4888 N. Fresno Street,
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Previous Names: Starlite Frive-In, Star-Lite North & South Drive-In, Star-Lite Motor In
The Starlite Drive-In was opened by Robert L. Lippert Theatres on May 12, 1949 with Richard Widmark in “Down to the Sea in Ships” & James Ellison in “Last of the Wild Horses”. Growing up in 1950’s and 1960’s Fresno, the Star-Lite Drive-In was my neighborhood drive-in, a scant mile from my house. It was notable for being the only drive-in in town, at the time, with two screens (north and south). The two screens usually showed different programs.
Located near the corners of N. Fresno Street and E. Shaw Avenue, with the main entrance on N. Fresno Street, the Star-Lite Drive-In was Fresno’s premier drive-in during the 1950’s. A second screen was added in June 1953. It was closed in 1978 and soon demolished. Today it is the site of the Fashion Fair Mall, one of Fresno’s most popular shopping centers.As a precocious teen, I once stowed a friend in my car’s trunk on a night when he, nor I, had admission money for the both of us. Safely inside the drive-in, I realized that I didn’t have the trunk key. Hilarity and irate parents ensued.
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