2305 Theatre Drive,
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Al Stanford opened the Oaks Drive-In on September 7, 1950. According to a 1987 story in the North County Tribune, the theater originally had 250 speakers but by the end of the first year of operation it had 400.
Mr. Stanford had already been manager of the T&D Theatre and Hi-Ho Theatre when he first presented the idea of a drive-in to the higher-ups at T&D Theatres. He was turned down on the grounds that “Paso Robles would never support a drive-in".
The Tribune further notes “A trip to Watsonville in 1949 ‘to help finish a drive-in there’ firmed his resolve". On his own, Stanford formed a closed corporation, selling stock to 15 local businessmen and farmers.
The article does not say when Mr. Stanford ended his association with T&D Theatres but it was apparent that the drive-in took up all of his time. He said the success was in “Keeping close to the day-to-day operation. It was a seven days a week 52 weeks a year". Stanford ran the drive-in for 27 years, selling it in 1977 to Pussycat Theatres.
Nobody in Paso Robles could remember exactly when the theater closed but in 1987 it was said to be two or three years ago. The former drive-in was leveled in May 1995 by the city because it was considered a “nuisance” and a Target store and shopping center was later built on the site.
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