Highway 39 Drive-In

7901 Trask Avenue,
Westminster, CA 92683

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Highway 39 Drive-In

Viewing: Photo | Street View

When it opened on June 29, 1955, the Santa Ana Register called this one of the largest drive-ins in the West because of its 1,600 car capacity and a screen almost ten stories high. As Orange County’s fourth drive-in, this Pacific Theatres' snack bar was six times larger than normal and had counter space almost a quarter block long. The opening attraction was James Stewart in “Strategic Air Command”.

When it closed on March 31, 1997, the 56-year history of Orange County drive-ins came to a close. Out of eleven drive-in locations in Orange County beginning with its first, the Orange in 1941 to the Stadium built in 1970, the Highway 39 was beaten only by the Orange Drive-In in its longevity but it has the distinction of being the last to go, outliving the seven ozoners that were built after it. Among the movies playing on its three screens on closing night were “Private Parts” and “Beavis and Butthead Do America”.

A Lowes and Wal-Mart store were later built on the site by the real estate division of Pacific Theatres.

Contributed by Ron Pierce

Recent comments (view all 20 comments)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on August 8, 2007 at 6:44 pm

How many drive-ins did Pacific sell in the mid 1990s? I remember the one in Culver City on Sepulveda disappearing around the same time.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on August 27, 2007 at 7:15 pm

Capacity in 1963 was 1900 cars. Pacific Theaters was the operator at that time.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on August 27, 2007 at 7:51 pm

Then I would have to call Willie Nelson.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on September 8, 2007 at 3:59 pm

Here is a December 1959 ad from the Press-Telegram:
http://tinyurl.com/26dggp

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on September 23, 2007 at 12:34 pm

Here is a grand opening ad from July 1955:
http://tinyurl.com/2edgwh

Meredith Rhule
Meredith Rhule on December 20, 2008 at 8:12 pm

I went to Santiago High School in Garden Grove and lived off Trask way before being a projectionist. How horribly sad this is.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on April 8, 2009 at 10:55 am

If you enter the theater address on this site, you will see a 1972 aerial view. The 1953 view shows only farmland, while the more recent photos show the retail development.
View link

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on June 14, 2010 at 12:38 pm

THanks Ken Mc and Chuck 1231 for the pictures and the ad from 1955.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on June 14, 2010 at 6:51 pm

Lasted 56 years pretty good.

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