Harlem Drive-In

3910 US-1,
Vero Beach, FL 32960

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Harlem Drive-In

One of Florida’s more obscure African-American drive-in theatres was the Harlem Drive-In. It opened on November 11, 1954. It was owned and operated by the Vero Beach Investment Corporation, Vero Beach, Florida. Exhibitors Service Co. from Jacksonville, Florida, was the booking and buying agency in 1955. The general manager was Jimmy McCue. The screen tower was 40 ft. x ft. 60 and of block construction with asbestos shingles. Its car capacity was 311 cars plus it had 100 chairs for the walk in’s. It also featured a 25 ft. x 53 ft. arcade room in back of the screen tower. I could not find much advertising for the Harlem Drive-In after 1954. Maybe they just used flyers and window cards to advertise the new movies.

In 1958 it was reported that Arthur Lee Henderson manager of the Gifford Drive-In Theatre, was going to be opening on December 28, 1959. I never did find any advertisements for the opening night. In the 1960 IMPA it was listed as holding 208 cars and operated by C. I. Ryder & A. L. Henderson Inc. In 1963, the Gifford Drive-In Theatre was dissolved so that was end of that. I believe the Harlem Drive-In and Gifford Drive-In were both the same drive-in theatre. Thanks goes Jonnie Mae Perry for her help and information.

Contributed by Randy Studer
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