Where have all the drive-ins gone?
SAN FRANCISCO, CA — This San Francisco Chronicle article looks back at the Bay Area drive-in landscape that once was.
At least 35 drive-in theaters have operated in Bay Area history. With the Skyview Drive-In on the edge of Santa Cruz closing last year to make room for a medical facility, now there are only two.
In the interest of nostalgia, and to look for the ghosts of drive-ins past, we found the addresses and drove to many of the sites of former drive-ins to see what’s there now. Research also included frequent visits to the sites Cinematreasures.org, Cinematour.com and Drive-ins.com. Of the 35 Bay Area drive-ins that we could confirm existed, most have been replaced by retail space, industrial parks or housing developments. But drive-in land has also been turned into a waterslide parking lot, part of a college campus and a BART station.
In addition to reminiscing, the piece also discusses how today’s economic climate might facilitate a return of demand for such an operation.
(Thanks to Dalboz17 for providing the photo.)