Circle Drive-In

1633 Ximeno Avenue,
Long Beach, CA 90815

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davidcoppock on March 1, 2021 at 4:49 am

Opened on 4/4/1951 with “Raton Pass” and “Stage to Tucson”.

DavidZornig on November 17, 2019 at 12:54 pm

Here is the video from which the Overview photo/screen grab came from. Circle Drive-In at 3:34.

Bruce D
Bruce D on January 2, 2019 at 7:20 am

Yes, the Los Alamitos Circle commonly referred to as the Long Beach Traffic Circle is still there.

davidcoppock on December 30, 2018 at 2:20 am

Is the roundabout the drive-in was named after, still there?

Denny Pine
Denny Pine on October 2, 2018 at 10:21 am

Final night of operation was January 31, 1985 with “After The Fall Of New York” and “Humanoids From The Deep”.

mamat5kdz on October 3, 2014 at 6:14 am

Wow…!!! IN 1951 my mom would’ve been 7…I grew up going to this this Drive In… but I have , however very comingled memories as we had another Drive in too..I wanna say it was Los Altos?!?!. Anyway…I remember Oscars being close by for the best pattymelts and shakes and also somewhere near we would get to go to a christmas tree set up every year…my gramma always got flocked trees…a freeway nearby? I am trying to remember if I saw Star Wars at Circle. It was released May of 77' ….which by then we had moved to near Sacramento after my first semester of 9th grade at the end of 76'…but I am soooo confusd because I remember friends being there with their families but…ugh! And I keep remembering the Lagoon…this weird little beach place….lol… and The Java Bowling alley was my mom’s sanctuary…I spent a lot of time in the kids room. I tell ya…memories are so vivid but blurry…crazy! At some point didnt The circle have more than one screen?..

LBtheaterfan on October 14, 2013 at 7:21 am

Can’t tell how many movies I happily missed in my junior year in high school!

rivest266 on August 8, 2012 at 4:13 pm

April 4th, 1951 grand opening ad posted in the photo section here.

Neurosturgeon on August 24, 2011 at 3:08 pm

The Circle Drive-In was across Ximeno from where the Burger King and Staples are located. Not exactly sure what is there now. Last films I saw there was a double feature of “Airport” and “Thoroughly Modern Milly” around 1970.

LB562 on August 4, 2011 at 12:53 am

I’m dying to know- where exactly was this? Was it where the Burger King/Staples etc is today? Or was it across the street where there is an Archstone apt complex is?

kencmcintyre on January 7, 2010 at 9:45 pm

Here is a newspaper ad at the opening of the theater:

kencmcintyre on July 31, 2007 at 9:20 pm

Here is a 1954 ad from the Independent Press-Telegram:

kencmcintyre on November 22, 2006 at 1:05 pm

Here is an article from the 4/4/51 edition of the Long Beach Press Telegram:

Circle Drive-in Opens Tonight

HAILED as the most modern of its type in the nation, the new Circle Drive-In theater will be opened to the public tonight. The theater, located on 15 acres at Pacific Coast Hwy. at the Traffic Circle, will hold a benefit premiere tonight and those who saw a test last night were strong in praise for the huge screen and near-perfect sound offered. Two good films, “Stage to Tucson” and “Raton Pass”
plus news and comics, are offered on the opening bill.

Tonight’s opening culminates more than a year of planning and work. Owned and operated by Eagle Theaters Corp., headed by Thornton Howell, with his brother, James Howell, as secretary-treasurer, the Circle Drive-in is the fourth such theater opened by them. The Long Beach theater imbodies not only all of the main points of their other driveins but many new features. Barnie Warrick, manager, says
the new theater has the largest screen of any in the country. The
picture itself will be 70 feet by 46 feet.

The projector is the latest in equipment from RCA. Each aisle is equipped with ramp lights and each speaker post has a pilot light. In addition the posts are covered with luminous paint. There is parking-viewing space for 1000 motor cars. The snack bar has 85 feet of counter space and is designed for speed in serving. There are two
16-foot windows from the snack bar overlooking the screen and the interior is wired for sound so that visitors in there will not
miss any of the film. It is planned to install playground equipment of all kinds shortly for the entertainment of tots either before or during the shows. The show will start each evening at dusk and the gates will be opened an hour before. Music will be provided on the speakers until the picture starts. Pets are welcomed but must be kept in the cars.

Meredith Rhule
Meredith Rhule on January 27, 2006 at 8:22 am

I loved running film here. You could be at the beach or “PIKE” during the day and go run movies with a cool ocean breeze at night. It didn’t even seem like work… boohoo

kencmcintyre on September 24, 2005 at 1:58 pm

Here is a picture, courtesy of the LA Library:

Eduardo on February 28, 2005 at 1:47 pm

I get lost in this drive in and gos in circles bwahahahahahaha

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 27, 2005 at 5:02 pm

This theater ran its last movie early in February, 1985, according to the Long Beach Press-Telegram article on February 4th of that year which announced its closing.