Vermont Drive-In

S. Vermont Avenue and W. 182nd Street,
Gardena, CA 90248

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Showing 1 - 25 of 39 comments

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on January 10, 2019 at 5:39 pm

Yep. Whole thing’s been torn down with no remains for about 20 years now.

Kenmore on November 9, 2018 at 11:23 am

It looks like the entire drive-in is now housing with nothing remaining.

davidcoppock on October 23, 2018 at 5:12 am

Opened with “Dear Ruth” and “Fear in the night”. Site is now houses. There was also a swap meet on the drive-in site. 900 cars. Spanish subtitles.Closed in 1999.

dansdriveintheater on October 22, 2018 at 11:35 pm

it appears one of the screens and the marquee still remain!

rivest266 on February 4, 2018 at 11:42 am

This opened on October 24th, 1947. Article:

Found on

Steve504 on January 1, 2018 at 12:48 pm

hello i remember i work at the vermont drive-in in 1980-1991 when i work there . and in 1994 i went to missouri and live with an aunt jesie paxton at 1051 s. golden ave in springfield, mo. and i live at a skilled care center And the lodges 2401 w. grand st in springfield, mo.

Yehith1 on July 21, 2015 at 11:52 am

hi my name is steve combs i use to work at a vermont drive-in . as a snackbar and cleaner person. that was back in 1980 – 1990. i remember a manager name steve oh man he is a good manager,i miss him wish i stay in gardena. but i came to springfield,Mo, i made a misstake. can anyone tell what happen to steve ,needs to know.

Ericsudeth on November 21, 2013 at 10:38 am

I worked at the Vermont in 1987 trained in management after working there one month. Ushers helped direct traffic out, helped assist locating restroomsand kept people from staying parked after the movie was over because it was a liability hazard to let people stay parked after hour. Ushers also carried a portable battery pack to jump start cars that had a dead battery.

     Vermont had many things about it that most  people didn't know, like that theatre was Michael and Jerome Foremans only theatre that all the monies made their went into their personal bank account, pacific use to own Baskin Robbins, the Giant, Ralphs and tons more businesses. Pacific use to own everything on N.Robertson Blvd. In LA. I keep saying use to because I don't know currently what they own. A theatre chain called Syoofy (sic) mainly in Arizona was owened by an Asian guy who pacific helped him start the theatre, I'm sure pacific had shares or interest in the movie theatre. All L.A.  pacific theatre hourly employees belonged to the Actors Guild union and yes some of these are general facts not just about Vermont. 
                   I closed the Torrance Drive Inn in 198 last movie shown was Moon Struck with Cher, I also worked the Los Altos, Studio, Centinela and a few others.  Pacific was a great company to work for in the 1980s and I miss it.  
jwmovies on December 28, 2012 at 4:17 pm

Above address does not map properly. Use S Vermont Ave & W 177th St (Although W 177th St. @ this intersection did not exist when the drive-in was up & running.

This intersection was where screen 3 was located.

W. 177th & Budlong was where screen 2 was located.

Screen 1 was diagonal and across from screen 3.

The entrance & original screen were located between what is now Amethyst & Ruby.

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on December 28, 2010 at 1:35 pm

LOL on the makeout story! I had a hot and heavy incident at the Vermont once myself…only saw the closing credits of both movies of our double feature. GOOD TIMES!

Nobody busted me…or dinged the door of my car, either. :)

MrWillM on March 10, 2010 at 8:08 pm

The Vermont was my favorite Make-Out spot in the 60s. What I found that ushers usually did at Drive-Ins was butt-in on that activity.

My most vivid memory of the Vermont was being there with a Girl one night in my almost Brand-New 1965 Corvair Corsa. Two drunks pulled into the next spot and proceeded to bump me with their door as they got the speaker. When I asked the driver to be careful, he said “Sure, Pal” and whacked it again. A little later, when both went to the snackbar, I got a Ballpean hammer out of my trunk and whacked their front fender a few times. Then, I quickly left.

JeanDeaux on March 2, 2010 at 11:36 am

@ JustOldBob……dude, you remember the swings?! I remember playing on the swings and see-saw in my pj’s just as dusk was setting in…then we settled to see one of the scariest movies ever. “JAWS”…I saw Jaws @ the Vermont when I was about 8 years old…traumatized for life.

Good times.

kencmcintyre on February 6, 2010 at 11:55 am

The Vermont was on the cover of Boxoffice magazine in October 1947:

richjr37 on November 14, 2009 at 11:57 am

The Vermont was never an Edwards drive-in to my knowledge,it had always been an Aladdin/Pacific drive-in.

kencmcintyre on November 14, 2009 at 9:13 am

Here is a larger version of the photo at the top of the page:

kencmcintyre on April 3, 2009 at 9:46 am

There are some interesting aerial views on this site. You can see that in 1972 there was one screen facing Vermont, but in the 1980 photo the screens have been moved as it was then a triplex. Also in the 1972 photo you can see the Ascot race track a few blocks to the south. Enter the theater address to see the photos.
View link

kencmcintyre on January 21, 2009 at 6:22 pm

I read this in Boxoffice magazine, Jan. 1960. I never heard of an usher at a drive-in, though. What does he do, show you to your parking spot?

LOS ANGELES-Ed Cassas, former head usher at the Vermont Drive-In, was upped to manager trainee in the southwest area.

kencmcintyre on January 19, 2009 at 9:58 pm

I’m curious as to how the featured theaters are selected.The Vermont seems to turn up on a regular basis. Also, it seems that only the earlier added theaters that have a photo get to be featured theaters. Inquiring minds want to know.

kencmcintyre on January 10, 2009 at 5:11 pm

There is a swap meet every weekend at the Alpine Village in Torrance, a few miles south of the old Vermont, but no one complains about that. The Alpine swap meet is immense.

LawMann on January 10, 2009 at 4:55 pm

Why the hell did those whimps move there in the first place?

kencmcintyre on January 9, 2009 at 3:50 pm

Here is part of an LA Times article dated 3/3/94:

Repeating decades-old complaints, residents near the Vermont Drive-In begged the Gardena Planning and Environmental Quality Commission this week to shut it down, saying noise and traffic from its weekend swap meet have made life unbearable. At a continuation of a public hearing begun in January, about 25 residents of 182nd and Rumbold streets and Vermont Avenue filed into the council chambers Tuesday night to complain of traffic congestion, automobile and early morning vendor noise, and swap meet patrons who litter and urinate on residents' lawns.

Residents said they can’t enjoy leisurely weekends or allow their children to play outside because of the many swap meet patrons who traipse through their neighborhoods every Saturday and Sunday. Some residents said they haven’t been able to sell their homes because of proximity to the swap meet. While most of the complaints concern the 25-year-old, 800-vendor swap meet, open from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, residents also complained of honking horns and traffic noise from weeknight movie customers. Officials of the 50-year-old drive-in at 17737 S. Vermont Ave. said they have had workers diligently pick up trash, prohibited walk-in patrons and hired off-duty police officers to direct traffic. Jay Swerdlow, general manager for Pacific Theaters, said he went through nearby neighborhoods last Sunday and saw no signs of swap meet patrons, urination or litter.

kencmcintyre on September 29, 2008 at 7:39 am

The small photo on the bottom of the page shows one of the screens and a sign, which is what you would see on the right side of the street driving south on Vermont.

kencmcintyre on September 29, 2008 at 7:34 am

It was sad to see maybe a half dozen cars parked before the first show. Every time I saw that, I figured the Vermont was not long for this world. I would liked to have seen it in its heyday.

KelleyHodgetts on September 28, 2008 at 11:27 pm

I worked at the Vermont Drive-in in the early 70s. It was owned by Pacific Theatres back then. The manager was Al scriner (not sure how its spelled. It was my first job. Every weekend, I work at night and the Swap meet during the day.