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Just chatted with members of The Southern California Drive-In Movie Society this past weekend while visiting The Mission Tiki of Montclair, CA. They confirmed that Goleta’s drive-in experiment is a seasonal thing designed to test its business potential throughout this summer; and aren’t sure if it will remain open beyond August. Or if it will continue through September. It greatly depends on the amount of business they pull in. Having typed that, I now encourage everyone reading this post (especially those with the ability for doing so) to patronize The Santa Barbara Twin much as possible over the next couple months. Some extra trips could mean the difference between a refurbished reopening next year…or, its big screen going dark forever.
Visited this venue on 6/5/2010 for “Prince o'Persia” and “Shrek 4ever After.” The place seems like it’s half drive-in, half swap meet; the second screen is gone while its lot serves as grounds for Sunday swap meets. The operating drive-in is a bit run-down; the grounds haven’t been paved in decades. Seems like the owners tried to save as much $$$$ as possible to get it re-opened. The snack bar is a mix of new amenties on top of vintage tile, paint & stylings. But overall, this provides a throw-back feel for your visit; a sense of nostalgia. A lot of good ideas were implemented into the original design & construction of this site, with the exception of that entrance coming in right under the screen, thus causing for distractions as late-arrivals pull in during a movie. Still, I enjoyed myself; like this place all right; and have every intention of returning for future features. Really glad this place is operating as an actual drive-in again!
I just drove by this drive-in on Sunday (5/2/2010), right after the swap meet had closed for the day, and saw no theater marquee, signs, posters or any other indication that films will begin showing there in the near future. The property looks intact, but there was no evidence of it having been spruced up for a grand(?) re-opening. I certainly hope it DOES re-open to become a full-time movie theater again. Is there any new information about this yet?
Have visited this great venue in 2008 (to see “Dark Knight” and “Clone Wars”), 2009 (for “Fast & Furious” and “G.I. Joe”), and plan to go back again next summer. It must be said that this is one of the best places to visit during the warmer months of the year. Anyone who enjoyed attending drive-ins during their youth is bound to feel a little nostalgic when visiting this place. A truly great example of keeping the drive-in culture alive!
I passed by this place in early December 2007. It looks like the place is intact. Is there any chance films could still be played there?
Far as drive-ins go, the place looks intact. Having said that… Could there ever be the most remote chance that movies might be shown at this drive-in again? Even as a rare/special event??
Ken MC: Really dig that 1983 photo/link. Thanks for posting it!
Chuck: The Baronet Theatre was a completely different venue, located on Topanga Canyon Blvd. about one mile away. Far as I know, The Baronet was never a Pussycat Theatre…although it did screen some racy midnight movies.
Jim Rowe (or anyone else who might remember):
Can you tell me where the old A&W was located? Perhaps you remember a cross street—or an address? Having just watched Hollywood Knights recently with a couple of old friends, we went cruising Van Nuys Blvd. afterwards, late on SuperBowl Sunday night, to see if it was possible to locate where the drive-in once stood. We think it may have been between Vanowen & Victory, on the east side o'Van Nuys; but can’t be sure.
If it was indeed within sight of the Fox' 6417 Van Nuys Blvd. address, that would give me a pretty good idea of where to look.
Address (city) should be updated to read: Canoga Park
Function should be updated to read: Retail
Status for this theater should be updated to: DEMOLISHED.
The building still has that theater-marquee-like structure on its roof, which displays “TUESDAY MORNING” for the store it now houses. Around the building’s perimeter, there are still several doorways & ramps along the rear & side walls of this deep structure which resemble the backsides of theater venues with numerous screens.
Accurate theater information as of this posting is still sketchy.
This theater’s interior was similar to that of The Americana in Panorama City (/theaters/7863/). Like The Americana, this venue hosted The Rocky Horror Picture Show for a time during the early 1990s; and reportedly had another/earlier RHPS run in the ‘80s.
On June 15, 2008 I passed by this old haunt to see how it has been changed… It is now part of the expanded Bally’s Fitness. The building which used to house multiple businesses is now a single gym large enough to have its own zip code.
Hey, rtm242; got some questions for you.
What year(s) did Rocky Horror play at this theater?
When was this theater closed/torn down?
Can you remember the (exact) address?
The Topanga Theatre began running The Rocky Horror Picture Show as a weekly midnight movie in October 1996.
For the record: It later became a second-run theater in 1998, then ceased operating as a movie house altogether in the month of March 2000.
On Friday night (9/21/2007), I drove by The Topanga Theatre and noted that it was being torn down. Have not been by there again since, but can imagine it may be completely razed by now. A real shame.
Does anyone know of pictures (or a web site) that exists out there, somewhere, with history about the amusement park this theater was (sorta) part of? Ya know…photos and/or notes from back when there was a huge fun slide, miniature golf course, etc.??
Would be sad to think that Topanga—the last existing piece of said fun zone—will soon disappear, and take all physical remnants of that former park with it.
Just passed by the site of this old venue on 9/15/2007 to find the entire strip-mall building has been leveled and cleared away. All that remains is the foundation, where the uneven ground which served as grading for each individual theater could still be seen.
Some more notes on this venue, along with a couple of photographs, can be found at the Drive-In web site: http://www.drive-ins.com/theater/catlak2
It was added to The National Register of Historic Places in 1978; so at the very least, I would think it holds historical landmark status to the point where it could not be torn down. But how much would that still allow for it to be altered?
Best case scenario would be for it to enjoy a complete restoration, and subsequently used as a live production theater (making ideal use of its stage, orchestra pit and dressing room areas) in addition to a movie house. It could feasibly be both (among other things) and still turn a profit.
Here’s hoping The City Of South Pasadena steps in and comes to its rescue.
Is the site of this long-gone venue in fact the very same place where that Home Depot has been proposed which is causing a major fight in 2007 between Depot owners and residents of Sunland who fear it would be located too close to a nearby school?
I doubt this would be an issue if the drive-in were still there.
As a daily commuter on MTA’s Orange Line, I pass around/through the edge of that lot twice a day. The bus station is at the south edge of the property, with the rest of it’s land used for parking—between a Wickes Furniture building and a Public Storage facility.
A small, two-lane access street now connects to Sepulveda Blvd. on the east side, and also extends under The 405 Fwy. to exit opposite where Haskell Ave. ends at Victory Blvd. to the west.
I was born in Burbank, and lived there my first five years in a house on Beachwood, just off Burbank Blvd., from 1969-‘74.
Although very young, memories of going to the Cornell and seeing a variety of films (usually Disney movies) are very strong. Saw several animated features, like Bambi, along with a couple of Herbie The Love Bug movies. Can remember how sticky the floor always was—a permanent condition I could never understand.
Even after moving to nearby Sun Valley, Mom & I would still catch occasional flicks at the Cornell up until the time it closed for “remodeling.” What a cruel joke that turned out to be.
But I’ll always remember it as my very first movie theater.
If this theater was on the site of The Civic Center Post Office (next to the Federal Building) on the corner of Delano St., then its address was most likely 6200 Van Nuys Blvd.; and was probably torn down in the early 1970s—which is just a guess. There is, in fact, still a bar & grill just down the block and across the street as of 2007.
In reference to William’s above mention of a theater on Mason @ Devonshire… That is now listed on this site as Loew’s Cinema Theatre in Chatsworth (/theaters/18536/).