Centinela Drive-In

5700 W. Centinela Avenue,
Los Angeles, CA 90045

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Centinela Drive-In

The Centinela Drive-In to the north of Inglewood was opened April 27, 1950, when it was operated by Aladdin Theatres and the Berman Brothers. On March 8, 1956 it was taken over by Pacific Theatres and renamed Pacific Drive-In. It later returned to its original name and was closed September 26, 1993. It was demolished in 1998. A condominium complex has been built on the site.

It had a functional steel-girder screen with lots of metal work done in the Art Moderne style. The Centinela Drive-In glowed in a vivid electric blue neon across the back of the theatre 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 2:09 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 May 31, 2010 at 5:35 pm

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 10:04 am

Another good one gone.

William on June 1, 2010 at 10:33 am

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

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on January 19, 2011 at 10:33 am

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 10:56 am

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 9:08 am

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

William on January 20, 2011 at 9:22 am

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

le0pard13 on August 19, 2012 at 10:59 am

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.”

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