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Previously operated by: Floyd Theaters
Previous Names: Starlight Drive-In
The Star-Lite Drive-In opened on February 5, 1952. The opening night feature was the 1951 western “Oh Susanna” with Rod Cameron, Lorna Gray and Forrest Tucker. Also being screened was two color cartoons and A Happy Go-Lucky Technicolor Musical Featurette. It was opened by Carl Floyd dba Floyd Theatres. The opening night staff was Mark Sanders manager, Marvin Walker, cashier; Cleveland Collett and Paul Nobles, parking lot attendants; Clyde Davis maintenance and Kenneth Hampton, projectionist. The snack bar was operated Mrs. Esther Sander. Floyd Theatres also operated the Hardee Theatre, Royal Theatre and Palace Theatre (all hardtop theatres) in Wauchula, FL at this time. They screened Spanish movies in the 1980’s.
After screening shows for many years the Star-Lite Drive-In closed for good on September 3, 1985. Harold Spears president of Floyd Theatres said that the Star-Lite Drive-In experienced its greatest losses for the last four years. Spears commented it was hard to get first run movies in a smaller market for outdoor theatres. The only way they could get them booked was after several weeks after their original release. By that time all the moviegoers had screened them already. James and Vestal Hurst was the managers/projectionist, for the Star-Lite Drive-In for over 20 years. Hurst commented that “I guess they got tired of all the blood and nudity”. The property was bought by Orange Blossom R.V. Park which is next door and now used for RV Storage at the present.
The sad part is nobody showed up for final screening of “Beverly Hills Cop” and “48 Hours” at the Star-Lite Drive-In Theatre.
GPS: 27°35'56.9"N 81°49'26.8"W
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