Buena Park Drive-In

6612 Lincoln Avenue,
Buena Park, CA 90620

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Buena Park Drive-In

This is a story of two separate drive-in theatres which were combined into one.

Located in the Cypress/Buena Park district on what was originally Lincoln Boulevard. The first drive-in at this location, Orange County’s second drive-in after the Orange Drive-In, was opened as the Cina-Car Drive-In (aka Cine-Car Drive-In) which opened May 5, 1949. The Long Beach Press-Telegram noted that it had a capacity for 600 cars. The owners were two ‘Texas’ boys, J.W. & W.W. Montgomery of Long Beach. One of its opening attractions was “Two Guys From Texas”. In 1953 it was renamed Lincoln Drive-In and was listed as a ‘Family Drive-In Theatre’ charging $1.50 a car-load for a second-run double bill program. In February 1962 the Lincoln Drive-In became listed under the Pacific Theatres banner, showing first-run features at an increased admission price. My family often went to this theater in the 1960’s. By 1964 it had stopped charging per person and adopted a "$1.50 per carload" policy which meant that everything you heard in The Beach Boys song "Drive-In" happened there – sneaking a case of beer in the theatre in the trunk, partying in the lot while the movie was playing just like in "Grease", and seeing a lot of classic movies there cheaply.

The Buena Park Drive-In was opened adjacent to the Lincoln Drive-In at 6540 Lincoln Avenue on April 22, 1970 with “2001:A Space Odyssey” and “Ride the High Wind”. It too was operated by Pacific Theatres and had its own entrance, pay box and facilities and was advertised as a twin to the Lincoln Drive-In. Both theatres eventually were known as the Buena Park Drive-In. On June 22, 1984 a third screen was added to the complex. When it closed on July 5, 1993 there had been a drive-in theatre at this located for over 44 years. It was demolished in 1996. A huge housing development was built on the site, with streets named after university’s.

Contributed by Donald John Long, Randy Studer, OCRon

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

Donald John Long
Donald John Long on November 19, 2002 at 2:16 pm

A further comment – as noted elsewhere, this drive-in originally was back-to-back with the Buena Park Drive-In, which was actually a better theater, but unfortunately fell victim to the economic woes which led to this theater charging a buck and a half a carload in the mid-1960s just to stay in business.

JasonBalch on October 9, 2003 at 7:04 am

Like many California Drive-ins, this theatre shared the lot with another Drive-in, the Buena Park, before merging operations as the Buena Park Lincoln. Demolished in 1996, the land was redeveloped for residential use.

kencmcintyre on September 23, 2007 at 1:34 pm

Here is a May 1949 ad from the Press-Telegram:

Drive-In 54
Drive-In 54 on May 9, 2012 at 2:59 pm

Uploaded aerial views from 1954,1972,1995.

Hopefully somebody here can tell us which DI is which.

Drive-In 54
Drive-In 54 on October 21, 2015 at 10:57 am

Okay that clears that up. Thanks OCRon!!

mfm on April 24, 2016 at 1:28 pm

The map location is wrong. It’s houses there since 1955. The drive ins were on Lincoln & Holder.

davidcoppock on October 18, 2018 at 6:29 am

800 cars when first opened. 1200 cars when merged together.

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