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I think I only went to this drive-in once, back in the 70s. Came out from South Gate to bring a date (who lived closer to this side of town). Still, it was an enjoyable experience. It was famously using by director Michael Mann in his wonderful 1995 L.A. crime saga, Heat, and noted in Movie-locations.com site:
“The deserted drive-in, where Van Zant’s men set up a double cross, was the Centinela Drive-In, which stood at 5700 West Centinela Avenue, Inglewood, before being demolished and replaced by apartments.”
I saw ‘Drive’ there last Saturday evening (9/17) and it was a wonderful experience. And the organist did in fact play before the screening (for which he received applause). Too cool. An enjoyable venue.
I remember this one for the triple-features they always had running. It was the east-most movie hall on ‘The Boulevard’, I think. I remember seeing Master of the Flying Guillotine there. Fond memories.
The blog posts on my projectionist stint (in case the link doesn’t for folks) is below:
Sorry if there were problems with the link. Here’s the full Flickr URL:
Please ignore. Stupidly removed myself from email notification. This is to put myself back on ;–)
Great b/w shot, Chuck1231. Over the weekend, I was down there and took these. Thanks.
For those who are interested, I’ve been blogging about my short stint there (1976 – 77) in a series since last spring (when I found this site and this entry). It can be found here. Thanks.
Growing up (during my Junior and High School days) in rival South Gate, I regularly came to Huntington Park to take in the movies at any of the three theaters that were so closely located on Pacific blvd. SG only had its drive-in and a small theater on Tweedy compared to HP’s better commercial area. Later, I worked there as a part-time projectionist back in the mid-70’s (I was in jr. college while my brother worked there full-time). Owned by an Armenian-American business man who also owned some other theaters (one of them might have been the Warners San Pedro). I have some fond memories of this place. When I was first there, it ran spanish-speaking or -dubbed movies. And, it had a weekly amateur night on their stage (the projectionists were then re-deployed to do the audio/microphone/spotlight support)—some of the singers were surprisingly good.
Later, the owner switched the content to popular U.S. movie releases and re-releases. It was an independent, but could, from time-to-time, get some first-run movies. My favorite of those was probably Eastwood’s now recognized early great, The Outlaw Josey Wales. Heck, there were times I would go to the distributors and pick-up/return the reel cans! The two longest playing films there (during my time) were Jaws (6 weeks) and The Exorcist (4 weeks), both in re-release. They were there so long, the projectionist didn’t need to watch the film cues for the changeovers. We could do it just by listening to the dialog (they played so long).
It also had roof-access from the projectionist booth. And that area served as the best location to view the annual Huntington Park Christmas Lane parade come each December. I left before the twin-screen renovation. I’ve been to and seen the Wiltern, San Pedro, Pantages, and other art-deco designed theaters, and the Huntington Park Warner (when it was in good shape) compared very favorably as a grand lady of movie theaters. I hope someone restores her to her previous glory.