Author Topic: The Drive-In Theatres of Jacksonville  (Read 5482 times)

thelakelander

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The Drive-In Theatres of Jacksonville
« on: April 22, 2024, 07:49:54 AM »
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For 69 years, drive-in movie theaters entertained generations of Jaxsons. Today, their remnants are hard to find in the city’s modern landscape. Here is a look at sixteen drive-in theaters that operated in town between 1939 and 2008.

Read More: https://www.thejaxsonmag.com/article/the-drive-in-theatres-of-jacksonville/
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CG7

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Re: The Drive-In Theatres of Jacksonville
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2024, 10:30:00 AM »
My family spent many weekend nights at the Fox, Blanding and Playtime in the 70's. We would pull the old wood panel station wagon (I had to use furniture polish on the sides every few months to keep in shiny) in backwards and lay out in the back. Fun times  :)

jaxlongtimer

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Re: The Drive-In Theatres of Jacksonville
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2024, 02:41:58 PM »
This history isn't complete without including the following  ;D:

The most notorious Jacksonville drive-in theater was the Southside at Philips Highway and University Blvd. W. that began showing sexy movies that offended City leaders because they could be partially viewed from the highway. The issue was litigated all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court that ruled in favor of the theater in a ground breaking First Amendment case that received national fame.

https://firstamendment.mtsu.edu/article/erznoznik-v-city-of-jacksonville/

This case of Jacksonville's legal notoriety joins the one where the U.S. Supreme Court threw out Jacksonville's vagrancy law as vague and arbitrary, also setting a precedent for the nation as most vagrancy laws at the time followed the format of Jacksonville's and, thus, became invalidated.  It is why it is not necessarily a given that police can arrest the homeless for sleeping on a street.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papachristou_v._City_of_Jacksonville#:~:text=Article-,Papachristou%20v.,decided%20on%20February%2024%2C%201972.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2024, 02:53:38 PM by jaxlongtimer »

Charles Hunter

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Re: The Drive-In Theatres of Jacksonville
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2024, 05:05:52 PM »
I'm surprised the Playtime article didn't mention its years showing adults-only fare.

The Jaxson article correctly cites the University Drive-In (not the Southside) as the basis for the Erznonznik case. As I recall, the complaints came from people living in a neighborhood immediately beyond the back fence of the drive-in.
https://www.thefire.org/supreme-court/erznoznik-v-city-jacksonville/opinions

Our group alternated between the Fox and the Normandy Blanding (the Normandy had already become Normandy Mall) drive-ins.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2024, 06:23:13 PM by Charles Hunter »

Tacachale

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Re: The Drive-In Theatres of Jacksonville
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2024, 05:48:45 PM »
There was also one behind Beach Bowl in Jax Beach. It later became a trailer park, with the old screen still standing. I remember it had a faded painting of Odie from Garfield on it years after the theater was gone. It’s now a big self-storage complex.
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thelakelander

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Re: The Drive-In Theatres of Jacksonville
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2024, 07:36:16 PM »
I need to update the article. I completely missed Jax Beach.
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jaxlongtimer

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Re: The Drive-In Theatres of Jacksonville
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2024, 09:39:53 PM »
I'm surprised the Playtime article didn't mention its years showing adults-only fare.

The Jaxson article correctly cites the University Drive-In (not the Southside) as the basis for the Erznonznik case. As I recall, the complaints came from people living in a neighborhood immediately beyond the back fence of the drive-in.
https://www.thefire.org/supreme-court/erznoznik-v-city-jacksonville/opinions

Our group alternated between the Fox and the Normandy Blanding (the Normandy had already become Normandy Mall) drive-ins.

I swung and missed on this one and stand corrected.  I thought the case was the Southside Drive-in so I missed the mention of the case under the University one where apparently the case emanated from.  The Southside Drive-In was also located on University Blvd. at the other end and I always thought of it as the "University Drive-In" until I saw this article tag its location as "Southside."  That said, the Southside theater had the same issue, its screen was clearly visible from University Blvd. passerbys.  At some point, they put up a wooden fence about, I would say, around 20 to 30 feet high, to keep from seeing the screen readily from the road.  As a result, I figured it was from the City attempting to do the same with this theater as the University one and, given the reference to "University" figured it was this one in the case, not being aware there was another theater on the same road and so named.

One other tidbit, as I recall:  The screen for the Southside theater was also a real multi-story building with windows on the non-screen sides.  Maybe someone else recalls the same?
« Last Edit: April 22, 2024, 09:44:25 PM by jaxlongtimer »

civil42806

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Re: The Drive-In Theatres of Jacksonville
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2024, 08:57:35 AM »
Saw many a movie at the main street drive in, 2001 springs to mind.

Snaketoz

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Re: The Drive-In Theatres of Jacksonville
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2024, 11:36:54 AM »
In my teen years I attended most of these drive ins.  For $3 I would take my girlfriend to the drive in, grab a few Krystals afterwards and still have leftover for 50 cents worth of gas.
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