The Playtime Drive-in (formerly known as the Twin Hills or Playboy Drive-In) Jacksonville, Florida. 1997.

Music: “Separation in the Evening” by the HiFi Envelope

From the Florida Times Union, May 31, 2008:

“Most blame it on property values or the difficulties of running a drive-in, but manager Marty Hamrick said there’s never a lack of crowds at The Playtime. If it weren’t for an unfortunate incident, he said, it might not be closing.

In September, owner Furman Birchfield, 67, was robbed of ,300 and shot as he was selling tickets for Resident Evil: Extinction. His health has declined, causing him to sell the property, including the attached flea market, to a church.

Playtime Drive-in has undergone many changes over the years with several owners and several formats.

In the 1970s, Playtime began showing X-rated movies, prompting vice squad raids and protests by anti-pornographic groups. Crowds of 100 or more would watch adult films behind a thick barrier of trees, away from prying eyes.

A city ordinance banned nudity at drive-in theaters, which was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision in 1975.

Hamrick, 48, began running the projector 22 years ago during the X-rated days. He remembers cross-dressers and police raids and having to put his hand over the projector during the hardcore scenes banned by ordinance.

Playtime eventually switched back to just showing family fare in the early 1980s…

Hamrick said tonight is not goodbye, just a transitional period. Along with associates, he says he plans to open a new drive-in theater in a few months. He said he knows there are other ways to make money, but he said he feels he’s giving back to the community.”

More info on Playtime Drive-In Theatre, Jacksonville, Florida

Leave a Comment