Sequoia Auto Theatre

29328 Road 156,
Visalia, CA 93292

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Westland Theatres

Architects: Vincent G. Raney

Nearby Theaters

Sequoia Auto Theatre marquee sign

Located a short distance east of Visalia on Highway 198. The Sequoia Auto Theatre opened on July 28, 1950, with a capacity for 500 cars. It was operated by the San Francisco based Westland Theatres as a second run drive-in. An unusual feature was the position of the projection booth on top on the concession building. At the rear of the building was a playground and pony ride circle.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on August 31, 2010 at 4:06 pm



Highway 198 isn’t very helpful. With the new address on Google Map you can still see the drive-in just below the Red Dot.

Opened July 28, 1950

Owned by Westland Theaters of San Francisco, H.V. Harvey, President. They owned 9 theaters in California and Nevada in 1967.

Not open 1967.

Closed ~1985 approximate? HOW’S THAT MARK?

For Sale in 2002

Marquee stll standing in 2004

Anyone have more info or more photos?

edleiske on August 20, 2016 at 10:02 pm

In 1975 I was a Senior at Mt. Whitney High School in Visalia. This was my first job. I worked the snack bar and also did the movie sign.

This was a second run movie theater, and had a lot of the soft R rated movies, like Swinging Cheerleaders etc. I remember seeing a Cher movie one time. I remember it being a big make out place for us back then.

The snack bar was famous for its chili and pizza. I did a little bit of everything.

The worse part about it was working until 1 o'clock in the morning, then having to get up and go to school. No, wait that was the second worst. The absolute worst part of the job when changing the letters on the marquis every week. They were stored in a shed just below the sign. There was a ladder to get up there. You took the name of the movie, found the letters and then packed them in a bag, then hoisted them up to the sign.

The letters were already falling apart back then. It was hard work, and being out in the woods off the highway was a little eerie.

I wore contacts, and the wind would blow up the dust from around the orchard and would get into my eyes. The final straw for me was when I LOST one of my contacts in the dirt. It was pitch black and I couldn’t see anything. I was mad as hell and had enough of working at the drive in.

The manager was not there when I left, so I had called him the next day to tell him I was done and what had happened.

A couple days later I get a call from the manager. Come on over I have your final paycheck for you. When I got there, he pulled out my contact lens out of a piece of paper in his pocket. He had literally gone out to the orchard and incredibly enough had found it! I was shocked and felt bad that I had just quit.

I graduated in 1976 and moved to Fremont, Ca. The theater holds a few great memories for me, not only as my first job but as a Great American pastime.

jwmovies on October 12, 2016 at 8:17 pm

The address for this drive in is 29311 6th Ave E, Visalia, CA 93292. Most ramps are still visible.

ddg93221 on July 22, 2018 at 4:24 pm

there isn’t a road in Tulare County designated 6th avenue east, it’s actually Road 156. Roads in Tulare County run north/south while Avenue run east/west, increasing from south to north and west to east. So Avenue 8 at Road 8 would be at the very south west point of the county.

MichaelKilgore on October 28, 2019 at 9:48 am

The closest address that Google Maps likes is across the street, 29328 Rd 156. The Sequoia’s ramps are still visible, but the screen has been replaced by a cell phone tower.

DavidZornig on January 7, 2021 at 7:27 am

The marquee will be restored as part of the new Sequoia Drive-In Business Park.

Kenmore on March 21, 2023 at 8:47 am

A closer address is 12392 6th Ave E, Visalia, CA.

Google Maps has updated the address and this places it between the entrance and exit roads.

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