Skyview Drive-In

2260 Soquel Drive,
Santa Cruz, CA 95065

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This was a great family drive-in, first opened as the single screen Encina Drive-In on May 27, 1949 with Sonny Tufts in “The Untamed Breed” & Larry Parks in “The Swordsman”. It had a capacity for 440 cars. A second screen had been added by 1971.

Sadly, it was closed in December 2007 and demolished in May 2008. The site is now used as a swap meet.

Contributed by Business Services Group

Recent comments (view all 17 comments)

kencmcintyre on June 26, 2009 at 11:10 am

This May 2007 blog discusses the Skyview:

MelodyRose on March 20, 2010 at 10:44 pm

So so sad, I went to the Skyview Drive-In child hood into adult hood. I will admit that once in my broke teenage years I did hide in the trunk so I didn’t have to pay. p.s.. I am sorry for that. Skyview was the only drive-in in Santa Cruz and around the area, and now if I want to enjoy the drive-in atmosphere I have to drive to San Jose and it is just not the same. I am hopeful that there will be another drive-in in Santa Cruz, because that would be awesome;) Fare Well Skyview, you are missed on nights that I am bored, which happens a lot. Thanks for the great times and awkward moments.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 12, 2010 at 7:16 pm

Encino/SKYVIEW DRIVE-In parked 440 cars and was owned in 1956 by Calif.Empire Theatre Inc.

GaryParks on February 1, 2011 at 3:31 pm

For the aesthetic record: For the last twenty-five years or so of its existence, the backside of the main (original) screen tower of the Skyview was painted blue, but before that, it was painted in wide, alternating vertical bands of pink and mint.

rivest266 on July 26, 2015 at 8:40 am

May 27th, 1949 grand opening as Encina Drive-In as well as the March 15th, 1959 ad for the Skyview Drive-In as well as the April 2nd, 1971 ad for the Skyview Twin Drive-In in the photo section.

davidcoppock on October 6, 2018 at 7:05 am

Opened with “The untamed breed” and “The swordsman”. 1062 cars. Site is now Santa Cruz Swap Meet.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 26, 2019 at 9:33 pm

The May 20, 1949 issue of the Santa Cruz Sentinel-News said that the new, 800-car Encina Drive-In would open within a week. The theater was owned by Frank Paone and John Forde, in partnership with Trans-Caliornia Theaters, a regional circuit. Paone and Forde had opened the Starview Drive-In, Santa Cruz County’s first, near Boulder Creek in 1947. Paone would manage the new theater.

davidcoppock on September 18, 2020 at 7:08 am

The snack bar building is still there(possibly the bio box too?). Possibly also called Starlight Drive-in?

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