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New book-length Pussycat Theatre history from the San Diego Reader:
Here’s an addition to the article excerpt above:
Reader reader Tony D. Metal emailed me to say â€œThe South Bay Drive-In was always a trip. The back rows were reserved for the lowriders. Somewhat intimidating, they did draw attention. However, everyone got along. The whites and Hispanics showed mutual respect, and we were on their turf, but the drive-in was for all to enjoy. No racial barriers. We all got along very well.â€
In 1986, Nestor’s Swap Meet on the South Bay lot was the only area Meet to operate on Wednesdays. This created a big problem with the ozone’s neighbors, who said the parking shortage resulted in vehicles overrunning the entire area, often blocking driveways or even parking on people’s lawns. Swap Meet attendance was said to be from 3,500 to 5,800 patrons every Wednesday.
“We’ve taken a lot of steps to improve this,” Stephen L. Pentoney, secretary-treasurer for De Anza Land and Leisure Corporation told the San Diego Union-Tribune. De Anza began offering lower admission prices to patrons who parked in the theater lot instead of outside on city streets. They also built a wall to keep patrons out of the Meet until 7 a.m., allowing the parking lot to open 45 minutes earlier and thus cutting down on parked cars backing up outside the facility at sunrise. Barricades were also erected, to detour traffic away from neighborhood streets, with six hired security guards to redirect traffic.
De Anza also got Swap Meet exhibitors and patrons to mount a write-in campaign to Save the Swap Meet. In addition, they distributed pamphlets called “It’s Your Last Chance to Save the Swap Meet,” with a list of “dos and donts” about parking and driving on neighborhood streets. These efforts resulted in De Anza’s “conditional use permit” being extended to cover the Wednesday events…
The Reader just posted an expanded version of the San diego drive-in history, twice the length of the original and with a bunch of graphics that didn’t run with the original published version —– in case anyone wants to checkitout!