Circle Drive-In

1633 Ximeno Avenue,
Long Beach, CA 90815

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Circle Drive-In

Viewing: Photo | Street View

I can remember this very large drive-in, with its grand marquee at the corner of Pacific Coast Highway and Ximeno Avenue. It was a large part of the feel of the area, built in the post-WW II boom, many built in mid-century modern “Googie” style.

The Circle Drive-In was joined recently (05/2004) in the “lost” column by another local icon, the Java Lanes bowling alley, with it’s huge Polynesian “A”-frame roof. The Circle Drive-In was named for the (in)famous Alamitos traffic circle roundabout, down the street.

Contributed by Randy

Recent comments (view all 19 comments)

kencmcintyre on July 31, 2007 at 9:20 pm

Here is a 1954 ad from the Independent Press-Telegram:

kencmcintyre on January 7, 2010 at 9:45 pm

Here is a newspaper ad at the opening of the theater:

LB562 on August 4, 2011 at 12:53 am

I’m dying to know- where exactly was this? Was it where the Burger King/Staples etc is today? Or was it across the street where there is an Archstone apt complex is?

Neurosturgeon on August 24, 2011 at 3:08 pm

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.

rivest266 on August 8, 2012 at 4:13 pm

April 4th, 1951 grand opening ad posted in the photo section here.

LBtheaterfan on October 14, 2013 at 7:21 am

Can’t tell how many movies I happily missed in my junior year in high school!

mamat5kdz on October 3, 2014 at 6:14 am

Wow…!!! IN 1951 my mom would’ve been 7…I grew up going to this this Drive In… but I have , however very comingled memories as we had another Drive in too..I wanna say it was Los Altos?!?!. Anyway…I remember Oscars being close by for the best pattymelts and shakes and also somewhere near we would get to go to a christmas tree set up every year…my gramma always got flocked trees…a freeway nearby? I am trying to remember if I saw Star Wars at Circle. It was released May of 77' ….which by then we had moved to near Sacramento after my first semester of 9th grade at the end of 76'…but I am soooo confusd because I remember friends being there with their families but…ugh! And I keep remembering the Lagoon…this weird little beach place….lol… and The Java Bowling alley was my mom’s sanctuary…I spent a lot of time in the kids room. I tell ya…memories are so vivid but blurry…crazy! At some point didnt The circle have more than one screen?..

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