Bar-Len Drive-In

Lenwood Road and Main Street,
Lenwood, CA 92311

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Western Amusement Company Inc.

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Bar-Len Drive-In

Located in Lenwood, near Barstow. The Bar-Len Drive-In was opened on December 29, 1948 with a capacity for 500-cars. It was part of Western Amusements in 1955. It was closed on September 15, 1968 with Walter Brennan in “The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band” & Walt Disney’s “Bambi”.

Contributed by Ken McIntyre

Recent comments (view all 21 comments)

jwmovies
jwmovies on November 9, 2014 at 11:15 pm

Update: The drive-in is now the intersection of Lenwood Rd. and Main St. literally! The reconfigured Lenwood Rd. runs through where the drive-in stood. Most ramps are still visible.

MichaelKilgore
MichaelKilgore on February 19, 2017 at 3:38 pm

The “Bar-Len” was listed in Lenwood in the 1964 Film Daily Year Book. It was also listed, with a capacity 460 cars and in Barstow in the 1972 International Motion Picture Almanac, so it survived until at least 1971. By the 1984 edition, it was gone.

A 1963 Barstow High School yearbook photo calls it the “Bar Len,” though the poster uses a hyphen.

http://www.flickriver.com/photos/mojavegirl1216/4300343906/

For the clincher, this Flickr user posted “A single frame from the policy trailer shown at the Bar-Len Drive In.” It clearly shows a hyphen in the name.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/23731559@N07/4357654129/

I can’t tell which city it belonged in, but I think the name really ought to be hyphenated.

dansdriveintheater
dansdriveintheater on January 14, 2019 at 11:26 am

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Barstow+Transfer+%26+Storage/Crest Theatre.8710937,-117.1188704,515m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x80c47ed38970b30b:0x44c2c98e50998007!8m2!3d34.8712906!4d-117.1202499

what is left.

MichaelKilgore
MichaelKilgore on May 10, 2019 at 1:12 pm

The Bar-Len first appeared in the Film Daily Year Book in the 1950 edition. It was also in the first Motion Picture Almanac drive-in list, the 1950-51 edition, and the second Theatre Catalog list, 1949-50.

Motion Picture Almanac drive-in list mentions:

  • 1950-55: Capacity 400, owner P. K. Lyons, by Ish. White
  • 1956: off the list (huh?)
  • 1957-59: 400, P.K. Lyons
  • 1960-66: 400, Western Amusement Co
  • 1967-76: 400 (no owner info)
  • 1977-88: off the list

But the “Barlen” was still included in Western Amusement’s holdings in the MPA’s Theatre Circuit section through 1984.

MichaelKilgore
MichaelKilgore on December 30, 2019 at 8:11 pm

Boxoffice, Feb. 21, 1953: “Dave Peterman succeeds Joseph James as manager of the Bar-Len Drive-In in Barstow.”

MichaelKilgore
MichaelKilgore on July 1, 2021 at 1:41 pm

(Barstow) Desert Dispatch, Dec. 30, 1948: “Barstow’s new $90,000 Bar-Len drive in theater opened December 29. Visitors will see a screen stories high and an auditorium capable of holding 500 cars.” No grand opening ad the week before, unfortunately. The front-page article mentioned a snack bar, in-car speakers, and regular double features.

rivest266
rivest266 on August 11, 2021 at 4:08 pm

Newspaper listings for this drive-in stopped in 1968 in the Desert Dispatch.

MichaelKilgore
MichaelKilgore on August 12, 2021 at 1:57 pm

To amplify that excellent catch, the Bar-Len’s final performance was on Sunday, Sept. 15, 1968, when it showed “The One and Only Genuine Original Family Band” and “Bambi”. Subsequent ads were “Closed for the winter”.

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