60. Years later, 60 was realigned slightly south of the old road—a distance of just a few hundred yards—and the original alignment became Old Bartow Road. Interestingly, the theater bought the land directly across the street and extended their driveway over Old 60 to New 60, where a new marquee was constructed. By 1957 it was operated by the Talgar Theatre Company.

The theater has been closed since 1982, and not much is left. The screen was demolished, though it appears that they left the pile of cinderblocks in place. The concession stand/projection booth stands in the back of the lot with a new fenced-in enclosure right in front of it. The driveways and marquee still remain, as do most of the ramps.

Contributed by Andy

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

AndyCallahanMajorMajor on July 28, 2010 at 11:22 am

Here are some pictures I took in July 2010.

Here are somebody else’s pictures from February 2004.

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on July 31, 2010 at 6:10 am

Opened in 1955?

At one time it was operated by Floyd Theaters of Haines City, Florida, Carl Floyd, President. He had around 40 theaters, all in Florida.

I saw the drive-in listed as being on E Central Ave? Wish we had an exact address or crossroads so I could see the remains from the air on the Google Map.

Anyone have more info or photos of the drive-in when it was open?

Silicon Sam
Silicon Sam on July 31, 2010 at 7:48 am

This will get you there….

1920 Old Bartow Rd, Lake Wales, FL 33853 United States

View link

FloridaDriveIns on October 27, 2011 at 3:21 pm

Video from 1996:

Drive-In 54
Drive-In 54 on September 22, 2013 at 2:34 pm

Here is the You Tube Video from FloridaDriveIns

Mmandarano on September 22, 2013 at 4:23 pm

From the Google Earth historical aerials view, it looks like nearly all elements of this theatre remained in tact similar to the 1996 video until as late as early 2005.

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