Vallejo Auto Movies

1300 Benicia Road,
Vallejo, CA 94591

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jwmovies on January 2, 2019 at 9:04 am

Correction to some of the comments above (sidebar: I was a movie theater manager for Syufy in 1985-1986 for Century Almaden 5 and trained at Island Auto Movies, Coliseum Drive In, the massive Union City Drive In, Century Mountain View 16-still open, Century Cinedome 7 at Newpark Mall and Century 22-the one with the huge dome and the two smaller domes in front, the district manager office behind the large screen).

Mission D/I in Daly City (the address was listed in San Francisco since that’s what it was when this theater opened – DC did not exist at that time) only had 1 screen and was never owned by Century. That would be the Geneva D/I next to the Cow Palace.

Union City D/I closed in 1997. Century Theaters at the Union Landing opened in 1998. If we took a tour of that shopping center today, I could tell you exactly where each of the 6 screens were positioned and the snack bars. I rode that golf cart to start up the movies many times. Hint: Screen 5 was very small. The box office literally sat next to the screen. Also the east half of the the current theater is where screen 4 stood. Projection was from the original projection/snack bar building even though a road split the two sides 3 screens each. I know TMI.

Hilltop only had 1 screen. Coliseum D/I closed in 1998. Swap Meet still open. Recently the only existing screen has been covered with some kind of tarp.

Geneva D/I closed in 2001. Still an abandoned field with the dog track stand and the concession/projection building intact.

Moffett D/I ended as a 4 screen in 1985. I know. My first manager’s meeting was at the Century Mountain View 16, which hadn’t opened yet. They were taking the drive in screens down at the time.

Santa Barbara closed as 2 screens and reopened as 1. The other screen is not used.

The Burlingame opened as 1 screen. Next to it was the Beach. When Syufy took over, they merged the two theaters. Later splitting each to form the Burlingame 4 D/I.

Last but not least the Capitol. Lots of changes. Lots of configurations. The current one was due to the Century Capitol 16 bring built. The parking lot for this now demolished theater was where screen 5 and 6 of the drive in stood before the dreaded theater was built. Tore down the larger screens. Built 2 tiny screens in the back of screen 1. Said indoor theater was later demolished. I attended the theater opening. Nice but way too of the beaten path. I wish they would put the screens back. But the management of Syufy won’t do that because they are extremely lazy. Ray Jr. used to live in the trailer hone at the Coliseum. Fun fact.

davidcoppock on February 28, 2017 at 4:38 am

Was the owner ever investigated for possible insurance fraud?

Prof David Ducay
Prof David Ducay on October 15, 2013 at 1:50 am

The Vallejo Auto Movies was the drive-in I grew up watching outdoor films during the early 70s. I remember seeing a lot of Martial Arts shows like Duel of the Iron Fist, Chinese Connection and one of the last films I saw here was Beyond the Door, the Italian American horror film. It was the film that Warner Bros. tried to sue the producers because it resembled the Exorcist. Actually, it was the last film I saw from beginning to end, later I went here to see other films with girlfriends, never watched the full length shows here again, well at least not at those times :) . The Syufy Enterprise and Century did away with the two screen drive-in like a lot of the others that they owned such as (there are still some that are Open):

Island Auto movie Drive-In, Alameda – Open 1950 Synfy, Closed 1991

Vallejo Drive-In, Vallejo – Open 1950, operated later by Century theatre and Syufy 1960s

El Rancho 4 Drive-In, Sparks, Nv. – Open 1950, operated later by Century theatre and Syufy, now by West Wind.

El Rancho Drive-In, San Pablo, Richmond – Open 1951 Homer Gray, 1953 by Richmond drive-in Inc. & Syufy

Mission 2 Drive-In, San Francisco, – Open 1951, operated later by Century theatre and Syufy, Closed 1976

Concord Auto Movies – Open 1957 by Enea Bro. Syufy took over 1960s?

Union City Drive-In, Union City – Open 195x Synfy, Closed 1998

Hilltop 8 Drive-In, Richmond – Open 1960 by Syufy, Closed 1984

Coliseum Drive-In, Oakland – Open 1961, by Syufy, Closed 1990s

Winchester Drive-In, Campbell – Open 1963, by Syufy, Closed 1984

Solano 2 Drive-In, Concord – Open 1964, Century & Syufy 2005, West Wind, 2007

Geneva 4 Drive-In, Daily City – Open 1950 Synfy, Closed

Moffett 3 Drive-In, Mountainview – Open 1964, Century & Syufy, Closed 1985

Santa Barbara Twin Drive-In, Goleta – Open 1966, Century & Syufy, Closed 1991

Spurce 4 Drive-In, San Francisco – Open 1960s, Century & Syufy, Closed 1980s

Burlinggame 4 Drive-In, Burlingame – Open 1960s, Century & Syufy, Closed 2003

Capital 6 Drive-In, San Jose – Open 1971, Syufy

Sacramento 6 Drive-In, Sacramento – Open 1973, Century & Syufy

Desert 5 Drive-In, Las Vegas – Open 1970s, Century & Syufy, Closed 1980s.

Glendale 9 Drive-In, Glendale, Az. – Open 1979, Century & Syufy, run by West Wind now. (one of the last drive-in’s built by Syufy)

JasonBalch on March 18, 2005 at 2:53 pm

The Vallejo Auto Movies, in later years, was operated by Syufy/Century Theatres.