Van Nuys Drive-In

15040 Roscoe Boulevard,
Van Nuys, CA 91343

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Chris1982 on November 1, 2015 at 11:30 pm

Same photo is located on the Cinema Retro Blog.

DavidZornig on April 27, 2015 at 6:21 pm

1963 photo added courtesy of the Y-Block Guy Facebook page.

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.

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.

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.

TLSLOEWS on August 17, 2010 at 12:49 pm

Great photos of the 1982 screen tower.

William on August 17, 2010 at 12:03 pm

It got tri-plexed in 1983.

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?

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

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.

kencmcintyre on August 12, 2007 at 10:42 pm

Here is a December 1948 ad from the same source:

kencmcintyre on July 31, 2007 at 8:54 pm

Here is a 1950 ad from the Van Nuys News:

lawrencethomas on November 1, 2005 at 6:03 pm

As a kid growing up in the Van Nuys-Sherman Oaks area, my family loaded into our 1954 Olds, and later on our 1961 Pontiac Catalina station wagon (does anyone remember station wagons?) dozens of times and spent Saturday evenings at this wonderful old drive in. I remember well my brother and I always had to ride on that carousel-type-thing that went around in circles, and I usually spent the first feature feeling slightly nautious from riding that thing right after dinner. Kids jumped on and off freely, and if someone got bruised a little they didn’t sue the owners. Of course, we also attended the Victory Drive In and the Sepulveda Drive In, closer to home, but the Van Nuys on Roscoe was the cream of the crop.

Manwithnoname on December 8, 2004 at 5:43 pm

This drive-in as well as the Sepulveda and Reseda can be seen here:

William on May 26, 2004 at 1:30 pm

This was the first Drive-In I ran as a projectionist, I always worked walk-in theatres to that time.

Soesbe on May 26, 2004 at 12:32 pm

I discovered this drive-in late, in 1995, and went almost every weekend until it closed. A grand place gone.

k0nod on April 11, 2004 at 9:54 pm

My dad was a projectionist at the Van Nuys for a time in the ‘50’s and '60’s. We spent many a Saturday morning fixing speakers, a job the projectionists were given, pushing a wheelbarrow of new speakers around. My mother learned to drive there, weaving in and out of the speaker stands. It was a grand time for drive-ins. Too bad it’s gone.

gila55 on February 28, 2004 at 6:26 pm

I remember when I used to come here back in 1984-1988. I slipped out of my house with friends or cousins and got it to the drive in by sneeking in the trunk. You know you all did this once or twice. All kidding aside, It’s too bad these things had to go away because of the “wanna be gangsters” idiots, always stirring things up in there. It’s a little sad that our generation of kids did not have a chance to see these “Magic Kindoms” of the silver screen…this is what I called them. Oh well, hopefully one day a rich person would not mind bringing one back to Van nuys.

William on February 11, 2004 at 3:08 pm

The Van Nuys Drive-In was bulldozed in 1998.

Newbs on December 25, 2003 at 11:19 pm

I lived one strret over from the drive in. By buddies and me used to “jump” the fence and let the ushers chase us on thier bikes. They never caught us.

William on December 16, 2003 at 5:11 pm

The architect of the Van Nuys Drive-In (1948) was William Glenn Balch.

Knatcal on October 27, 2003 at 4:12 pm

I remember going many times to this drive-in, both after it had been remodeled for three screens and before when it had only one with its magnificent tower painted with a cowboy riding a horse that was rearing up. One movie I remember seeing here was “For Your Eyes Only” in the 1981. A school is currently being built on the site.