San Pedro Drive-In

1811 N. Gaffey Street,
San Pedro, CA 90731

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San Pedro Drive In, Courtesy of San Pedro Bay Historical Society

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The San Pedro Drive-In opened on June 6th, 1949. The San Pedro had a distinctive trademark in a colorful mural emblazoned on the highway side of the steel and plaster screen tower building.

At the top of the graphic illustration of a caballero on horseback waving to approaching ships, the theater name was blocked out in neon-lighted letters. The architect of the San Pedro Drive-In was William Glenn Balch & Louis L. Bryan. It had a car capacity for 831, and was operated by the Pacific Theatres chain. The San Pedro Drive-In was closed November 22, 1982.

Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 14 comments)

kencmcintyre on May 3, 2008 at 11:54 am

Here is an ad from the LA Times:

Glory on May 29, 2008 at 9:57 pm

I remember the San Pedro Drive-in. I use to have alot of fun there. I remember when I was younger my mom and dad use to take us (myself, sister. We’d stop by McDonald’s first and they would buy 10 hamburgers for $1.00. That’s right! 10 for just $1.00. Now you wouldn’t catch me eating that stuff. Anyway, we’d head off to the theatre and have fun.

I remember one time we went to see “Psycho” when it first came out there. I laughed so hard when my mom said we were going to watch peace-co. I couldn’t figure out what she said. I also remember when I use to work at the snack bar. Didn’t do that for long. I knew too many kids that wanted free stuff. Wouldn’t do it. However, I did use to sneak a bunch in my car trunk. It was funny at the time when I saw all the kids coming out of my trunk.

Gone are the days of 2 moves for the price of 1.

KimReynolds on December 2, 2008 at 11:19 am

In back of the screen on the next property was the DeCarlo Bakery. I remember the smell of fresh bread late into the evening. When my dad had a Poker Night back in 1972 with his friends my mom took me and my 2 younger brothers to the San Pedro. She told us to pick out a movie. We choose “The Corpse Grinders”. My mom had some concerns but took us anyway. Needless to say we did not stay for the second feature. Good times!

William on February 12, 2010 at 6:44 am

The cost of the San Pedro Drive-In was $300,000.00.

TLSLOEWS on April 27, 2010 at 2:55 pm

Too bad there are no photos.

tnavel on March 17, 2012 at 3:47 pm

on the way to the san pedro drive in usually in oct. the refinery that you would pass had a round tank that they would paint orange to look like a giant pumpkin. we knew we were close to the drive in

sarahfava on August 15, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Does anyone now what became of the ticket booths from the san pedro drive in? I seem to remember them being chrome and modern/ deco in design. A shame if they were destroyed.

davidcoppock on October 21, 2016 at 12:43 pm

Is there any drive-in screens remaining that still have the artwork on the back of the screen, or are they all gone?

movieman6262 on November 14, 2016 at 5:57 pm

I have a lot of memories of this theater When I was a kid. My mom and dad would take me here to see a movie and I played on the playground then when the movie started we would go to our cars and watch the movie. we would pretty much always have dinner somewhere close to the movie theater then we would go and enjoy the movie as well as have a lot of fun. One movie I remember seeing here at San Pedro was and it was my moms favorite was “The Birds” By Alfred Hitchcock. I have plenty great memories of this wonderful movie theater.

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