Pleasant Hill Motor Movies

2040 Contra Costa Boulevard,
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523

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Pleasant Hill Motor Movies

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened in 1947 as the Contra Costa Motor In, it was built by Robert Lippert, and by 1955 was operated by Lippert-Redwood Theatres. Later renamed Pleasant Hill Motor Movies, it was located on Contra Costa Boulevard in Pleasant Hill, Sherman Field district of Concord. A large 600 car capacity single screen – it changed hands several times during operation.

Closed and demolished around 1978, the site is now home to a shopping center.

Farrington’s Bar and Grill, an establishment on the former site, is a virtual museum for the Motor Movies drive-in, with numerous photos and artifacts from this once-popular venue.

Contributed by Jason

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

JasonBalch
JasonBalch on March 14, 2005 at 10:01 pm

When first opened, it was called the Concord MotorIn, and was constructed just outside of Sherman Field, a large airfield.

jfrentzen
jfrentzen on May 10, 2005 at 8:55 pm

One of those drivein theaters that was constructed adjacent to a well-traveled highway (Route 680) and the screen faced the highway. It was a large drivein that played first run as well as 2nd or 3rd run, and some all-night shows. I saw many triple-bill horror flicks at this drivein. The snack bar was cavernous.

motioman
motioman on January 29, 2012 at 8:06 pm

This theater opened in 1947 as the Contra Costa Motor-In. Around 1958 the El Cerrito Motor Movies also operated by R.L. Lippert closed and they took the nice back lit reader boards changed the El Cerrito neon to Pleasant Hill and the Motor-In was now the Motor Movies. The old reader boards were just wooden reader boards lit with flood lights. The theater closed in late 1977 because of re-developement and declining business. Booth details: Motiograph AA with RCA 9030 sound heads and Ashcraft Super Power lamps. Sometime in the last 10 years the picture heads were changed to Century. The car capacity during the later years was a max of 768. If you watch the Drive in scene in “Grease” where Danny sings “Sandy” I would swear it was filmed at the Motor Movies even though I know it wasn’t.

patz66b
patz66b on September 28, 2012 at 6:39 am

I lived originally at 40 Anelda Drive and the PH Motor Movies was directly behind our backyard. As kids, we’d sneak into the movies and turn on the speakers out near the fences really loud then sit on our roofs in sleeping bags on lawn recliners and have great outdoor movie experiences. The Motor Movies also had a playground below the screen and a little train that would go around a track that took it out through the wall around the backside of the screen, basically parallel to Contra Costa Highway (what it used to be called before I-680 was built) and back through the other side. When we got older and could drive, it was always the challenge to see how many kids you could sneak into the drive-in theater in your trunk. What was so funny about that was that it only cost a “buck a car load” ($1)!

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