Drive In Movie

C Fi 9929

Pile in, we're goin' to the movies! The Trail Drive-In opened on April 28, 1949 with Eddie Albert in "The Dude Goes West". In the movie, the dude deals with corrupt outlaws, finds treasure maps, befriends the Indians, gets the girl and the gold. The theater opened amidst amenities such as "Baby bottles warmed up FREE!" & "Largest Screen in the South!", all for 50 cents for adults and a nickel for kids.

The Trail Drive-In was built near the Bradenton-Sarasota airport on Tamiami Trail by Hugh Thomas and Mose L. Waller of Waller & Thomas Amusements. They also built and operated the Siesta Drive-In in 1952. In March of 1953, they were indicted for failing to pay Federal Admission Taxes from the Trail Drive-In and were sentenced to 6-months in federal prison and required to pay $5,000 in fines. Their jail time was suspended if the fine was paid within two years.

In 1955, the Trail Drive-In was sold to Jack Hunt and Raymond Carsky, who were from Chicago. Between the two men they had 26 years in the movie theatre operation business. It was sold in 1962 to Iselin Theatres of Albany, NY for $310,000 and they reported that there will be $100,000 worth of extensive updates to the drive-in. These new features included new cafeteria style concessions, enlarged restrooms, a special nursery room and updated widescreen projection and sound. In 1970 the General Cinema Corporation was listed as the operator of the Trail Drive-In and the Suburban Drive-In theatres.

In 1975, Charles Ivester took over the operation. Ivestor would end up operating all the drive-in theatres in the Sarasota area in 1979. These included the Trail, Bradenton, Bee Ridge 1 & 2, and the Skyway in Palmetto, FL.

In January of 1981, the screen tower of the Trail Drive-In burnt down from an electrical fire inside the wooden screen tower. It caused $50,000 in damages. Ivester commented he might move the screen tower from the Bee Ridge Drive-In that he had just closed, over to the Trail Drive-In, however another screen tower was installed. The Trail Drive-In was finally closed in 1988.

Source image:



Mandy Fulton

Mandy Fulton is completing her final year at Ringling College of Art and Design, studying fine arts. In Sarasota, she runs a local tie dye business where you can find her on Instagram @thetiedyeria. Her art work is primarily experimental. She uses mediums such as mold that allow room for chance to come into play, while incorporating elements of control herself. Mandy is currently interested in the art of abstraction through nature, but she used to work more figurative-based.

I wanted to be a part of this experience to bring art to the community, and do so with fellow friends. I think sidewalk art is such an exciting way to view art, getting to walk up directly on what you are looking at is a fun way to experience seeing art work. The variety of different artist's styles is something else that I love about this experience. Each piece is so diverse in style, and as you walk from square to square you can recall seeing an artist's hand you have already become familiar with. This project also brought a lot of people together in a positive way. Families gathering on a hot sunny day to paint together was very heart warming.

First, a clown. Then, Sarasota's Citrus Growers Association. An old drive-in movie theatre. Then, a map of the state, surrounded by native plants. I even had the pleasure of painting Elvis! I completed an alligator in Myakka State Park. And finally, an illustration-based piece of an old railroad.

Sponsored By

Screen Shot 2021 07 24 at 7 02 50 PM

The Fountain Kitchen & Wine Bar

Known for having the Best Pizza in Sarasota, The Fountain Kitchen & Wine Bar serves edgy Italian-fusion cuisine from Executive Chef Alberto Colin. Located just a short walk from Main Street in downtown Sarasota, in the artistic Burns Square neighborhood near The Exchange and Burns Court Cinema, The Fountain offers our patrons great food, great drink and a great location. They have excellent food with indoor as well as outdoor seating by the fountain!