Centinela Drive-In

5700 Centinela Avenue,
Los Angeles, CA 90045

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Centinela Drive-In

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The Centinela Drive-In in Inglewood was opened prior to 155, when it was operated by Aladdin Theatres and the Berman Brothers. Later taken over by Pacifice Theatres, it closed in 1993 and was demolished a few years later.

It had a functional steel-girder screen with lots of metal work done in the Art Moderne style. The Centinela glowed in a vivid electric blue neon across the back of the theater screen after dark. It was always an enjoyable experience going there.

Contributed by Donald John Long

Recent comments (view all 32 comments)

Rongee on May 3, 2010 at 10:09 pm

It was originally an Aladan drive in. (sp) was then sold to pacific drive in along with the southgate and others.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on June 1, 2010 at 1:35 am

You know there comes a lot of baggage living in such a large city,Crime,Traffic,Taxes and so many other things,but just looking at all the L.A.theatres,Drive-ins and walk-ins you guys really have it made with so many wonderful places to visit.I wouldn’t trade Georgia for it,but just for a week or so i could be quite happy.

TLSLOEWS on June 1, 2010 at 6:04 pm

Another good one gone.

William on June 1, 2010 at 6:33 pm

Rongee, the company was Aladdin Drive-In Theaters Inc..

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on January 19, 2011 at 6:33 pm

I lived around the corner from this former D/I from 2007 through the begining of 2010. When it was a D/I, I only went here 3 times: Once in 1990 to see “Darkman” & “Mo Better Blues”, again in 1991 to see “Stone Cold” & “Misery” and lastly in 1993 to see a triple bill of “Meteor Man”, “Poetic Justice” & “In The Line of Fire”. It was at that last visit that Pacific handed out flyers announcing the closing of this and the Studio D/I’s.

William on January 19, 2011 at 6:56 pm

During its last years operating, Pacific Theatres contract with the projectionists union had them driving between this drive-in and the Studio Drive-in. Yes, the projectionists drove back and forth all evening.

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on January 20, 2011 at 5:08 pm

FWIW, the drive would have been only 5-10 minutes.

William on January 20, 2011 at 5:22 pm

I know Chris, cause it did it for a few extra shifts.

le0pard13 on August 19, 2012 at 6:59 pm

I think I only went to this drive-in once, back in the 70s. Came out from South Gate to bring a date (who lived closer to this side of town). Still, it was an enjoyable experience. It was famously using by director Michael Mann in his wonderful 1995 L.A. crime saga, Heat, and noted in Movie-locations.com site:


“The deserted drive-in, where Van Zant’s men set up a double cross, was the Centinela Drive-In, which stood at 5700 West Centinela Avenue, Inglewood, before being demolished and replaced by apartments.”

picturepaddock on November 19, 2012 at 3:46 am

The position marked on the Google map above is incorrect; the Centinella was located further down near the 405 Fwy. Condos are on the site now.

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