While doing my blog series on local and regional drive-in theaters a few weeks ago (which all started back here), I never got around to driving over to where the old Tower Drive-in used to be on Lake Avenue so I could take a few photos. I finally did this past weekend.
Judging by the above 1974 movie ad, it looks like the Tower Drive-in was one swinging place!
The Tower Drive-in is one of the 'forgotten' Lorain County drive-ins, along with the Lorain Drive-in and the Carlisle Drive-in. A 2005 Chronicle-Telegram article by Steve Fogarty mentioned that the Tower Drive-in had gotten into trouble back in 1961 "when the theater was shut down by the Lorain County Sheriff's Department over complaints lodged against films that contained 'scenes of nudes of both sexes' and 'suggestive dialogue.'
Fogarty's article also said that in 1970, "50 mph wind gusts ripped the movie screen down", and that a quick replacement screen was installed. He adds that the drive-in closed in 1985.
I can remember going to the Tower Drive-in back in 1984 mainly because the movie that was playing was so lousy: Top Secret with Val Kilmer, brought to you by the same writer/directors who created Airplane!
Anyway, here's what the Tower Drive-in marquee looks like today, as part of the R&M Tower Storage complex. Like I said back here, drive-in theater properties seemed to make good storage facilities.
You can see the tower in the background that I assume the drive-in was named for.
And here's a shot of the screen, way off in the distance, now converted to a sign.