20th Century Drive-In

2900 N. Dale Mabry Highway,
Tampa, FL 33607

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Floyd Theaters

Nearby Theaters

20th Century Drive-In, 1969

The 20th Century Drive-In was opened on November 26, 1952 with Cornel Wilde in “At Swords Point” & Tony Martin in “Two Tickets to Broadway”. It was operated by Floyd Theaters. It had a capacity for 600 cars, and 300 seating positions. Closed in 1979 and demolished January 9, 1991. It was replaced by an apartment building named Arbour Ponds.

Contributed by Andy

Recent comments (view all 94 comments)

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio on October 28, 2011 at 1:54 pm

I forgot about the curve but you’re right. The Mustang did have a curved screen. I think if you were to cut about a 4th off the top of the Mustang’s screen it would then be true scope projection.

These drive-ins in Tampa also had a curved steel screen installed that replaced their original screens: Dale Mabry, Skyway, and Hillsboro. The Dale Mabry and Hillsboro were 100-foot wide and the Skyway was 60-foot wide. These screens were also tilted slightly downward at an angle aimed towards the booth for a more direct projection throw and better viewing from ground level.

tampapix on November 4, 2011 at 4:35 pm

If you zoom in on the 1969 historic aerial at the link the NYozoner posted, you can see just below and right of the Dale Mabry entrance marqee, the Biff Burger restaurant so popular with the drive-in patrons. You can even see the striped rooftop. Immediately behind it (to the right), is the triangular shaped playground.

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio on November 4, 2011 at 10:43 pm

I hadn’t noticed it in the aerial before but you’re right. I see the Biff Burger and the playground behind it. On several occasions when I couldn’t convince my parents to go to the drive-in, I had my father drop me off at Biff Burger. From the playground you had a nice view of the screen. Sitting on the swings I watched as the cars lined up at the box-office wishing I was in one of them as they entered the theatre. Although you could barely hear the movie from the playground it was the next best thing to actually being inside the drive-in!

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on April 7, 2012 at 10:13 am

neat story, I stood outside in the parking lot and watched movies while my mom shopped at Forest Hills Drive-in, guess a bunch of kids did this.

Rebelgator on February 20, 2013 at 9:41 am

It was not replaced by Kmart it was replaced by Apartment complex which is next to Kmart. back of drive In was on Himes. It was a wild time When Cheech n Chongs up in Smoke premiered there. Most people and Smoke I have ever seen in a Drive In….LOL

rivest266 on September 28, 2017 at 4:04 pm

This opened on November 26th, 1952. Grand opening ad in the photo section.

davidcoppock on September 28, 2017 at 7:03 pm

Did this drive-in only screen 2Oth Century Fox movies?

davidcoppock on October 20, 2018 at 10:38 am

Opened on 26/11/1952 with a cartoon(not named), news, a comedy(short?)(not named) and “At sword’s point” and “Two tickets to Broadway”. 600 cars. The apartment complex is Arbour Ponds.

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio on March 13, 2023 at 1:04 pm

Just posted photo of marquee and screen during demolition on January 9, 1981. Message on marquee: “Thanks for 35 years”.

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