Burlingame Drive-In

350 Beach Road,
Burlingame, CA 94010

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Burlingame Drive-In

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A four-screen drive-in built around a central concession stand. It seemed more than likely that the reason the wallpaper in the concession booth was on upside down was because somebody had mis-installed it in the initial construction and no one had ever bothered to fix it.

As of 1999-2000 it was in dire need of a paint job, and most of the ticket booths were falling apart. Sound was broadcast on a local radio station which you picked up on your car’s radio.

It was right near the water, facing the San Francisco Bay. “My understanding was that the drive-in will be replaced by an office building.”

Contributed by jengod

Recent comments (view all 14 comments)

JasonBalch
JasonBalch on September 26, 2004 at 8:15 am

In regards to Brett’s question, the Burlingame 4 was part of the Syufy/Century chain, but unlike most of its other SF Bay Area locations, Syufy didn’t own the land that the theatre occupied.

sootmann
sootmann on November 29, 2004 at 6:55 am

Hi there,

Amazing what you can find on the Internet. I was feeling nostalgic and google’d for ‘burlingame drive-in’ and here it is. I worked there in the summer of 1993 as a projectionist. I also did whatever other odd stuff was needed, like hanging my ass 50 feet above highway 101 on cold, windy nights to change the letters on the marquee. Fun times. We showed a main feature (new movie), “co-feature” (2-3-month-old movie), and main feature again. Sunset in the summer is at 9pm and I stayed until the last movie ended. If both movies were long, that might be 4am, and if it was the last night a movie was playing, I’d have to stay another hour or so to pack it up so it could be shipped out. The ticket booth and concession stands closed by 12 so I was there all alone for hours. Got a lot of reading done that summer—I remember I started “Firestarter” one night at midnight and finished it exactly 24 hours later.

joliecpa
joliecpa on April 10, 2005 at 9:56 am

As to the Syufy chain, I worked for them for years (and at the Bulingame for about 5 years of my 15 with the company) – they renamed themselves as Century Theatres in the late 80’s (a lot easier to pronounce, but I still always thought of myself as a Syufy employee). I left in 94, but the company was still familyowned then, and I believe still is.

EricB
EricB on December 16, 2005 at 4:38 pm

As one of my first teenage jobs about 1978-79, I worked at the Burlingame Drive-In Concession stand, which was a huge high-ceilinged “bubble” in the middle of the property, with large windows. It was pretty rough and tumble, even then. The teens would invade the place on the weekends and there would always be drunken kids starting fights. The security guard (intimidating but a sweetheart)would confiscate the booze and weed from the patrons and split it with the employees! We didn’t feel bad about it, since the spoiled suburban customers were generally stupid and abusive to the employees. One night, some obnoxious drunk kid thought we’d shorted him on change, so after much yelling, and with a horribly loud crash, put his arm through one of the thick pane windows. He’d wrapped his arm in A DOWN JACKET, which of course offers NO protection, so he messed his arm up bad. No one was arrested, though—I was told the kid was the local Sherriff’s son!

Lavarus
Lavarus on March 28, 2007 at 10:07 am

Just found some pictures from 2001 on-line at a photographer’s web site: http://www.troypaiva.com

tarantex
tarantex on June 16, 2007 at 2:24 pm

I remember when it was called the Peninsula and Burlingame Drive in, it was a twin from the start, I use to manage that drive along with the Redwood and the last one was the Moffet in mt. View, running a drive in was fun, I took a short time away from the Syufy’s and worked for United Artists ran the drive in in Belmont called the Starlight it was torn down for Coca Cola built a plant there since then they torn that down now it an office park and Public storage

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on March 14, 2008 at 7:21 am

There is a photo of the concourse and screen on this site:
http://www.lostamerica.com/roadside.html

Benl
Benl on July 18, 2008 at 10:15 pm

Seen a lot of movies in the Burlingame Drive in over the years.

Cannonball Run
Indiana Jones
Superman II
Demolition Man
Cable Guy
The Rock
Etc…

pbignardi
pbignardi on July 6, 2013 at 8:06 am

Hard to believe it has been over 10 years since the Burlingame was torn down. This was one of my hangouts when I was in high school and at CSM in the early-mid 80’s. We used to see a movie on a Friday or Saturday and then go cruise El Camino Real in San Mateo in the various cars I owned or my friends owned: ‘70 Nova, '67 Camaro, '57 Chevy pickup, '66 Mustang and so on. The weeks leading up to July 4 were always fun as fireworks were always going off in the lot, and most of us shot bottle rockets and larger rockets at the screen. Mostly harmless fun – no one got hurt and we didn’t cause any real trouble.

KenLayton
KenLayton on July 6, 2013 at 9:09 am

I used to go there in the late 1960’s.

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