Olympic Drive-In

12101 West Olympic Boulevard,
West Los Angeles, CA 90064

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Olympic Drive-In exterior (Before the remodel with surfer mural)

Viewing: Photo | Street View

This former drive-in originally opened as the Pico Drive-In (the first drive-in in California) at Pico Boulevard and Westwood Boulevard in 1934, but moved from that location to Olympic Boulevard in the late-1940’s and was renamed the Olympic Drive-In. This drive-in had a screen tower with a mural of two surfers (a boy and a girl) riding a wave. Opened with 775 car spaces, it lasted until October 14, 1973.

Cars are still located at this old drive-in — a Cadillac dealership replaced it.

Other classic Pacific murals were located at the below list, but sad to say all have been demolished:

  • Century D/In Sailing Ships

  • Compton D/In Viking Ship

  • El Monte D/In Spanish Dancer

  • Gage D/In Spanish Horsemen

  • Hi-Way 39 D/In Sail boats nr beach

  • Lakewood D/In Sail boats

  • Rosecrans D/In Jet Plane

  • San Pedro D/In Spanish Horsemen nr a beach

  • Tri-City D/In Two Skier going down hill

  • Van Nuys D/In Spanish Horsemen nr Spanish house

  • Vermont D/In Woman surrounded by birds & trees

  • Whittier D/In Spanish Dancers

Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 25 comments)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on April 11, 2009 at 8:12 am

Here is a 1951 photo from Life magazine:
http://tinyurl.com/dnmlbv

gregorson18
gregorson18 on August 5, 2009 at 7:17 am

What year did the Olympic drive in theater move to the new location near olympic and bundy?

exit129
exit129 on October 18, 2009 at 6:53 pm

I remember as a kid visiting the Olympic with my parents as I was always more interested in the very colorful and bright Milani 1890 French dressing billboard that was outside of the theater to the right side of the screen then the movie at the age I was then.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on November 8, 2009 at 12:03 pm

I just saw “The Facts of Life” and was tickled to see this drive-in featured there. Lucille Ball and Bob Hope go there to cheat on their spouses and get in a little necking but they are spotted by their dry-cleaning man. Hilarity ensues when the horn gets stuck and the speaker is still attached to the car as they try to duck out.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on June 8, 2010 at 4:07 pm

I saw “THE FACTS OF LIFE” bet alot of L.A. drive-ins were used in the movies.

BRADE48
BRADE48 on June 6, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Went to this drive in quite a few times in my childhood. I remember it quite fondly.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 15, 2011 at 12:33 am

This theater should be listed in Los Angeles. West Los Angeles is a district, not an independent city.

TivFan
TivFan on April 8, 2013 at 11:52 pm

I just watched “The Facts of Life” (UA, 1960) which shows the Olympic Drive-In Theatre. The b&w movie is available on a 2007 MGM/UA DVD. The segment starts at the 56:59 point and ends at 1:00:10. Bob Hope and Lucille Ball are driving, nervously looking for some place to go, and Hope says, “Hey, there’s an idea. Wanna see a movie?” Ball replies, “Sure” and they enter the Olympic Drive-In Theatre. There are great shots of the Olympic exterior, showing the name in neon and a mural showing a couple on surfboards, sailboats in the water and a beach/coastline. The theater entrance is shown, then a long-shot of the Drive-In lot, showing the screen and the car entering and pulling into a spot. At the end of the scene, the car exits the Olympic, showing the street side of the screen. Is this the Olympic Drive-In shown in the “interior” shots? I assume it is, but you never know with “movie magic”…

TivFan
TivFan on April 8, 2013 at 11:58 pm

A few other movies with “drive-in” scenes (not the Olympic) are “Lolita” (1961) and “Lonelyhearts” (1958) with Montgomery Clift.

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