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California Drive-Ins

California's first drive-in movie theatre opened in June of 1938 (there were less than 15 "auto theaters" in all of America at that point). Within just ten years, another 43 drive-ins had opened and California was on its way to becoming one of the top drive-in states. The state's large population and generally warm weather, which allows drive-ins in many part of the state to remain open year round, contributde significantly to the success of California as a drive-in state. Between 1938 and 1958, the number of drive-ins in California more than quadrupled. And while the number of operating drive-ins in most states had peaked in the late 1950's, the number of drive-ins in California kept climbing through the 1960's, with more than 220 in operation by the end of the decade. Since that time, the number of drive-ins operating in California has declined by over 90%. Still, California is one of the Top 5 drive-in states with 17 open drive-ins.

Open Drive-ins

Skyline Drive-in
31175 Old Highway 58
Barstow, CA 92311

The Skyline Drive-in came late to the party for drive-ins, opening several years after the peak of the drive-in boom in 1966. It went dark after 20 y...more about Skyline Drive-in
Solano 2 Drive-in Theater
1611 Solano Way
Concord, CA 94520

The Solano was a seasonal drive-in that operated between April - October. It closed in 2005. However, it was luckily re-opened in 2007 by WestWind D...more about Solano 2 Drive-in Theater
West Wind Santa Barbara Drive-in
907 South Kellogg Avenue
Goleta, CA 93117

The West Wind Santa Barbara Drive-in is another successful rebirth of an abandoned drive-in. Originally opened in 1966 as the Santa Barbara Twin Driv...more about West Wind Santa Barbara Drive-in
South Bay Drive-in
2170 Coronado Ave
Imperial Beach, CA 92154

The Southbay Drive-in's motto is, "Where cinema meets the sea"! They claim to have the best digital picture of any drive-in. They show first run mov...more about South Bay Drive-in
Vineland Drive-in
443 North Vineland Avenue
Industry , CA 91746

The Vineland is a classic drive-in that was expanded to 4 screens, with an overall capacity of 1500 cars, which still draws fantastic crowds on most w...more about Vineland Drive-in
Lakeport Auto Movie Theater
52 Soda Bay Road
Lakeport, CA 95453


Madera Drive-in
201 East Lincoln Ave
Madera, CA 93638


Mission Tiki Drive-in
10789 Ramona Avenue
Montclair, CA 91763

Originally opened as the Mission Drive-in in 1956, the Mission Tiki Drive-in expanded to 4 screens in 1975. In 2006, the theater was refurbished with...more about Mission Tiki Drive-in
Paramount Twin Drive-in
7770 Rosecrans Avenue
Paramount , CA 90723

The Paramount Drive-in was opened in 2014. But it is actually the renovated Roadium Drive-in that was opened on this spot in 1947. So another drive-i...more about Paramount Twin Drive-in
Rubidoux Drive-in
3770 Opal Street
Riverside, CA 92509

One of California's oldest continually operated drive-ins, the Rubidoux was a solo screen venue (with amusement park rides beneath the screen) when it...more about Rubidoux Drive-in
Van Buren Drive-in
3035 Van Buren Blvd
Riverside, CA 92503

The Van Buren Drive-in is Southern California's largest operating drive-in. It has 3 screens (each showing a double feature) with an overall capacity...more about Van Buren Drive-in
West Wind Sacramento 6 Drive-in
9616 Oates Dr
Sacramento, CA 95827

Originally opened in 1972 as a 5 screen drive-in, the Sacramento 6 added a 6th screen in the 1980's. The drive-in is now owned by West Wind which own...more about West Wind Sacramento 6 Drive-in
Capitol Drive-in Theatre
3630 Hillcap Avenue
San Jose, CA 95136

The Capital Drive-in is another of the West Wind owned drive-ins. West Wind owns several drives-in in several states and prides itself on being a fam...more about Capitol Drive-in Theatre
Sunset Drive-in
255 Elks Lane
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

The Sunset Drive-in was opened in 1951 and is a single screen, 500 car drive-in. It is one of the few remaining drive-ins still operating in Southern...more about Sunset Drive-in
Hi-way Drive-in
3085 Santa Maria Way
Santa Maria, CA 93455

This solo screen drive-in is still operating and is very close to Santa Barbara. more about Hi-way Drive-in
Santee Drive-in
10990 Woodside Avenue
Santee, CA 92071

The Santee was opened in 1958 as a solo screen with a second screen added later in the 1960's. They are still going strong and show movies every nigh...more about Santee Drive-in
Smith's Ranch Drive-in
4584 Adobe Rd
Twentynine Palms, CA 92277

The Smith's Ranch Drive-in is still going strong. It is a single screen drive-in that is open year round although they only show movies on the weeken...more about Smith's Ranch Drive-in

Permanantly Closed Drive-ins

Azusa Foothill Drive-in
675 East Foothill Blvd
Azusa, CA 91702

The lovely Azusa, first opened in 1955, was the largest of California's solo screen drive-ins at 1510 cars. It was one of two drive-ins which remaine...more about Azusa Foothill Drive-in
Crest Drive-in
3401 Pacheco Road
Bakersfield, CA 93313

The Crest was closed in 1999 like so many other great drive-ins. more about Crest Drive-in
Burlingame Drive-in
350 Beach Road
Burlingame, CA 94010

The Burlingame Drive-in closed in the early 2000'smore about Burlingame Drive-in
South Bay Drive-in
20151 South Main Street
Carson, CA 90745


Ceres Twin Drive-in
1651 E. Whitmore Avenue
Ceres, CA 95307

The Ceres drive-in was closed in 2009. In 2012, it was re-opened as a flea market and there was some talk of the new owners refurbishing it to show m...more about Ceres Twin Drive-in
Red's Crescent Drive-in
2303 Elk Valley Cross Road
Crescent City, CA 95531

Sadly, Red's Crescent Drive-in was closed at the end of the 2015 season. It was located in Northern California and was one of California's smallest d...more about Red's Crescent Drive-in
Geneva 4 Drive-in
607 Carter Street
Daly City, CA 94014

The Geneva 4 was closed in 1999.more about Geneva 4 Drive-in
Aero Drive-in
1470 East Broadway
El Cajon, CA 92021

The Aero Drive-in was closed in 1999.more about Aero Drive-in
Sunrise Drive-in
8149 Greenback Lane
Fair Oaks, CA 95628

The Sunrise Drive-in was closed in 2004. more about Sunrise Drive-in
Sunnyside Drive-in
5550 East Olive Avenue
Fresno, CA 93727

The Sunnyside Drive-in was closed in 1989 and then demolished in 2004.more about Sunnyside Drive-in
Woodward Park Drive-in
7150 North Abby Street
Fresno, CA 93720

The Woodward Park Drive-in had operated for 22 years with 4 screen to provide cinema al fresco as the last of Fresno's six area drive-ins. It closed ...more about Woodward Park Drive-in
Kings Drive-in
10511 14th Avenue
Hanford, CA 93230

The King's Drive-in just closed in 2012. It had one of the largest screens in California (100' wide). It was situated right in the center o the stat...more about Kings Drive-in
Motor Vu Twin Drive-in
385 West Aten Road
Imperial Beach, CA 92251

Up until 2013, the Motor Vu Drive-in was one of the oldest remaining drive-ins in California. But it became bordered by industrial businesses and fin...more about Motor Vu Twin Drive-in
Tri-City Drive-in
25352 Redlands Blvd
Loma Linda, CA 92354

One of the first drive-ins in California, the Tri-City Drive-in closed sometime in the early 1990's but then was demolished until about 2000. The scr...more about Tri-City Drive-in
Valley Drive-in
2126 North H Street
Lompoc, CA 93436

The Valley Drive-in closed in 1998 but has sat vacant ever since then and is still standing. Its huge screen towers over the recycling business that ...more about Valley Drive-in
Marysville Drive-in
5575 Chestnut Road
Marysville, CA 95901

The Marysville Drive-in opened in 1966 as the Sierra Drive-in. The name was changed in 1977 to the Marysville Drive-in. It was closed in 2005. Anot...more about Marysville Drive-in
Harbor Drive-in
E. 32nd Street and National City Boulevard
National City, CA 91950

The Harbor Drive-in original opened in 1949. But the mid 1990's it was in financial trouble. However, the swap meets they held there helped pay the...more about Harbor Drive-in
Coliseum Drive-In
5401 Coliseum Way
Oakland, CA 94601

The Coliseum Drive-in closed and is now used as a location for a swap meet. Three of the four screens have been torn down but one remains. Hopefully...more about Coliseum Drive-In
Valley Drive-in
3480 W. Mission Avenue
Oceanside, CA 92058

The Valley Drive-in was originally opened in 1966 as a solo screen. Another screen was added in 1969 to make it a dual screen theater. And then in 1...more about Valley Drive-in
Fiesta 4 Drive-in
8462 Whittier Boulevard
Pico Rivera, CA 90660

Like many of the Pacific area drive-ins of the time, the Fiesta Drive-in had a large mural painted on the back of the screen for those passing to enjo...more about Fiesta 4 Drive-in
Porterville Drive-in
155 North Newcomb Street
Porterville, CA 93257

The Porterville Drive-in opened in 1950 as a solo screen, later switching to dual screens. As with many others, it was closed in 2004.more about Porterville Drive-in
49'er Drive-in
4450 Marysville Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95838


Skyview Drive-in
201 Harrison Rd
Salinas, CA 93907


Skyview Drive-in
2250 Soquel Drive
Santa Cruz, CA 95065

The Skyview Drive-in in Santa Cruz was originally opened in 1949. One of the post-war boom drive-ins. It started off as a single screen, but a secon...more about Skyview Drive-in
Santa Fe Springs Drive-in
13963 Alondra Blvd
Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670

Before the Santa Ana (I-5) Highway came through these parts in 1948, all you found in this area were dairy farms and orange groves. But a parcel of 1...more about Santa Fe Springs Drive-in
Park Aire Drive-in
295 East Donovan Road
Santa Maria, CA 93454

The Park Aire Drive-in was closed in 1997 and demolished sometimes after so it will not be returning. The old lot is now filled with condominiums.more about Park Aire Drive-in
Simi Valley Drive-in
361 Tierra Rejada Road
Simi Valley, CA 93065


Starlite Drive-in
2540 Rosemead Blvd
South El Monte, CA 91733

Since being closed the screen has been demolished. Swap meets are still held here, but unfortunately, it appears the Starlite Drive-in is gone for go...more about Starlite Drive-in
Valley 99 Drive-in
3999 N. Wilson Way
Stockton, CA 95205


Union City 6 Drive-in
31200 Alvarado Niles Road
Union City, CA 94587

Originally opened as a two screen drive-in, the Union City 6 Drive-in became a 6 screen theater over the course of the years. It was closed and torn ...more about Union City 6 Drive-in
101 Drive-in
4826 Telephone Road
Ventura, CA 93003


Mooney Drive-in
26672 S. Mooney Boulevard
Visalia, CA 93277


Hi-Way 39 Drive-in
7901 Trask Avenue
Westminster, CA 92683

When the Hi-Way 39 Drive-in opened in 1955, it was one of the largest in America, and the largest in Southern California, with it amazing 1600 car cap...more about Hi-Way 39 Drive-in
Sky Drive-in
7028 Theatre Road
Yucca Valley, CA 92284


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