Lakewood Drive-In

2120 E. Carson Street,
Long Beach, CA 90807

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Lakewood Drive-In

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The Lakewood Drive-In was opened in 1948. If I can remember correctly, this drive-in was located on Carson Street on the border of Lakewood and Long Beach. It had a sail boat painted on the screen.

Contributed by Dave Smith

Recent comments (view all 15 comments)

kencmcintyre on September 23, 2007 at 1:31 pm

That must be the one. Thanks.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 22, 2008 at 2:36 am

Google Maps thinks W. Carson Street is E. Carson St., and thus the map link for this theater shows a location west of the river. The site was actually at the corner of Carson and Cherry, way east of the river. However, if you change the city to Lakewood, Google Maps finds the right intersection. You can get the same correction by changing the zip code to 90712.

According to an item in the November 15, 1947, issue of Boxoffice Magazine, this drive-in was designed by Clifford and William Glenn Balch, for Pacific Theatres. The item also said that the brothers designed another drive-in for Pacific at the same time, to be built at Roscoe and Sepulveda in the San Fernando Valley.

Clifford Balch (born 1880) would have been about 77 years old at the time these theaters were designed, while his far younger brother William (born 1901) was, at the time, in a business partnership with architect Louis L. Bryan (Balch & Bryan), formed in 1946. I don’t know exactly what the professional relationship between the brothers was at the time, but a few items from about 1947 also appeared in Southwest Builder & Contractor linking them as designers of various drive-ins, and at least one hardtop.

Neurosturgeon on June 13, 2012 at 2:12 pm

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.

jwmovies on October 18, 2012 at 11:10 am

Above address will not map correctly. Use 2250 E. Carson Street. Ralph’s is where the drive-in stood.

jamesgreenfield2 on March 16, 2013 at 1:12 pm

The Lakewood Drive-in was located at Carson and Lakewood Blvd, across from Douglas Aircraft and just west from Cal-Bowl just beyond the railroad tracks, (tho I never in 35 years saw any train on the tracts). The Los Altos Drive-in was located on Bellflower Blvd where Worthington Ford now sits. The Circle Drive-in was located at the traffic circle in Long Beach, Ca. near where Java Lanes once stood on Pacific Coast Hwy.

monroe jones
monroe jones on August 12, 2013 at 11:51 pm

This is where I fell in love with Horror movies. I went here when I was a child to see Friday the 13th with my parents and sister. It was great and it opened my mind to horror movies.

ThomasJohn on September 29, 2013 at 7:02 am

The Lakewood Drive In was at Carson and Cherry – the Lakewood walk-in was in the little shopping area at Carson and Lakewood.

Drive-In 54
Drive-In 54 on October 10, 2013 at 10:49 pm

This the correct address: 2120 E Carson St, Long Beach, CA 90807 ‎

Auggie97 on April 16, 2014 at 3:44 pm

Joe it was at Carson and Paramount. I went there several times, it is now a WALMART.

rivest266 on December 20, 2014 at 9:11 am

August 26th, 1948 grand opening ad in photo section.

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