Joshua Drive-In

14444 Alstar Street,
Victorville, CA 92395

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Western Amusement Company Inc.

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Joshua Drive-In

The Joshua Drive-In was ready to open in October 1952 when it was damaged by vandals. It opened on May 29, 1953 with Howard Duff in “Roar of the Crowd” & Edmund O'Brien in “Cow Country”. It was owned by Western Amusement Company Inc. It had space for 398 cars. It was closed on November 18, 1982 with JoBeth Williams in “Poltergeist”. It was taken over by Entertainment Centers of American and reopen, but they closed it after one weeks operation on December 29, 1982. The theater was replaced by a car dealership.

Contributed by Ken McIntyre

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

kencmcintyre on October 25, 2008 at 5:14 am

Advertised in the LA Times independent theater guide in July 1971. Phone number was CH5-5525.

jwmovies on October 15, 2012 at 8:07 pm

Approx. address for this drive-in was 14426 7th St.

MichaelKilgore on February 12, 2019 at 4:34 pm

The Joshua was still included in the Motion Picture Almanacs' final drive-in list in the 1988 edition. Of course, that doesn’t prove that it was still operating by then.

A Victorville Daily Press article in 2015 mentioned that the Joshua was the last drive-in to remain open in Victorville until it closed “in the 1980s”. The Joshua was mentioned in Los Angeles Times advertisements as late as December 1981.

MichaelKilgore on December 11, 2019 at 8:44 pm

Boxoffice, Oct. 21, 1950: “VICTORVILLE, CALIF. – A 600-car drive-in will be constructed here by the Western Amusement Co., according to City Manager Nolan Hartley. The El Rancho Theatre was completed here by the Western chain, and it also operates two other indoor shows, the Mesa and the Victor in its Victorville group.”

MichaelKilgore on December 18, 2019 at 7:26 pm

Almost exactly one year later… Boxoffice, Oct. 20, 1951: “VICTORVILLE, CALIF. – Construction has been launched on a new $75,000 drive-in theatre here by the Western Amusement Co., headed by Ted Jones. The ozoner will be operated on a first run policy under supervision of Frank Justice, city manager, who also is in charge of the circuit’s two indoor houses, the El Rancho and Mesa.”

MichaelKilgore on January 3, 2020 at 8:58 pm

Still not open? Boxoffice, Aug. 16, 1952: “VICTORVILLE, CALIF. – Vandalism by four boys, 6 to 8 years old, who entered the old Victorville Theatre building where the Western Amusement Co. had stored valuable and hard-to-replace amplifying and speaker equipment for its new drive-in, force postponement of the opening, according to Manager Frank Justice.”

Almost there? Boxoffice, June 6, 1953: “Western Amusement Co. was about ready to open a new ozoner, the 400-car Joshua Drive-In, near Victorville.”

And finally, Boxoffice, June 27, 1953: “The 400-car New Joshua Drive-In near Victorville, Calif., opened recently under Manager Frank Justice for the Western Amusement Co.”

I wrote in my book “Drive-Ins of Route 66” that the actual grand opening was May 29, 1953. I must have used LA Times advertisements to arrive at that date, but I don’t have those notes handy as I type.

rivest266 on August 6, 2021 at 4:32 pm

Grand opening ad posted.

rivest266 on August 6, 2021 at 4:46 pm

Final night of performances: December 29th, 1982. It last operated by Entertainment Centers of America, Inc.

MichaelKilgore on December 9, 2021 at 9:57 pm

To amplify rivest266’s accurate closing date, Entertainment Centers of America operated the Joshua for approximately one week.

Victorville Daily Press, Dec. 19, 1982: “The El Rancho Theater and Balsam and Joshua Drive-In are now controlled by the same corporation that runs The Movies. Charly Funk, president of Entertainment Centers of America, Inc., said his company will officially begin operating the theater and drive-ins. “We will be running a total of 12 screens in Victorville this Friday (24?),” Funk said.”

Jamey_monroe45 on August 12, 2023 at 5:22 pm

Now Howard’s Appliance (coincidence?) @ 14444 Atstar St, Victorville, CA 92395. Across from Costco.

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