Van Nuys Drive-In

15040 Roscoe Boulevard,
Van Nuys, CA 91343

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Van Nuys Drive-In

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The Van Nuys Drive-In was one of many Pacific drive-ins that had murals on their screen towers. The Van Nuys Drive-In opened in 1948 and parked 891 cars. It lost its mural and original screen tower when it became a tri-plex drive-in.

During its last year, it was the last drive-In located in the valley area of Los Angeles. As Pacific Theatres closed the theater, its marquee said “closed for the season”. That season never came.

The Van Nuys Drive-In sat empty for a few years and was being used to store cars from a nearby dealership. It was demolished in the late-1990’s.

As of October 2002, the Vineland Drive-In, Pacific’s last drive-in theater, is the closest ozoner to the valley and Los Angeles proper following the closures of the Azusa and 101 Drive-Ins.

Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 21 comments)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on July 31, 2007 at 8:54 pm

Here is a 1950 ad from the Van Nuys News:
http://tinyurl.com/2cu44z

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on August 12, 2007 at 10:42 pm

Here is a December 1948 ad from the same source:
http://tinyurl.com/ytkn9k

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 22, 2008 at 3:08 am

The November 15, 1947, issue of Boxoffice Magazine credits the design of this drive-in to both William Glenn Balch and Clifford Balch, as does the June 13, 1947, issue of Southwest Builder & Contractor. The same issue of SwB&C also credits them as partners in the design of a proposed drive-in at South El Monte, but their plans were not carried out, and that theater, the Starlite, was eventually designed by J. Arthur Drielsma.

The Boxoffice item also credits the brothers with the design of the Lakewood Drive-In. See my comment of today on the Lakewood Drive-In page for a bit more information about the Balch brothers.

Jimbo
Jimbo on January 13, 2009 at 6:49 am

** According to SEVERAL websites here’s the stats for VAN NUYS DI =
Built 1948 -
Vehicle Capacity 890, Eventually 1400.
Closed August 1996
Demolished in August, 1998.

… a grade school now sits in it’s former location. – 2004

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on August 28, 2009 at 3:57 pm

So it was still a one-screener in December 1982. When did it get tri-plexed?

William
William on August 17, 2010 at 12:03 pm

It got tri-plexed in 1983.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on August 17, 2010 at 12:49 pm

Great photos of the 1982 screen tower.

dhcoimbra
dhcoimbra on March 14, 2011 at 9:16 pm

I lived on Branford st., just a block away, from around 66 to just after the earthquake in 70/71. My Dad worked at the GM assembly plant from 65 until it closed in 92. Alot of memories at that drivein.

garyrabbitt
garyrabbitt on November 1, 2011 at 2:33 pm

What dept did your dad work in. I was there from ‘72 to 92. I am going to try to post the program info recording for the Victory I made in 1969. We went later to see the features. http://antiqueradios.com/gallery/d/125766-1/Drive-InVictory.mp3

I am going to try to post the program info recording for Van Nuys I made in 1969.
Van Nuys program information

If you can’t get the recording, try to right click on the link, then save target as.. to your desktop. I have some other photos I made when they turned it into a triplex, screen torn down on the ground. NOt a good sight.

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