Swap Shop Fun-Lan Drive-In

2302 E. Hillsborough Avenue,
Tampa, FL 33610

600 cars

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Showing 1 - 25 of 55 comments

Mikeoaklandpark
Mikeoaklandpark on December 10, 2021 at 9:54 am

I thought that might be the case. It’s sad they closed.

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio on December 9, 2021 at 1:59 pm

Mike, As I recall the last time I visited, the digital image projected for scope films contained black bars at the top and bottom of the screen displaying a slightly wide image but not true scope.

Mikeoaklandpark
Mikeoaklandpark on December 9, 2021 at 1:46 pm

Nick I am surprised digital projection didn’t at least have some scope capabilities

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio on December 9, 2021 at 1:43 pm

Well that’s it for Tampa’s drive-ins. The Fun-Lan was the last one in operation within the city having survived all the others now long gone. I saw many films here during the 60s & 70s. The Fun-Lan was a nice, clean and well-managed single screen drive-in during this time under Tampa Bay Theaters Inc. and later Floyd Theaters. The one drawback was the standard-size screen which was never widened for CinemaScope projection. Evidently management wasn’t interested in investing a little extra for a wider screen.

For several decades the swap shop was a weekly destination for flea market lovers so I’m surprised they closed it as well. I would have thought the swap shop (supposedly still drawing decent crowds on the weekends) would have remained open at least for some time following closure of the drive-in.

MichaelKilgore
MichaelKilgore on December 9, 2021 at 12:52 pm

The article about the Fun Lan’s closing was reprinted in the Orlando Weekly. No one’s sure who bought the place, since the City of Tampa denies rumors that it was the purchaser. “On Thursday, Dec. 2, they were told in person that Sunday would be the last business day. Their last day with a job and a paycheck is Friday (Dec. 10). In the meantime, they are assigned to work on the property and keep anyone from trespassing.”

DRIVEIN101
DRIVEIN101 on December 9, 2021 at 7:52 am

Sad news. It was reported last night…via the Tampa Bay Creative Loafing website…that the Fun Lan is now history. Their final night of operation was this past December 2. The article in said website shows a photo of the Fun Lan marquee with the words MISS YOU which is the last part of the whole readout: “MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR – WE WILL MISS YOU”

Mikeoaklandpark
Mikeoaklandpark on September 11, 2021 at 9:50 am

With digital projection can you actually see a scope film in scope? Floyd theaters wanted the screens full all the time so all screens were flat and any scope films were projected off the sides of the screen. I HATED IT

Kris4077
Kris4077 on July 4, 2020 at 8:35 pm

Also I doubt this theater has the capacity for a 700 cars anymore with the addition of the awnings and other structures. I would say 600 at the most.

Kris4077
Kris4077 on July 4, 2020 at 8:29 pm

Fun-lan is now a 2 screen theater. Learned this when I attended tonight. When they switch over to digital they only purchased projectors for their 2 largest screens. Screen 4 and its tiny projection booth are completely gone. Screen 2 is still up to the right of screen 3 (which is the original screen from the single screen days) screen 2 is no longer used. Please change the above to 2 screens.

davidcoppock
davidcoppock on July 10, 2019 at 11:27 am

Now run by the same company that rans the Swap Shop Drive-in in Fort Lauderdale, and the Lake Worth Drive-in in Lake Worth.

davidcoppock
davidcoppock on October 14, 2018 at 1:12 am

Opened with “I was a male war bride”. Swap meet opened in 1981, after moving from nearby Skyway Drive-in. Screen 3 opened in 1988. Converted to digital in 2013.

Kris4077
Kris4077 on May 15, 2018 at 8:26 am

We went quite a few years ago and saw Wall-E it was on the screen to the left of Screen 2. I have to agree with the arrangement of the screens it definitely is distracting and with no markings on how to park it makes for a lot of chaotic parking. They could at the very least on the 3rd and 4th screens that where added come up with a parking arrangement. The most they could do is either get rid of those 2 side screens or purchase some more land and make proper ramps. I realize to screen 1st run features nowadays movie companies require you to run them longer so it advantageous for a Drive-In theater to have as many screens as they can to be able to keep the crowds coming. Takes a lot more finesse to run a Drive-In theater than a Indoor Multiplex.

rivest266
rivest266 on October 10, 2017 at 12:34 pm

2 screens on December 16th, 1983. Grand opening ad in photo section.

Mikeoaklandpark
Mikeoaklandpark on October 1, 2017 at 4:51 am

Nick or anyone do you know if they have gone digital since my last post in 2015? Also, can they now show aspect ratio 2.35 on the screen rather then off the side of the screen. I Hated that

rivest266
rivest266 on September 30, 2017 at 8:14 am

Grand opening ad in the photo section and below:

Found on Newspapers.com

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio on May 7, 2015 at 6:25 pm

Mike, I haven’t been to the Fun-Lan in 6 or 7 years so I can’t say for certain if they’ve gone digital on all 4 screens. But according to an article published in the summer of 2013, they had recently installed one digital projector (more than likely for the original large screen) and were considering adding a second one. At that time the manager was quoted as saying, “there’s no alternative. You either are going to have to do it or you’re out of business. I’d hate to see the drive-in go out of business.” So by now I suspect they’ve gone digital on all screens.

Mikeoaklandpark
Mikeoaklandpark on May 7, 2015 at 12:00 pm

Nick do you know if the theater went digital? I hated this and all the drive-in that Floyd theaters owned except the 20th Century. They wanted the screens filled at all times so if a film was in scope it was off the screen into the bushes. Digital would have solved that.

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio on May 6, 2015 at 8:53 am

Burkeview: The State has a page on CT with several photos. Search “Tampa FL” and click on all or demolished. I never made it to the State but I remember the building. It became a fabric store, and later sat empty a few years before being demolished.

burkeview
burkeview on May 5, 2015 at 7:00 pm

Does any one remember the State theater in downtown Tampa. It was near the Goody Goody

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio on July 22, 2013 at 6:59 am

Trish, My last visit was about 7 years ago. Since the 80s they’ve added two more screens and there isn’t a fence or barrier on the lot separating one screen from the other. Depending where you park you can easily see at least one other screen which was distracting. Once you enter the lot you head towards your screen number and park. Parking is erratic—no ryme or reason—I’ve even seen cars parked sideways! If the lot had to be cleared quickly due to an emergency it would be a nightmare trying to exit. As for being safe—it seemed to be o.k. 7 years ago although that area isn’t known for having the best reputation for many years. So whether it’s safe now I can’t really say. But regardless of all this I’m glad the Fun-Lan is still with us.

Trish1217
Trish1217 on July 21, 2013 at 2:45 pm

Have fond memories of going here in high school in the 80’s with my boyfriend and smuggling in beer! Last movie I saw here was Pet Semetary in 89. Scared me at the time! I should go back and check it out. Is it safe in that area?

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio on October 27, 2011 at 12:04 pm

Mike, Screen 4 was the last one put up and is actually built on the side fence if you can believe it. It’s slightly wider than the other three so you’re probably seeing about as much of the picture as you would in a standard indoor theatre with a wide screen. Screens 1 2 & 3 are about the same size (ratio-wise) with screen 4 being the smallest but widest (probably about 20-25 feet wide.)

This newest screen on the fence has to rank as the cheapest/tackiest set-up I’ve ever seen for a drive-in. Projection is from the original booth in the center of lot with the lens aimed at the screen from the top of the booth door. On the other 3 screens you’re probably missing about a 3rd of the image on Scope films since the picture projects off the sides into the darkness.

Mikeoaklandpark
Mikeoaklandpark on October 27, 2011 at 10:47 am

CAn anyone tell me if they put in cinemascope screens with theater 3 &4. I and 2 were never capable of showing scope films. Floyd theares wanted the screens filled all the time which meant a film in scope was shown off into the thin air. A very tacky wasy to show movies.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on August 3, 2011 at 2:23 pm

Glad to see you back,will have to tell TerrySmith.The old Fun-lan I am sure was a better theatre in Charlie’s Day.{operator].

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio on August 3, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Thanks for the nice handbill! “20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA” was one heck of a popular Disney movie. I notice “CinemaScope” in the ad. I’ve always thought drive-ins without a CinemaScope screen should not advertise it in their ads. The Fun-Lan never had a CinemaScope screen. The original screen which is still standing is exactly the same size as it was back then.