The Dade City Banner announced on Jan. 20, 1950, that construction was to begin on the Joy-Lan Drive-InTheatre. Carl Floyd of Haines City, owner of Floyd Theatres, said the $55,000 drive-in would be completed in five weeks and have room for 250 vehicles. According to the Banner opening night March 9, 1950, with the showing of "Challenge to Lassie", starring the legendary collie. Admission was 35 cents per person. Floyd Theatres also owned the Pasco Theatre in Dade City. All Floyd theatres were subsequently managed by Harold Spears, who joined the company in 1954 and would later become President/CEO.
Over the years, many of the drive-in theatres in the country closed and the properties sold. Floyd Theatres was sold to Burnup and Sims, Inc. - then later to Mastec, Inc. The Joy-Lan closed in early 1995 followed by the other Floyd drive-ins. In an effort to save a few of the drive-in theatres in central Florida, Harold Spears formed Sun South Theatres, Inc. and purchased the Joy-Lan and Silver Moon in Lakeland.
The Joy-Lan Snack Bar caught fire, while the projection booth was unharmed in the blaze.
It became apparent that digital format was going to replace 35 mm film in all theatres. With the success of the digital changeover in the Silver Moon, Lakeland, the decision was made to convert to digital format at the Joy-Lan - a large investment for a small town drive-in.
Just weeks before digital was to be installed, a storm ripped off nearly 30% of the screen. The Joy- Lan screen is the largest digital screen in Pasco Co.
Today, the Joy-Lan and the Silver Moon drive-ins continue to operate successfully, showing first-run movies. The Snack Bar is nostalgically decorated with photos of our staff and guests over the years.