Centinela Drive-In

5700 W. Centinela Avenue,
Los Angeles, CA 90045

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Showing 1 - 25 of 31 comments

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.”

William on January 20, 2011 at 9:22 am

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

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 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 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 June 1, 2010 at 10:33 am

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

TLSLOEWS on June 1, 2010 at 10:04 am

Another good one gone.

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.

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.

rrussell007 on March 30, 2010 at 4:35 pm

The Centinela drive-in brings back a ton of good childhood memories. My parents would take myself any my two brothers there in the mid 1960’s when we were kids. Pulling up in my father’s 1954 Buick Special, ready to hit the snack bar for some buttered popcorn and hot dogs, and maybe even take on a swing or two in the playground before the movie started…..what a treat. I remember seeing a lot of westerns there, like the “ The Good, The Bad & the Ugly”. I can still hear the theme song ringing in my ears.

kencmcintyre on November 23, 2009 at 5:45 pm

Here is an aerial photo, circa 1952. Note the absence of the 405 Freeway below the drive-in.

kencmcintyre on July 23, 2009 at 9:32 pm

Here is an October 1958 ad for “The Gun Runners” from the LA Times:

Dublinboyo on May 26, 2009 at 5:23 pm

Used to pick up my girl on Monday nights afer she got done with classes at UCLA and stop off for a meal and a bottle of Lancers before we hit the Centinela Drive In. Nothing says “Love” like a bottle of Lancers! This was in 1984 when there were still such things as Drive Ins. We used to alternate between the Studio and the Centinela Drive In, depending on the movie. Sometimes we even watched the movie if you know what I mean. Fun times. Today I think I’d just savor the expierence and actually watch the movies and not partake of those “other” youthful activities. Oh the sweetness of young amour …

kencmcintyre on January 18, 2008 at 11:51 am

Here is an undated photo. The comment on the marquee was photoshopped in by the person who took the photo:

ronhale on August 28, 2007 at 8:43 am

The first motion picture I was ever taken to in my life was at the Centinela Drive In in the early 1950’s. The movie was “The Beast from Twenty Thousand Fathoms.” We lived in Westchester, about one mile from the drive in. Where does time go?

ArmandV101 on February 22, 2007 at 7:09 pm

Although the Studio Drive-In was nicer, I still enjoyed the Centinela Drive-In. The only double-feature I remember seeing there was “Batman” and “Our Man Flint” in 1966.

William on March 22, 2006 at 8:10 am

The drive-in used in the film “Targets” was the Reseda Drive-In.

ChrisWillman on March 21, 2006 at 5:01 pm

“Targets” was not filmed here, but at the Sepulveda Drive-in up in the Valley. This information is included at the IMDB page you linked to.

froby on March 20, 2006 at 12:45 pm

The Centinela Drive-In originally had the word Centinela mispelled with 2 Ls as in Centinella, not sure when this was fixed. It is also very well known for having been used in Peter Bogdanovitch’s “Targets” (1968) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0063671/
Where Boris Karloff is in the film playing an aging sci-fi star at a festival and as I remember he is up on the screen and also walking through the parking lot as some maniac is up in the screen shooting at people in their cars. Used to love seeing the movies from the 405 driving by in my parent’s car as a kid in the 60s.
Had a neato playground up near the screen to keep the kiddies happy and the snack bar was pretty wild also.

hahaaa on February 1, 2006 at 6:30 pm

I remember this place, it was lot more attractive than the gawdy Studio Drive-In.

drb on April 28, 2005 at 11:37 pm

The Centinela was in Westchester, not Inglewood. Centinela Ave. doesn’t become part of Inglewood until you pass La Cienega, nearly a mile away. Ladera Heights and Fox Hills are on the north side of Centinela, and the theater was on the south (Westchester/LA) side of the street.

It always seemed to be viewed by most locals as the “lesser” drive-in, in comparison to the Studio Drive-In in Culver City, but both are very much missed today.

Meredith Rhule
Meredith Rhule on November 4, 2004 at 5:03 pm

I enjoyed projecting movies here. The drive-in was easily spoted from the freeway. You couldn’t miss it while driving by.

Vic82 on September 22, 2004 at 3:55 am

It was a sad day when I noticed this theater was gone. Though I only saw one film there when I was a kid (some werewolf flick), we used to always pass it on the way to the Fox Hills Mall. It was a welcomed site in a world of McDonald’s and megaplexes.