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 on October 1, 1944 with Fred MacMurray in “Double Indemnity” & James Mason in “Candlelight in Algeria”. It was 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 19 comments)

kencmcintyre on July 17, 2009 at 7:32 pm

Here is an LA Times ad from January 1938:

LarryFM on May 15, 2014 at 8:46 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 6:03 am

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

DavidZornig on December 11, 2016 at 11:28 am

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

MichaelKilgore on May 17, 2019 at 7:14 am

From the Motion Picture Herald, Feb. 8, 1936:

“Guy Douthwaite, operator of the open-air Drive-in theatre in Hollywood, is applying for patents on horns which he invented when complaints about noise forced him to abandon a loudspeaker. In his invention, sound is carried by wire to each car and is released through horns placed in front of the radiators.”

MichaelKilgore on July 13, 2019 at 4:15 pm

The Pico Drive-In closed on Oct. 1, 1944, showing Double Indemnity and Candlelight in Algeria, per its listings in The Los Angeles Times. Its Oct. 2 listing read “Closed. Watch for Opening Date.”

rivest266 on September 11, 2019 at 1:35 pm

Ads mention by MichaelKilgore posted in the photo section.

DavidZornig on November 4, 2019 at 4:09 pm

1934 photo added credit Dick Whittington.

MichaelKilgore on December 12, 2019 at 9:26 pm

Boxoffice, Feb. 17, 1951: “Seth D. Perkins, 63-year-old pioneer theatrical man, who built the first drive-in in California, died recently following a long illness. … Perkins' first drive-in, the second in the world, was built in 1934 on Pico boulevard in Los Angeles. Later he built a chain of theatres throughout southern California.”

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