Rubidoux Drive-In

3770 Opal Street,
Rubidoux, CA 92509

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Rubidoux Drive-In - Riverside, CA

The Rubidoux Drive-In opened November 4, 1948 with John Wayne in “Red River”. It had a capacity for 730 cars. Two new screens and a Sunday swap meet were added in the 1983, and there were plans to add another screen. It is operated by The De Anza Land and Leisure Corp., which also run the Van Buren Drive-In, in nearby Riverside.

These two drive-ins along with the Mission Drive-In in Montclair and Pacific’s Vineland Drive-In in the City of Industry are the four remaining Los Angeles-area drive-ins still showing movies. The Rubidoux Drive-In presents first-run double bills with FM sound in a well-maintained environment which includes a recently remodeled snack bar.

The swap meets have been so successful that they have now been extended to four days. The company has drive-ins and swap meets in other states, including the Redwood Drive-In in Salt Lake City and the Starlight Drive-In in Atlanta.

Contributed by Ron Pierce

Recent comments (view all 17 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 6, 2009 at 9:56 pm

From Boxoffice Magazine, November 13, 1948: “Roy Hunt’s new Rubidoux Drive-In in Riverside opened November 3 to a capacity attendance of 780 cars….” This was a special event with a tariff of $4.80 per person, the proceeds going to a local charity. Regular operations began the following night.

Most likely the location was given as Riverside because Rubidoux did not become a census-designated place until 1950.

Scott Neff
Scott Neff on January 13, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Regardless, I think it’s still in Riverside.

Scott Neff
Scott Neff on January 13, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Especially if we’re going to make the “their website says so arguement” that is so often made about the name of theatres elsewhere on the site.

chspringer on January 13, 2011 at 5:10 pm

This from Wikipedia: “As of the 2000 Census, Rubidoux is the largest unincorporated community in the Inland Empire and in Riverside County.”

joshvs on March 22, 2012 at 10:25 pm

I worked here in the early nineties, Menace to Society era, interesting crowds.

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on January 29, 2013 at 1:42 pm

This drive-in is slated to convert to digital projection in 2013.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 18, 2014 at 1:46 pm

The Rubidoux Drive-In was the subject of a two-page article in Boxoffice of February 5, 1949. There are five photos and a floor plan of the concession-rest room building.

rivest266 on May 27, 2015 at 1:55 am

November 3rd, 1948 grand opening ad in photo section

DavidZornig on February 27, 2017 at 5:41 pm

Five 1949 photos added courtesy of the Americas Past In Photos Facebook page.

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