Retro Revival: Drive-In Movies Are Back
From cherished childhood memories, to being featured in dozens of popular films like Grease and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, drive-in movies hold a special place in American culture. This summer, drive-in movies are making a big comeback across the country. Thanks to our car culture, Southern California is host to some of the most iconic drive-ins around, with design themes ranging from Route 66 to Tiki kitsch and 50s cool. Venues like Oak Canyon Park in Orange County, The Roadium Open Air Market in Torrance, and Ontario International Airport are outfitting their parking lots with giant outdoor screens and modern sound systems, complete with food trucks and concession stands. You can even pack your own picnic to enjoy in the comfort of your car! So join the retro revival. Drive-in movies are back.
Mission Tiki Drive-In Theatre 10798 Ramona Ave. Montclair, CA 91763
For those of you who like your movies with a side of kitsch, Mission Tiki Drive-In in Montclair is just the ticket. Mission Tiki is screening all your favorite flicks, like the Sundance Film Festival hit Palm Springs, along with a fun mix of classics such as Bridesmaids, Gremlins, The Karate Kid, and The Goonies. The Box Office opens 1.5 hours before showtime on Friday and Saturday nights and 1 hour before on Sunday through Thursday. Come early to get the best parking spots. Admission is $10 for adults and $1 for children (5 through 9 years). Check their website for weekly schedule.
Rubidoux Drive-In 3770 Opal St. Riverside, CA 92509
The Rubidoux, with its original 1948 screen tower still standing tall, is the last of the classic drive-in theatres remaining in Southern California. Though it retains much of its original character, time has transformed this gem into a thoroughly modern outdoor theatre. The incorporation of FM transmitters and Technalight digital projection ensures the best possible picture and sound available. The box office and snack bar have gotten a new treatment as well, and are now reminiscent of the theatre’s original postwar Route 66 heritage.
Street Food Cinema various locations
Ready to watch a movie in the great outdoors while staying safe and cozy in your car? Street Food Cinema, LA’s largest outdoor movie series, is jumping on the drive-in movie craze, presenting cool flicks and tasty food trucks. The summer schedule features your favorite flicks like The Princess Bride, Fight Club, and Napoleon Dynamite, to name a few. Venues include Oak Canyon Park in Orange County and Ontario International Airport. Check the website for details.
The Paramount Drive-In Theatres 7770 Rosecrans Ave. Paramount, CA 90723
The Paramount Swap Meet is reviving a favorite American pastime – the drive-in movie. Paramount Drive-In Theatres offers a double feature on two 75 foot screens, digital projection with FM radio sound, and full snack bar. Paramount’s aim is to help preserve a wonderful American tradition, and with the implementation of some new technology, attract younger audiences. Admission is $9 per adult. All motor vehicles are welcome, including trucks and RVs.
Van Buren Drive-In Theatre 3035 Van Buren Blvd. Riverside, CA 92503
This historic circa-1964 drive-in theater is showing double features seven nights a week. The $10 adult ticket allows you admission for two movies playing on the same screen, which means you’ll get to see two movies for half the price. The audio is broadcast through an FM transmitter (radio), so make sure you have a good sound system in your vehicle. If you don’t have an FM transmitter in your car, you can bring a battery-operated stereo with speakers to hear the movies. The Snack Bar has full concessions and you can visit Snack Bar Express to order from your car.
Roadium Drive-In 2500 W Redondo Beach Blvd. Torrance, CA 90504
The fun continues all summer long! The Roadium Drive-In is excited to provide the community with safe, socially distant entertainment. The recently remodeled snack bar is open for hot food and concessions. Orders can be placed in person in a socially distant fashion; phone and online orders will also be available. Check the website for schedule and details.
Pacific Theatres Vineland Drive-In 443 Vineland Ave. City of Industry, CA 91746
Pacific Theatres Vineland Drive-In is now open nightly so that you can enjoy movies from the comfort and safety of your car. A real Southern California treasure, Pacific Theatres opened the Vineland Drive-In in 1955 with James Mason in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and in 1981 it expanded to become a 4-screen theatre. Gates open at 6:30 pm on Fri. & Sat. and at 7:00 pm Sun. – Thurs. Car FM radio or portable FM radio required to listen to the movie.
Photo #1: Street Food Cinema
Photo #2: Mission Tiki Drive-In Theatre
Photo #3: Rubidoux Drive-In
Photo #4: Street Food Cinema
Photo #5: The Paramount Drive-In Theatres
Photo #6: Van Buren Drive-In Theatre
Photo #7: Roadium Drive-In
Photo #8: Pacific Theatres Vineland Drive-In/Sal Gomez Photography