Jan. 5: Fun-Lan, Tampa FL

Fun-Lan flea market.
Photo by marianne muegenburg cothern

It’s Day Five of my virtual Drive-In-a-Day Odyssey, and it’s back to short hops. Starting from Ruskin, it took only about 35 minutes to reach the Fun-Lan Drive-In Theatre in Tampa.

I had seen metal roofs at a couple other warm-weather drive-ins. I couldn’t figure out what they were for, and I was too embarrassed to ask. Could cars still see the screen if they parked under them? Visiting the Fun-Lan during a Thursday afternoon provided the answer – it’s to shelter the flea market during brutal summers. Even with today’s high in the low 80s, it was easy to imagine more uncomfortable days.

Tougher to figure is the hyphen. The official web site and Google Maps both leave it out, but it’s very obvious on the marquee. I think it looks better with the hyphen

The Fun-Lan has three screens, but there aren’t many new movies out this week. Good thing that one of those screens has Sing at the beginning of its double feature, because I usually want to go to sleep before the nightcap.

Miles Today / Total: 21 / 287 (rounded to the nearest mile)

Movie Showing / Total Active Nights: Sing / 4

Nearby Restaurant: Oh, how I love dim sum, so I was very happy that Yummy House China Bistro was within walking distance, maybe two blocks away. If you’ve never had authentic dim sum, you need to experience it.

Where I Virtually Stayed: There aren’t any hotels that close to the Fun-Lan, so I drove five miles southeast to the Fairfield Inn & Suites by I-4. It’s even got a shuttle to the Seminole Hard Rock Casino nearby.

Only in Tampa: In 2014, Tampa resident Doris Carvalho, a veterinarian from Brazil, started a Kickstarter project to raise $15,000 to fund production of 30 “high-end” purses crafted from yarn spun from sterilized, clipped dog hair. In closed with only $1850 in pledges.

Next Stop: Silver Moon Drive-In Theatre, Lakeland FL