Roadium Drive-In

2500 Redondo Beach Boulevard,
Torrance, CA 90504

480 cars

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1964 photo courtesy of Kenneth McIntyre.

Viewing: Photo | Street View

This was a run-of-the-mill drive in located in the North Torrance area towards Gardena, and a couple of blocks from El Camino College. It was opened prior to 1953. In the 1960’s they began having swap meets and eventually stopped showing movies completely. The Roadium Open Air Market today is one of the largest of it’s type in California and has been a going concern for almost 40 years.

The marquee, screen tower and concession/projection booth buildings still stand and the concession area does a nice business. The speaker poles have been removed. In the late-1960’s-early-1970’s they ran primarily second run double bills and printed a weekly program flyer.

Contributed by manwithnoname

Recent comments (view all 16 comments)

Manwithnoname
Manwithnoname on March 22, 2005 at 6:56 am

I remember attending this theater to see “Cahill: U.S. Marshal” and “Cancel My Reservation”. When “Cahill” finished the management announced that the print for “Cancel” did not arrive. They made arrangements with the nearby Gardena Cinema to borrow their print of a kung-fu flick they were showing and run that instead. If anyone did not wish to accept that they could get a pass to return.

I guess that reservation was cancelled!

Manwithnoname
Manwithnoname on March 22, 2005 at 6:59 am

The screen was terrible. It was similar to the San Pedro DI as it was not widened for scope but the inside walls to the sides of the original screen painted white. This resulted in a distorted picture as the sides were at an angle to the rest of the screen and a screen still not wide enough to properly carry scope.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on August 26, 2005 at 6:26 pm

Drive-in theaters may die, but swap meets live on forever…

dennis906
dennis906 on April 4, 2006 at 9:12 am

I worked the booth in 1975. Here’s something odd I found. On the back (south facing) wall of the booth was what looked like projection ports but covered up. It looked to me like this drive-in was originally designed as a twin but the second screen tower was never built.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on June 20, 2007 at 6:30 pm

From the LA Times, dated 8/15/57:

Torrance Brawl Ends in Fatal Stabbing; Five Held

A Hawthorne teen-age youth staggered fifteen feet out of a drive-in theater lounge late last night and collapsed face down, with a fatal stab wound in his chest. The stabbing occurred just after four men knocked down another unidentified youth outside the lounge. The men then went inside and fought with the teenager who was killed, witnesses told police.

In the ensuing uproar at the Roadium Theater, 2500 Redondo Beach Boulevard, police hurriedly searched every car and brought in five adults for questioning. Dead on arrival at Harbor General Hospital was John Nelson Edwards, 17, son of Mr. and Mrs. Marvin Edwards, 243 E. 137th Street, Hawthorne.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on August 27, 2007 at 7:14 pm

Capacity in 1963 was 480 cars. Operator at that time was Pioneer Theatres, Inc, by Jim Finkler.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on January 14, 2010 at 10:59 am

Here is a 1980 aerial view. In the 1952 photo, it looks like the drive-in is under construction.
http://tinyurl.com/y8n6n6j

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on March 1, 2010 at 9:33 am

Here is a photo taken early this morning:
http://tinyurl.com/yj6ware

tnavel
tnavel on March 17, 2012 at 4:22 pm

when i used to go to the roadium there was a mini golf course there and just to the right was a sizzler restaurant. when i first went there there was a playground in front of the screen. 3 mins before the movie started they would dim the lights for a moment and we would all run to the car.my dad had a spotlight and he would play tag with other spotlights on the screen

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