El Monte Drive-In

9700 Lower Azusa Road,
El Monte, CA 91731

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Showing 1 - 25 of 31 comments

davidcoppock on July 21, 2020 at 7:42 am

Correction it was filmed in 6 days, not 8.

davidcoppock on July 21, 2020 at 7:22 am

The movie Bikini Drive-in was filmed here in 1995. The filming took 8 days. The filming took place during the 6.8 earthquake that hit Los Angeles.

rivest266 on October 6, 2019 at 2:51 pm

The Pacific El Monte Drive-In opened on July 2nd, 1948. Grand opening ad posted.

vette792 on June 12, 2015 at 5:05 pm

I lived a short way down lower Azusa from the drive in. me and my buds in 6th grade would go in the exit on our bikes every week and watch the movie in front by the play ground there were always spaces and speakers available we even took some girls one time (all clean fun)The guys that worked there knew we didn’t cause any trouble and let us do it every week. We even cleaned up after ourselves One movie I remember seeing is Godzilla. What a great memory they didn’t make us pay one time. Such a thing would never happen today. They would call the police today (SAD)

DavidZornig on April 17, 2015 at 9:02 pm

1948 image added courtesy of John J. Wilson.
Mary Brian’s last film “Dragnet”.
Don’t know why the marquee read “The Dragnet”.

Joe Pinney
Joe Pinney on February 13, 2014 at 10:57 am

A PDF version of the Fall 2008 issue of Hagerty magazine that DavidZornig mentioned is available in full color here online:


DavidZornig on September 12, 2008 at 2:41 pm

For anyone who is interested, there is a color picture of the El Monte Drive In Theatre behind an early `50’s Chevy, in the current Hagerty’s magazine. A in-house publication sent to those who insure classic cars through Hagerty Insurance.

The photo accompanies a nice 3 page article titled “Movies Under the Stars”. It indicates the El Monte was demolished in 1999. There is also mention of many other drive-ins by name, though with limited pictures.

Hagerty has a website, but I couldn’t find a link to the current article.
Maybe others will have more luck. It is published out of Warren Michigan.

belteshazar on January 19, 2008 at 5:31 am

I grew up on Willmonte Av. in Temple City, just a few blocks from the theater. I think I probably saw my first movie there s a child in the mid 1970’s. I distinctly remember playing on the swing sets under the screen, and seeing Blazing Saddles, Moonraker and The Pink Panther there. I lived for the animations at the beginning of the Pink Panther movies. We used to pile into my mom’s yellow VW bug and I would be stowed away in the compartment behind the back seat, covered by a blanket, so they didn’t have to buy me a ticket. One time they had toyed with the idea of putting me in the trunk at the front of the car, I’m not sure if this was serious, but I wouldn’t do it. I associate the El Monte Drive In with summertime memories of tastee-freeze ice cream and In-n-Out Burgers. That huge mural of the Mexican dancer is permanently tattooed to my imagination.

dblack1054 on July 20, 2007 at 9:38 pm

I grew up in El Monte. I remember watching John Wayne westerns at the drive in. My sister and I got to play in the playground at the base of the screen, then run back to the car when the lights flashed! That was exciting and fun! Then we’d fall asleep in the back seat before the movie ended.

boywithadream on April 16, 2007 at 9:50 am

I lived across the street on Willmonte Ave. and remember passing the El Monte every day when I was a kid. In its later years it was only open during the summers and I remember getting in my family’s VW Vanogen and watching the double features. I am in college now and the nostalgia of that place is starting to hit me now. I was only 10 when they knocked it down and I didn’t really appreciate the magic of the drive-in. What I wouldn’t give for another hot summer night double feature down the street at the El Monte.

ElMonteDriveIn on March 24, 2007 at 7:49 pm

I remember spending the night with my buddy when Star Wars was playing at the El Monte drive-in. His mom took us in her old Pinto, and she sat in the back seat reading a book by flashlight, while we sat in the front watching the movie, and pigging out on snacks.

I miss the old drive-in days.

bahooka on June 1, 2006 at 9:19 pm

Nice pics, ChrisB.

Here is a link to an animated short film which features the El Monte Drive-In:

ChrisB on June 1, 2006 at 5:47 pm

Here’s a couple nighttime shots I took in 1992:

View link

View link


MagicLantern on May 15, 2006 at 5:39 pm

Also appeared in the film “Bikini Drive-In”.

MagicLantern on May 15, 2006 at 5:38 pm

This drive-in appeared in the film “Attack of the 50-Foot Woman”.

swingparty on April 9, 2006 at 9:00 am

I not only went to the nightime features at the El Monte,It was also a great afternoon hang-out in 1977. I had a job with Angeles Typewriter delivering office equipment.In the afternoons I used to stop at the El Monte to loaf and waste some time. You could drive right in and park,and just hang out. Nobody ever bothered me or said anything.There were several other cars and vans in there on several of the days I was there.I used to bring some girls(married and unmarried)there for “Dates” in the afternoon in my delivery Van.Those were some cool partying times there back then.Jackie,Sandy,and Kathy I’m having some Nostalgic thoughts while writing this thinking of you. Are you still in El Monte or the SG Valley?PS. Did anyone else out there ever hang out at the El Monte in the afternoon.I always thought that if the Cops ever came in there to arrest people for tresspassing no one would be able to drive fast straight out of those parking spaces over all those big dips to get away fast.

kencmcintyre on November 10, 2005 at 8:24 am

Do you go by yourself? If you bring a girl, you don’t have to worry about watching the movie.

Jesseperez on June 7, 2005 at 8:24 pm

I really miss this drive-in. I grew up near by and would pass by quite often. I saw Star Wars here in 1977. By the late 1990’s I knew its days were numbered. In the summer of 1998 I snuck in and took several pictures of it. The screen tower was open and there was trash everywhere. I was gone for a few days at the beginning of Sept. 1998 and when I got back it was being bulldozed. The mural on the screen tower is what made this drive-in special, it was truely spectacular! Too bad that these places which once played such important parts in our lives are not revered and preserved.

bahooka on October 6, 2004 at 1:51 pm

Does anybody know what they do with the old marquees when they tear down the old theatres? I hope they don’t just destroy them!

Macbeth on October 6, 2004 at 1:29 pm

Meredith, also the El Monte Drive In had somr really good foot long chili dogs, wish I had onr right now. The family and I enjoyed this this theatre as well as the San Gabriel. The photo of the front of the back side of the screen is a pretty good one, nice to see it.

bahooka on February 25, 2004 at 8:53 pm

I used to live right across the street from the El Monte Drive-In when I was a kid.
I lived at 4827 ‘C’ Agnes Avenue. I could see the marquee from my bedroom window. sigh I would love to go back to Temple City. I live in frozen Northern Canada now.

Meredith Rhule
Meredith Rhule on February 12, 2004 at 5:33 pm

You’re right, the Vineland is still going. :)