Sunnyside Drive-In

5550 E. Olive Avenue,
Fresno, CA 93727

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Pacific Theatres

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Sunnyside Drive-In

This drive-in opened on May 26, 1965 with Richard Widmark in “Cheyenee Autumn” & Frank Sinatra in “Robin and the Seven Hoods”. It was equipped for Cinerama, Todd-A-O and 70mm. On January 31, 1975 a second screen was opened. It was closed in 1987. Pacific Theaters used the property for swap meets until the late-1990’s. The grounds had space for 1,612 cars. Everything was demolished in 2004.

Contributed by Ken McIntyre

Recent comments (view all 16 comments)

SteveSwanson
SteveSwanson on April 4, 2013 at 2:49 am

I made 2 stops here, in ‘02 & '03. I’m pretty sure it was demo'ed in 2004. Take a look at the Google Earth timeline from 8/12/03 to 5/2/04. You can see that the screens, snack bar, booths & marquee were removed in that timeframe. What was fascinating was the conditions in '02, almost pristine for being abandoned for so many years. When I came back the next summer, the main screen was reduced to a skeleton frame and the snack bar was tagged by vandals.

It appears that a new swap meet has taken up residence here, website is sunnysideswapmeet.com

janae
janae on August 25, 2013 at 3:01 am

I saw Aloha Bobby & Rose at the Sunnyside Drive-in, in 1975…..on a first date with my first husband…..brings back good memories ;)

Ladylinda248
Ladylinda248 on October 30, 2014 at 3:04 am

My memory is of working there..not for the Drive In part but for the Swap Meet part. 1983 to 1986..I am sad that it is gone, but they have reopened the Swap Meet part again. I haven’t been back there. I am thinking maybe one day, I will venture back.

MichaelGraham
MichaelGraham on April 23, 2017 at 9:39 pm

Here is a link to a photo of the marquee on Pinterest.

http://www.stagedive-records.com/images/toxiccdcvr01.jpg

dansdriveintheater
dansdriveintheater on November 27, 2018 at 2:43 am

to the sunnyside drive-in and all of the other drive-ins that have been demolished i have honered them by making a parody of titanium called demolition proof. it is about someone who wants to demolish a drive-in screen but no matter what he does the screen won’t fall!

https://soundcloud.com/user-468726290

dansdriveintheater
dansdriveintheater on January 3, 2019 at 4:21 am

just uploaded a 1972 aerial from historic aerials.com of the old sunnyside drive-in from when it was still a single screen drive-in

rivest266
rivest266 on January 30, 2021 at 8:52 pm

Another drive-in grand opening ad with “World’s largest screen” on it from May 26th, 1965. They also laid claim to the “World’s most beautiful Drive-In theatre” claim.

World's largest screenWorld’s largest screen Wed, May 26, 1965 – 48 · The Fresno Bee The Republican (Fresno, California) · Newspapers.com

rivest266
rivest266 on February 1, 2021 at 6:28 pm

2nd screen opened on January 31st, 1975. Grand opening ad posted.

rivest266
rivest266 on February 9, 2021 at 11:00 pm

Stopped showing movies in 1987.

dansdriveintheater
dansdriveintheater on February 24, 2021 at 9:19 pm

i remember reading it was 86 this theatre closed. also a brush fire was happening right next to the theatre when i last went by no idea if the raps were affected or not.

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