Santa Paula Drive-In

125 E. Harvard Boulevard,
Santa Paula, CA 93060

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Pacific Theatres, Westates Theatres

Previous Names: Cinema Bar

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Santa Paula Drive-In

Opened on May 18, 1950 - this theatre had a capacity for 500 cars and was operated by Pacific Theatres. It was named the Cinema Bar at one point, and was listed at 224 Barkla, a street which later became known as Harvard Boulevard.

Pacific Theatres gave up the ghost on this one in the 1970’s after an unsuccessful attempt at programming Spanish-language films to draw in the migrant demographic of Santa Paula. Eventually destroyed, condominiums and a mini-mall on this spot have completely erased any hint that there might have ever been a drive-in in this eastern portion of Ventura County.

Contributed by MagicLantern

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

kencmcintyre on January 15, 2010 at 10:54 am

The owner was Milton Smith in the early 1960s. The drive-in was gone by 1978. Here is a 1969 aerial view:

rivest266 on August 7, 2011 at 7:31 am

Aerial photo made in 1967 by USGS

lrgvanman on November 15, 2016 at 1:46 pm

Unfortunately, that link for the aerial view no longer works, but thanks for the provided info otherwise. I had been there twice as a very young man in the very early seventies and my memory is so vague. This was one of the five that Ventura County once had. The SkyView of Oxnard is either soon or currently the last being developed. These are getting awfully scarce!

MichaelKilgore on December 24, 2019 at 8:16 pm

Boxoffice, Feb. 23, 1952: “The Santa Paula Drive-In at Santa Paula has been purchased from Hickey Associates by Milt Smith … (who) will take up residence in Santa Paula to devote full time to operating the ozoner.”

MichaelKilgore on January 31, 2020 at 1:45 pm

Boxoffice, May 7, 1962: “Westates Amusements Corp. is taking over the Santa Paula Drive-In from the Milt Smiths. June Poynter will do the booking and buying”

MichaelKilgore on June 12, 2021 at 6:13 pm

Looks like it opened on May 18, 1950, if the Boxoffice note is accurate.

Boxoffice, Feb. 11, 1950: “SANTA PAULA, CALIF. – Negotiations have been completed here for the purchase of an eight-acre site on the old Walnut Park subdivision for erection of a drive-in by the Hickey Bros Co. of Ojai. The drive-in will accommodate 500 cars and will feature RCA in-car speakers.”

Boxoffice, May 27, 1950: “SANTA PAULA, CALIF. – With the Hickey Bros. Land Co. as owners and managing directors, a 450-car drive-in, the Santa Paula, opened here (18).”

Boxoffice, July 15, 1950: (open 1950 list) “Santa Paula, 450, Hickey Bros.”

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