Lassen Auto Movies

U.S.-395 and CA-36,
Susanville, CA 96130

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The Lassen Auto Movie Drive-In was located in the Johnsonville section of Susanville. It was opened around September 1950 when it was operated by T & D Jr. Enterprises. By 1955 it was operated by United California Theatres Inc. It was demolished by 1981. Now an empty field next to Lassen Veterinarian Hospital on the northeast corner. Though barely visible, some ramps are still there.

Contributed by James Monroe

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

Kenmore
Kenmore on May 1, 2019 at 2:58 pm

The theater is actually in Johnstonville, although Google lists the address of US-395 & CA-36 as simply being in “California”.

The original road where the entrance is located is now gone. It has been replaced with another road called aptly “Theatre Road”.

The drive-in was demolished by 1981. Apart from the faint hint of ramps and the general outline, no trace of the drive-in remains.

MichaelKilgore
MichaelKilgore on October 28, 2019 at 11:30 am

Kenmore is accurate, but I’d still list this drive-in under Susanville. The Lassen was between the two chunks of Susanville (wait, what?), and Johnstonville is merely a census-designated place, apparently without borders or governance. But it was founded as Toadtown, so at least it upgraded its name.

The Lassen’s first appearance in the Film Daily Year Book’s lists was the 1951 edition, as “Drive-In”. Its first entry in the Motion Picture Almanac was the 1951-52 edition, and the first Theatre Catalog mention was 1952.

The Lassen’s screen was still visible in a 1980 aerial photo (masquerading as a topo map on HistoricAerials.com) but as Kenmore implied, it was gone in a 1981 aerial.

MichaelKilgore
MichaelKilgore on November 25, 2020 at 6:21 pm

Looks like the Lassen opened in 1950, accounting for its presence on the 1951 Film Daily Year Book list. The July 15, 1950 issue of Boxoffice had a long list of open and under construction drive-ins; it included Susanville’s among the open. Then the Sept. 16, 1950 issue said that George Robinson was the manager “of the new Lassen Auto Movie.”

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