Watch the video of Crab Devil collective saving the historic sign at Tampa's Fun-Lan drive-in

The video documents the arduous process of saving Fun-Lan's 71-year-old entrance sign.

click to enlarge Crab Devil collective members work on dismantling Fun-Lan's historic entrance sign. - MICHAEL M SINCLAIR/YOUTUBE
Michael M Sinclair/YouTube
Crab Devil collective members work on dismantling Fun-Lan's historic entrance sign.

Today Tampa's Crab Devil collective released a video was released showing members taking on the arduous process of preserving Fun-Lan Drive-In and Swap Shop's historic entrance sign.

In just over four minutes, the video—directed and edited by local filmmaker and Creative Loafing Tampa Bay contributor Michael M Sinclair—documents the process of saving the sign.  Getting the sign to come apart and move safely was easier said than done.

When CL broke the news about Fun-Lan closing and Crab Devil arrived to save the sign, Dave Kibby of the collective said that he had never seen anything like the task at hand. Several other workers—including the late Owen Meats—were trying to figure out how to best take apart and move the sign to Crab Devil's location at 3800 N Nebraska Ave.

In the video, Kibby says that the sign was, "put together with 1940s technology," and that the old material made the process extra burdensome to take it apart carefully, "without having to cut it up."
The video was artfully constructed by Sinclair, who Crab Devil tapped to put the piece together.

On Facebook, Sinclair shared the video and announced that Crab Devil had approached him to document their efforts.

"It took many hours of hard work for the Crab Devil crew to take it down bit by bit," Sinclair wrote. "I was there for a couple hours each day to capture the process."

Future plans for the sign may include propping it up high on a shipping container above Crab Devil's "Peninsularium" Ybor Heights immersive art attraction so it can be seen from Nebraska Avenue, highlighting the project's goal of being, "Cooler than a museum, smarter than a theme park, weirder than a carnival."

Sinclair will also be documenting future developments at the Peninsularium.

The body of the sign was in place since the beginning of Fun-Lan and is 71-years-old, Fun-Lan manager Jerry Corgnati told CL. Since then, there have been some additions like neon lighting and the digital sign that projected Fun-Lan's farewell message, "Merry Christmas & Happy New Year we will miss you..."

Corgnati told CL contributor Kelly Benjamin—who helped arrange the preservation of the sign—that Crab Devil should take it for free in order to avoid its destruction.

Send anonymous news tips to [email protected]. Support local journalism in these crazy days. Our small but mighty team works tirelessly to bring you news on how coronavirus is affecting Tampa and surrounding areas. Please consider making a one time or monthly donation to help support our staff. Every little bit helps. Subscribe to our newsletter and follow @cl_tampabay on Twitter.

About The Author

Justin Garcia

Justin Garcia previously wrote for the USA Today Network, The Economic Hardship Reporting Project, Scalawag Magazine, and various other news outlets. When he's not writing, Justin likes to make music, read, play basketball and spend time with loved ones. 

Scroll to read more Tampa Bay News articles
Join the Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.


Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Creative Loafing Tampa Bay. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected]