Century Drive-In

3560 W. Century Boulevard,
Inglewood, CA 90303

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Century Drive-In

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Opened on July 2, 1949, the Century Drive-In was a single screen theatre, operated by Pacific Theatres with a capacity for 918 cars. The rear of the screen tower had a mural with a nautical theme. There was a childrens playground which was equipped with gymnastic equipment.

It was used in the mid-1950’s to test and show the public the new form of entertainment called "CINERAMA". They used three trailers as the three diffrent projection booths (Abel,Baker,Charlie). In the mid-1960’s, it began screening Cinerama films.

The Century Drive-In was twinned in the 1970’s. Like so many of Los Angeles' drive-ins, it has been destroyed and replaced by an industrial park.

Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 41 comments)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on April 2, 2009 at 4:50 am

Enter the address on this site for some aerial views in the 50s, 70s and 80s:
View link

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on May 14, 2009 at 7:01 am

Here is an August 1974 ad from the LA Times:
http://tinyurl.com/rd29p4

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on June 26, 2009 at 4:04 am

Here is an undated photo of the Century:
http://tinyurl.com/ltaxxa

moviebear1
moviebear1 on April 27, 2011 at 1:02 am

Thanks for the high quality repros

dickneeds111
dickneeds111 on May 11, 2012 at 9:13 pm

The Century Drive-in WAS NOT the 1st Drive-In to install 3 strip Cinerama. It had been done 2 years earlier in Drive-Ins in Cinncinnatti, Ohio and Albany, N.Y.

Coate
Coate on May 11, 2012 at 10:43 pm

dick… Those drive-ins in Cincinnati and Albany ran WINDJAMMER, so, technically, they showed CineMiracle rather than Cinerama.

Drive-In 54
Drive-In 54 on May 12, 2012 at 12:51 am

Uploaded aerials 1952 and 1980. Other links are broken.

dickneeds111
dickneeds111 on August 24, 2012 at 12:58 am

Coate. I have just done some research and the twin drive in ine Cinn played Windjammer after a cinemiracle run downtown, The drive in ran it in Cinerama from July-Aug in 1960. I am still trying to find out more info on the Albany Drie in. I still can’t see how Cinerama was any good at any drive in without 7 track stereo.. The picture might be big and great but lousy mono sound.

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on August 24, 2012 at 8:18 am

On Roland Lataille’s page, there is this note: “Special B prints used with 2X magnetic strips for sound.” This implies that there was some stereo effect possible, but apparently the special Cinerama sound processor was not used.

I think I remember reading somewhere that the three mobile-home like booths were each mounted on a lift mechanism that would elevate them to the appropriate height for head-on projection.

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