Coronavirus (Covid-19) Information and Resources for Travelers

Silver Moon Drive-In Theatre

The Silver Moon has two screens usually showing first-run movies. Each screen has a double feature seven nights a week. You’ll enjoy listening to the movie through your FM car radio, but they also have in-car speakers available on some rows. Large pick-ups and vans are encouraged to park to the rear as a courtesy to other patrons.

See more of what Central Florida has to offer.
Check out Silver Moon Drive-In Theatre.

Silver Moon Drive-In Theatre

Welcome to the Silver Moon Drive-In Theatre. We’ve been in Lakeland, Florida for more than 70 years. In fact, we are the last drive-in theatre in Polk County, but we are here to stay!

We have two screens usually showing first-run movies – with double features seven nights a week. Listen to the movie through your FM car radio. (Side 1- 88.3 FM  Side 2- 89.3 FM)
The Silver Moon Drive-In Theatre opened April 14, 1948 – the first drive-in theatre to open in Lakeland. It was owned & operated by I. Q. Mize and M. G. Waring.

The opening attraction was “UP GOES MAIZIE” starring Ann Sothern and George Murphy. The admission of 35 cents per person included a short subject, a cartoon and the latest newsreel. The Lakeland Ledger stated that the theatre featured 357 individual R.C.A. speakers – a new innovation. An April 26-27, 1948 flyer  advertised the theatre as “FLORIDA’S NEWEST MOST MODERN OUTDOOR THEATRE.”

The snack bar was located near the theatre entrance. During the movie, vendors would circulate selling candy, soft drinks, popcorn, sandwiches and cigarettes.

The front side of the screen facing the street featured a beautiful mural of a beach, palm trees, rippling water and a Silvery Moon among the clouds.
On May 23, 1950, the cinder block screen was severely damaged by a tornado. The Lakeland Ledger reported the manager, I.Q. Mize, was in the office at the time and large chunks of the screen landed on the roof of the office. Mr. Mise stated the only reason  he survived was due to the concrete roof of the office.

The Silver Moon screen was rebuilt and the theatre re-opened on July 1, 1950. Admission was raised to 40 cents. The featured attractions were “EAST SIDE, WEST SIDE” starring Barbara Stanwyck; a cartoon; and “BATTLE FOR KOREA,” a 1000-foot short about the progress of the Korean War.

In November 1950, The Ledger printed an article stating that the Silver Moon was a very popular entertainment attraction in Lakeland. This article featured a photo of the rebuilt screen and stated that the program changed four times each week.
Mr. Mise and Mr. Waring operated the Silver Moon until 1952, when it was sold to Carl Floyd, owner of Floyd Theatres, a chain of successful Florida drive-in and indoor theatres.

Mr. Floyd made several improvements to the Silver Moon, adding a modern concession stand and restrooms and the flashing neon sign and marquee that stands today.

In the late 1950s, Floyd Enterprises acquired the Lakeland Drive In, on South Florida Avenue, from Clyde Murrell (originally built by Clyde and his wife). In 1960, the concrete block screen was destroyed by Hurricane Donna. The theatre reopened a few months later with a new 80-foot-wide curved steel screen. In 1985, it closed to make room for Palm Center Shoppes (which included Lakeland’s first Wal-Mart) and Floyd Theatres’ Palm Cinema III.

In the early 1960s, Floyd Theatres leased the Filmland Drive In Theatre, Lakeland Hills Blvd., in north Lakeland, from Bill Clem and Joe Filletta. It remained in operation until 1986. All Children’s Hospital clinic is now located on this site.

Mr. Floyd expanded his company to more than 50 indoor theatres and drive-ins in Central Florida. In 1969, Mr. Floyd named Harold Spears as president of Floyd Enterprises.

In the late 1970s, the company was acquired by Burnup & Sims Inc., who retained Mr. Spears as president of Floyd Enterprises.

In 1985, a second screen was added to the Silver Moon.

During the early 1990s, Mastec, Inc. merged with Burnup & Sims. After a brief period, Mastec sold all indoor theatres to Carmike but continued to operate the drive-ins.


2 couples eating beignets at The Poor Porker in Lakeland, FL

Spend a Weekend in Lakeland

See how much fun you’ll have when plan a weekend in Lakeland, FL. Tour the world’s largest collection of Frank...

See Details
Blueberry U Pick season IG juliannafergie

Blueberry U-Pick Season

Picking blueberries at a local farm is way more fun than picking up a small plastic container of blueberries in...

See Details
R.L. Alexander, 'Procession of the Swan Queen,' Oil on panel, 2021 Mayfaire by-the-Lake Featured Image

Top 5 Things To Do Before & After Mayfaire by-the-Lake

Polk Museum of Art’s annual Mayfaire by-the-Lake fine art festival is a great reason to plan a weekend getaway to...

See Details
2 kids on roller coaster during LEGOLAND Florida Piratefest Weekend

Top 10 Reasons to Visit LEGOLAND Florida in 2021

In honor of LEGOLAND Florida Resort celebrating it’s 10th birthday in 2021, we’re giving you the top 10 reasons to...

See Details
Family taking selfie in front of LEGO Movie World

6 Great Reasons to Spend a Weekend in Winter Haven

Ready to book a family-friendly weekend getaway? Here’s a list of 6 exceptionally fun things to during weekend in Winter...

See Details
2 women on paddleboards during tour with Paddleboard Winter Haven

50+ Ways to Experience Lakeland & Winter Haven

Here’s an easy way to plan your next trip to Central Florida – 50+ Ways to Experience Lakeland & Winter...

See Details
LEGO Globe at PLANET LEGOLAND at LEGOLAND Florida Resort in Winter Haven, FL

Re-Imagine & Rebuild the World at PLANET LEGOLAND

LEGOLAND® Florida Resort in Winter Haven has introduced a world with no rules just pure creativity… PLANET LEGOLAND® opening April...

See Details
IG ciaraliebl on couch at Unfiltered Coffee in Bartow, FL - one of the Most Instagram-Worthy Places in Central Florida

Most Instagram-Worthy Places in Central Florida

Trip planning on Instagram is definitely a thing and we love finding new places to take pictures at Central Florida,...

See Details
father and son on Great LEGO Race roller coaster at LEGOLAND in Winter Haven, FL

Family-Friendly Central Florida Summer Vacation Ideas

We’ve put together a Top 10 Family-Friendly Central Florida Summer Vacation Ideas for 2021. We hope to see you and...

See Details
Exterior of 3-story Wonder House in Bartow, FL

Historic Central Florida Sites That Everyone Should See

Whether you’re just visiting the area or a lifelong resident of Polk County, there is so much history in and...

See Details
water ripples used as email signup background

Subscribe to


Join our email list and stay up to date with all the great things happening in Florida’s Sweetest Spot.