Pico Drive-In

10860 W. Pico Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90064

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Pico Drive-In exterior

The Drive-In Theatre was the first of its type to be opened in California, and it opened on September 9, 1934 with Will Rogers in “Handy Andy”.

Later known as the Pacific Drive-In, as it was operated by Pacific Theatres. By 1943, it was known as the Pico Drive-In, and was closed and demolished in 1947. It was moved to Olympic & Bundy and reopened as the Olympic Drive-In (which has its own page on Cinema Treasures). The Picwood Theatre was built on part of the site of the Pico Drive-In.

Movies have always held a place at this intersection of West Los Angeles—from the 1948 built Picwood Theatre (which was demolished in 1990) to the 4-screen Landmark Theatre inside the Westside Pavilion, which opened in the 1980’s.

Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 14 comments)

dhill01 on April 1, 2008 at 9:25 pm

I assume this drive in was on the south west corner, same the the Picwood Theatre? Or was it on the South East corner? …former location of the Westland Shopping Center and current location of the Westside Pavillion.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 18, 2008 at 7:37 pm

It was Clifford Balch who designed this theatre, according to Southwest Builder & Contractor of July 27, 1934.

kencmcintyre on October 25, 2008 at 7:25 pm

From the LA Times, July 29, 1934:

The Auto Drive-In Theater, which Rian James, producer, and Karl Freund, director, are to sponsor, will probably be located in Santa Monica. The theater which they plan is patterned after the one in Camden, NJ, and is graded in such a way that persons parked in everycar in the parking space may see the show.

kencmcintyre on November 27, 2008 at 3:26 pm

Here is a 1938 photo from Life Magazine:

kencmcintyre on July 17, 2009 at 10:32 pm

Here is an LA Times ad from January 1938:

LarryFM on May 15, 2014 at 11:46 am

I’ve found a “gem” of a photograph of this drive-in theatre at the website below! The detail of the photo is amazing, and I’m wondering if this was taken the same day or week of its grand opening? Enjoy!


DavidZornig on August 23, 2014 at 9:03 am

Pacific Drive-In print ad or matchbook cover added to Photos Section.

DavidZornig on December 11, 2016 at 2:28 pm

Address should be corrected to read 10860 W. Pico Blvd. Evidence is in the image posted 04/17/15.

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