Harbor Drive-In

23444 S. Vermont Avenue,
Torrance, CA 90502

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Showing 1 - 25 of 40 comments

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on May 7, 2011 at 9:26 pm

The manager of the drive-in back in the early fifties was Joe Greene, as I mentioned in 2009. He was also an actor. In reading the local archives, there were a couple of occasions when he was an actor in the film that he was showing at the theater.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on April 12, 2011 at 6:19 pm

The Torrance Library recently digitized local papers going back to 1913. I have posted the link below. If you search for Harbor Drive-in, there are many entries about its colorful manager Joe Greene, along with ads, mostly in the 1950s.

http://www.torranceca.gov/libraryarchive/

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on February 23, 2010 at 12:14 pm

Still looking for any photos of the marquee or screen.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 21, 2009 at 5:57 pm

This link should show an aerial view of the drive-in, circa 1952. If the link doesn’t work, let me know.
http://tinyurl.com/y9btafy

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on September 2, 2009 at 9:48 pm

Here is a February 1960 ad from the LAT:
http://tinyurl.com/ngywh2

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on June 24, 2009 at 11:13 pm

The LAT reported the robbery of the Harbor manager, Joseph Green, by a man and woman bandit team on July 20, 1954.
http://tinyurl.com/lbd3ac

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on June 24, 2009 at 11:01 pm

Here is an August 1965 LA Times ad for a swap meet at the Harbor:
http://tinyurl.com/ktqpzg

Manwithnoname
Manwithnoname on June 24, 2009 at 9:06 pm

The ad in the link above clearly shows the address as 23322 S. Vermont as it does in earlier posts. Now we have 2 addresses a block apart with 23322 being in the later ads. Is it possible the entrance was moved?

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on June 12, 2009 at 1:57 am

Here is an August 1960 ad from the Long Beach Independent:
http://tinyurl.com/mdyqr9

jags
jags on June 4, 2009 at 2:12 am

PS. Hope someone finds some photos. I would love to see the place again!!

jags
jags on June 4, 2009 at 2:10 am

I used to live just north of the drive-in on Kaywood drive from 1962 till 1969. I remember the “farmers” wheat field south of my house and west of Van Deene Ave. as we would play in it all the time! I remember going to the theater for movies and also the swap meet on the weekends. And yes I do remember the chili dogs!!

If you look at the aerial photo at historicaerials.com and look at the 1952 picture you do see the theater but hardly anything else. The little housing tract and Kaywood Drive where I had lived did not yet exist. If you look at the 1972 photo you can see my house on Kaywood Drive and you see the construction site of the condos that are there now. So the theater did come down in 1971 or 1972. I have just returned to the area after living in Hawaii for the past 40 years and boy have things changed!!

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on April 10, 2009 at 9:57 pm

See my comment of 8/20/05. If you change the address, I might get lost on the way home. 8-)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on April 10, 2009 at 9:48 pm

The address probably varied. The old aerial photo shows the DI taking up most of the block between Vermont and 228th.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on April 10, 2009 at 9:39 pm

The drive-in is listed at 23444 S. Vermont in this March 1952 ad in the Long Beach Press Telegram:
http://tinyurl.com/cas75r

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on March 28, 2009 at 3:37 pm

If you enter the address on this site and click on the 1952 image, you will see the drive-in:
http://tinyurl.com/ddtd55

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on September 24, 2008 at 1:34 am

I think the Theater part of the name should be 86ed to be consistent. I don’t know too many other drive-ins listed thave have Theater at the end.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on September 19, 2008 at 4:58 pm

It would be great to see a photo of this drive-in. Please keep us posted.

Scragglewart
Scragglewart on September 19, 2008 at 2:58 pm

My sister and I were delightfully surprised to find that people have fond (if “creepy”) memories of The Harbor Drive In Theater! Our father owned it and we have some great old memories of the swap meet, playground and snack bar.
We had the best chili….does anyone remember the chili dogs? Who knows what was in that stuff but it sure tasted good.
I remember my dad saying it was “the end of an era” when the land became a condo site. It certainly was true for us.
Some of your comments really made me laugh. Thanks for that.
Will look for some photos – of course there must be some around.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on February 27, 2008 at 10:40 pm

I met Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle at a charity softball game in Atlantic City, around 1980. They were working as casino greeters and had been banned from baseball by the commissioner. Willie seemed nice enough but the Mick was not too interested.

I don’t think there are any photos of this drive-in available. If any locals read this and happen to have an old photo, please let me know.

Manwithnoname
Manwithnoname on February 27, 2008 at 10:12 pm

WHAT GREAT ADS! I never knew there were 2 Roadium Theaters. Did the other one become the Paramount? Also, “Gone With the Wind” with a second feature at one of them. WOW!. Zody’s was just South of the drive-in property. The drive-in entrance was off Vermont on the West side of the theater. The screen was indeed on the North side. As a personal aside, I met Willie Mays at a Zody’s personal appearance.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on October 14, 2007 at 12:34 am

Here is a July 1959 ad from the LA Times:
http://tinyurl.com/yqew35

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on August 12, 2007 at 12:22 am

In October 1971, the Harbor was showing “Omega Man” with Charlton Heston. I know that the apartment complex on the site opened in 1973, so adding in construction time the drive-in must have been on its last legs:
http://tinyurl.com/yulsg6

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on June 13, 2007 at 6:40 pm

The Harbor was still around in November 1965. Admission was $1.80 per car. Features on November 21 were “35 Hours” and “Children of the Damned”.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on June 8, 2007 at 10:40 pm

There is an ad in the 8/17/55 LA Times for the Harbor. Address is given as 23322 S. Vermont. Phone number was TE4-8501. Features that day were “Drums Across the River” and “The Kettles at Home”.

Gambol
Gambol on May 14, 2007 at 11:45 pm

We lived on the east side of the Harbor Drive-In Theater in the 1950’s thru 1964. Before the Harbor Freeway there was a wheat farm located on the north side of the theater, a large open space on the east where the freeway was placed between the theater and Orchard Avenue and an oriental family that lived on the property along the south side. As kids we would climb over the fence and go down to the playground and watch the movie.
The drive-in property ran approximately the length of Orchid Avenue north and south, and began on the east side right next to the freeway and sprawled over to Vermont Ave. The movie screen was located on the north side of the property, backed up against the farm. Back then if I recall correctly, it was just part of Wilmington.