Showing 6 comments
I was the last owner of this drive in back in 1987 before it ceased operations.
I would have continued operations but the land owner sold it out from under me (I had a lease to own contract).
They were planning to build a new bowling alley/entertainment center on the property, but that never happened.
I believe it was built in 1953. The projection system was a 2 projector system that required switchovers after each reel. The lamps were carbon arc.
I worked at this theater the 1st day that it opened. Later became the assistant manager. It was fun to work there and be in the mall. I met a lot of people.
The theater was originally called the Electric Theater. It caught fire and was reopened as the Fox theater after repairs. It was owned by Mann theaters before it was Dickinson. I worked there from 1980 until 1982. One of the last first run movies we played was “The Fox and the Hound”. It was the only movie where we opened the balcony and actually filled the auditorium to over 1,000 customers. There was a large mural painted in the hallway leading into the auditorium that depicted the history of Springfield.
This theater was originally built and operated by Dubinsky Brothers theaters and then sold to Excellence Theaters before it was sold to Fridley.
When the Tower first opened it was known as the Park-In theater.
This web site has it listed as the Tower Park-In Theater and incorrectly labeled as outdoor.
When my brother-in-law managed the theater he had a grand opening photo framed in his office where it was called the Park-In. According to him they changed the name because people were confusing it with a drive-in theater (which is probably why the confusion in the listing at cinematour).
When the T&C 6 opened, it did do rather well, at times out grossing all theaters in Springfield. I was an assistant manager for 2 years, and managed for 1, starting in 84. The reason it would out gross some theaters was due to the interlocking capabilities of the theater. We could run the same movie in 2 auditoriums at once. I remember many weekends with sell out crowds, and I remember a couple Christmas’s where we sold out all 6 auditoriums. It started losing business in the late 80’s. As far as 70mm films in Springfield, the only theater that did show them was the Century 21 (single screen). They played very few. I watched Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Aliens, and possibly one other but can’t remember which. The equipment was moved to the Springfield 8, but they never played any 70mm films.