40th Street Drive-In

4100 E. 7th Avenue,
Tampa, FL 33605

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40th Street Drive-In

Located in the East Ybor district of Tampa. The 40th Street Drive-In was opened on March 1, 1953 with John Derek in “Thunderbirds” and Marshall Thompson in “Rose Bowl Story”. It was operated by Ochs Management in 1955. It was closed on December 19, 1958.

Contributed by Anthony L. Vazquez-Hernandez

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

Anthony L. Vazquez-Hernandez
Anthony L. Vazquez-Hernandez on April 6, 2015 at 11:31 am

The original theatre herald I have for this theatre (and have shared pictures of) lists it as being located at “Broadway at 40th ST.” (See photo) while this listing here on CT has the location as being “E 7th Avenue and N. 40th Street”. I realize that exact addresses do quite often change over the course of multiple decades but can someone confirm that this listing is indeed for the same 40th Street Drive-In references in the herald that is pictured and that we are not talking about two separate theatres or an error either on my end or that of whomever approved this listing for CT? Thanks!

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio on April 6, 2015 at 1:25 pm

Anthony, The program above is from the Auto Park Drive-In which was located on the 22nd St. Causeway. The 40th Street Drive-In was located on Broadway (E. 7th Ave.) at 40th Street. The Auto Park is on CT. I’m not sure I think you may be able to remove the program from this page and post it on the Auto Park page.

Anthony L. Vazquez-Hernandez
Anthony L. Vazquez-Hernandez on April 6, 2015 at 2:12 pm

Nick, if you go into the photos tab, you will see the reverse side of the Auto Park program that you are referring which has the 40th Street program. As of this writing, there are only these two photos in there so it shouldn’t be difficult to find. This particular program had printing on both sides-one side for the 40th Street and the other for the Auto Park. I intentionally included them both for posterity as I wanted any interested parties to be able to examine this as though they had it in their hands as well as to show that at the time this was printed, these theatres likely shared management/ownership.

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio on April 6, 2015 at 3:27 pm

Sorry, I didn’t realize the program was two-sided. As I recall the Auto Park was built & operated by S.E. Britton who also owned the 40th Street and possibly others as well. Many drive-ins in Tampa were originally independently owned and were later acquired by Floyd Theatres. Thanks for posting the programs!

Anthony L. Vazquez-Hernandez
Anthony L. Vazquez-Hernandez on April 6, 2015 at 8:58 pm

No problem, Nick and thanks for sharing your knowledge!! It’s truly wonderful how we can all come together on here with our own historical knowledge, artifacts, photos, trivia,etc and piece it all together in a permanent,public place for posterity. I’ve always worried about what will happen when the handful of people who know a particular bit of theatre history pass away and that info is forever lost-one of the many reasons I heavily promote this site. I know many things about the theatres here in Colorado that I learned from the old timers, most of whom are now deceased and with many of the stories/facts they shared with me, I’m the last to know so I’m trying to get as much of what I know recorded as possible.

So are you saying that E. 7th and Broadway is or was one in the same street? And the program I posted is the exact same location as this listing?

As a perminent footnote here for all who see the Auto Park side of the program pictured or any picture that seems out of place for any of the theatres listed on CT that I have posted and are (quite understandably) confused, please see the picture description as I always explain why it’s there.

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio on April 7, 2015 at 8:46 am

Thanks Anthony. CT contains a wealth of information and is such an invaluable site for us avid theatre lovers. I’ve been with CT for several years now and have noticed a few former daily posters who had provided much information are no longer with us. I often wonder if the site will still be here 50 years from now providing the wealth of information and stories for future generations. Luckily a retired projectionist who worked many of Tampa’s older theatres and drive-ins has provided me with much information and stories which I’ve eagerly posted on the site.

Yes, E. 7th Avenue and Broadway are the same street. This street is the main business district running east and west. The address on the program is the correct location of the 40th Street Drive-In.

rivest266 on September 28, 2017 at 7:09 pm

This opened on March 1st, 1953. Grand opening ad in the photo section.

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio on February 27, 2023 at 6:25 pm

2000? Just researched this theater on Newspapers.com. Final day of operation was December 18, 1958.

Kenmore on February 27, 2023 at 7:28 pm

A closer address is 4100 E 7th Ave, Tampa, FL. This appears to be the main entrance to the drive-in.

To confirm what Nick DiMaggio states, a 1957 aerial shows the drive-in intact and appearing operational.

By 1969, it had clearly been demolished for years. The concession stand/projection booth and outline were still present. But today there is basically nothing left of the drive-in.

However, the sign for the Penn Tanks Lines, the business that now sits on part of the drive-in property, is in virtually the exact same spot as the marquee in the 1957 aerial. Although it’s not the same sign.


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