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Anyone have some good photos of the theater before the big vertical Granada sign was installed? I know during the 40’s and 50’s it was the Warner theater. The first movie I remember seeing there Hard Days Night in the 60’s. I also remember seeing THX1138 there before anyone knew who George Lucas was.
Yes, it’s being renovated. Don’t know the details, but you can see a couple more pics at View link
When I was in High School, the Magic Lantern was the place to go see surf flicks, and cult flicks like The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I can’t remember ever seeing a new release there even though it was the closest theatre to my home (University Village) and I lived there when the theatre opened. Whew! Isla Vista is really a pretty mellow place compared to the hippy days. I remember watching the Bank of America burn twice not far from the Magic Lantern. You guys remember when the streets and sidewalks were literally covered in graffiti? All the “Secret Police Get out of IV” stencils, People’s Park, TP Village etc. What a strange place for a kid to grow up.
The Mission was a dive for many years. I don’t recall it looking anything like the current Metro 4. I think the entire front got a major facelift about the time of the Paseo Nuevo project. I used to pass by the Mission all the time in the 60's and70’s. I was always curious to see what the latest Spanish speaking film poster would look like. I always wanted to go inside, but that part of State St. was really pretty bad in those days. People now can’t really imagine that there was a time when you could walk down the middle of State St (I mean literally the middle of the street) in the afternoon and not see a car in either direction for blocks. There weren’t any trendy boutiques down there in those days. Just liquer stores, porn shops, thrift stores and lots of bums (well, there’s still lots of bums there)
Anyone remember the giant ants walking up the side of the Granada when Guy Guden broadcast Space Pirate Radio from there? That was back in the `70’s. I remember going up to his broadcast station with my brother. One tiny room. I think it was on the 6th or 7th floor. Reminded me of something out of a Sam Spade novel (the room that is. Guy was nothing like Sam Spade!).
Lots of good info here about the Arlington. I remember as a kid when FOX was not only visible, but NEON. Can’t remember when they took the neon down, but they did. One of my favorite memories of the Arlington was seeing the first STAR WARS there back in `76 (I think). Anyhow, I hadn’t heard a thing about the movie when we went to see it. Imagine the opening scene when the ships come from over top your head, and you’re in a theatre that appears to be under the night sky! It was awesome!!
Oops! It was the El Rey in Chico where my son and I saw Fantasia. Now I hear they’re tearing the El Rey down for office space. UGGHHH…. You should have seen the inside of this theatre. A real treasure is lost!
I erred in a post for the Senator Theatre in Chico. I said that I had take my son to see Fantasia there in 1981, but it was actually the El Rey. This is REALLY SAD. The El Rey was wonderful.
Took my son to see many films at the Senator while I was attending Chico State University in 1981. We saw Fantasia there and it was absolutely the PERFECT theatre to see it in. BEAUTIFUL even then when it was still suffering from the UA influences.
Yep, it closed in the `90’s. Now buried under roughly 30 new homes. I took my kids, along with most the kids in our cul-de-sac, to this drive-in several times before it closed. Another sad chapter in the Santa Maria history book.
Glad to hear one of the good guys is running the Sunset. Being a Poly grad, and living just down the road in Santa Maria, I’m gonna make it a point to head up to SLO and see a flic at the Sunset. I’ll take my `47 Plymouth!
I feel really lucky to live close to two of the few remaining drive-ins in CA. There used to be two running at once here in Santa Maria, but the Park Aire Drive-In closed down in the early `90’s to make room for yet another housing development.
I know a man who tried desperately to buy out the Hi-Way so that he could expand his housing subdivision and get rid of the “negative” impact the drive-in would have on sales. The Hi-Way owner turned him down every time. He said “I’m a drive-in guy” or at least that what I was told. He expected me to share in his indignation, but all could think was “Cool! Chock up one for the good guys!!”
Here a link to a pic of my `47 Plymouth a little before the start of Superman Returns at the Hi-Way Drive-In:
Ahh, the Cinema… This was the closest theatre to my home as a kid (actually it was probably a tie with the Magic Lantern in Isla Vista). I remember seeing classics such as Little Big Man there as well as my own personal cinemagraphic low Saturday Night Fever while in high school.
Theatres didn’t come any plainer than this. Cinder block building painted harvest gold with the most basic of Marquees. It did have a little portico though. I remember my dad dropping my brothers and I off with strict instructions to be “out front” at a given time, whether the movie was over or not. If we weren’t there, we got to walk home (about five miles).
As well as the Airport Drive-In, I spent quite a few weekends at the Twin Screens which was actually the favorite of teenagers. Several reasons: 1. They usually showed more “adult” films on the far screen and curious teens could sneak a peek here and there. 2. It was easier to sneak in along the back fence and meet up with your fiends who had already entered with a “car-load”. 3. They catered to the teen crowd more than the Airport Drive-In which was just down the road. In fact, as I recall, my friends and I went to see “TGIF” five nights in a row and never saw a minute of the film. Couldn’t even tell you what it was about.
Oops! Should have put my email address in that last comment I posted.
I grew up in Goleta during the early 60's through high school in the70’s. I remember playing in my pajamas at the Airport Drive-In as a small child and taking my first high school date there in 1976. Like Keith said, the neon plane sign was beautiful and it was very sad to see it go. I now teach Multimedia at Righetti High School in Santa Maria up the road. I have hopes of having my students build a virtual copy of the Airport Drive-In and have emailed Randy with a request for a copy of those blueprints. Hopefully he will get the email and can help out.
60's through high school in the
BTW, our Hi-Way Drive-In is still up and running here in Santa Maria! Took my granddaughter to see Superman Returns there last week.