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I believe it was during a visit to the Lakewood Drive-In that we were given rain-out tickets because of a fire at Hancock Oil caused the cars and the screen to become covered in oil. I was only about 3 years old, so it would have been about 1957.
At that age, I think I rated drive-ins by the quality of the playgrounds.
The Circle Drive-In was across Ximeno from where the Burger King and Staples are located. Not exactly sure what is there now. Last films I saw there was a double feature of “Airport” and “Thoroughly Modern Milly” around 1970.
Don’t know when they are going to demolish it, but I wish they would let someone get some pictures. Don’t know if the murals of Neptune still exist, but it would be nice if someone would get some photos.
Article with some pics: http://www.lbpost.com/ryan/9526
It was the Crest that had the lounge. I can remember waiting there for the Beatles film, “Help!” to start.
The Crest was located at Atlantic and Burlinghall. I attended one of the last showings there in 1978 of “Star Wars.” I believe that the last movie shown was “Saturday Night Fever.”
I waited about 3 hours to get in to see “Mary Poppins.” Almost that long to see the double bill of “A Hard Days Night” with the Elvis picture, “Follow That Dream” about 45 years ago. A year later, saw the Beatles again in “Help!”
And if I recall correctly, I think I spent my 11th birthday there seeing “Mad, mad, mad, mad world,” which featured sights of Long Beach.
Liked it better than the Towne.
Story for “retro”-fitting the Art:
New seats would be a welcome feature. Last time I was there, it was very hard staying for a double feature.
The murals of Neptune, in waves holding a trident, were inside the theatre on the side walls. They were huge and glowed during the movie. I would imagine unless the church worshipped Roman mythology, they would have them covered these days.
My 8th grade English class took a field trip to see “Star!” here in 1968, just about at the same time I saw GWTW over at the Carthay Circle. Only time I was ever at the Fox Wilshire.
I seem to recall an Egyptian motif…
I went to this drive-in frequently during the sixties, but only once after it was tri-plexed in the 70’s, where a friend and I took a Japanese visitor who wished to see an American drive-in to see “That’s Entertainment.”
Big problems started for the Los Altos when Cal Worthington Ford had bright lights to show off their cars, and it dimmed the picture quality.
I’m not sure if I am remembering this story correctly, but I believe that cracks were discovered in the ceiling of the Towne during the time it was showing a Sensurround film – probably “Earthquake” or “Midway.” I believe that a repairman was crushed when the ceiling fell on him.
I think my first film there was “Babes In Toyland” – the Disney version. I also ate five FudgeCicles during “Lt. Robin Crusoe, U.S.N.” A personal record.
The Rivoli can be spotted in the movie, “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World,” as it is was visible in shots from in front of the Police Station (the local YMCA), just south of Cormier Chevrolet.
I think the last time I went there was in the 70’s for the unbelivable double bill of “Gone With The Wind” and “How The West Was Won.” Went in at about 1pm and got out about 9pm.
I remember the Atlantic. I believe that the first film I saw there was “Journey To The Center of the Earth.” Probabaly was about 1960. I also remember a showing of the 1939 cartoon feature, “Gulliver’s Travels” for a special kiddie show.
For a while, in 1968, they showed old Warner Bros. flicks. I can remember seeing “Petrified Forest” on a double bill with “Arsenic and Old Lace” in the same week I saw the revival of “Gone With the Wind” at the Carthay Circle.
I think my last trip there was in about 1969 for a double bill of “Paper Lion” and “Salt and Pepper.”
The Neptune murals freaked me out as a kid, and I’m not sure I would be all that comfortable with them as an adult.
Thanks for the great picture. I can remember going to the State only twice. Once with my mother to see “When Comedy Was King” and again in the late sixties to see a double bill of “To Kill A Mockingbird” and “That Touch of Mink,” both in re-release with some friends.
My mother was very protective and didn’t like me going to theatres down on Ocean Blvd. She was happier if I went to the Crest or the Towne, because there were fewer sailors around.
I think that the poster “maxwellshammer” is confusing the Santa Fe Theatre at the corner of Santa Fe Avenue and Hill Street, with the Long Beach Drive-In, which was off of Santa Fe, just north of the 405 Freeway. The Santa Fe was a bowling alley by the time I moved to the westside in the late 1950’s. The bowling alley was torn down in the early 1980’s. When the Navy moved out, so did most of the customers.
The drive-in was torn down many years later and office buildings for the Hughes Corporation where built there. The headquarters for the Long Beach Unified School District is now in one of those buildings.