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I grew up on Willmonte Av. in Temple City, just a few blocks from the theater. I think I probably saw my first movie there s a child in the mid 1970’s. I distinctly remember playing on the swing sets under the screen, and seeing Blazing Saddles, Moonraker and The Pink Panther there. I lived for the animations at the beginning of the Pink Panther movies. We used to pile into my mom’s yellow VW bug and I would be stowed away in the compartment behind the back seat, covered by a blanket, so they didn’t have to buy me a ticket. One time they had toyed with the idea of putting me in the trunk at the front of the car, I’m not sure if this was serious, but I wouldn’t do it. I associate the El Monte Drive In with summertime memories of tastee-freeze ice cream and In-n-Out Burgers. That huge mural of the Mexican dancer is permanently tattooed to my imagination.