San Pedro Drive-In

1575 N. Gaffey Street,
San Pedro, CA 90731

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

The San Pedro Drive-In opened on June 6th, 1949 with John Payne in “El Paso” & Doris Day in “My Dream is Yours”. 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 900, 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 16 comments)

KimReynolds on December 2, 2008 at 7:19 pm

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 2:44 pm

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

TLSLOEWS on April 27, 2010 at 10:55 pm

Too bad there are no photos.

tnavel on March 17, 2012 at 10:47 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 9:57 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 8:43 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 15, 2016 at 1:57 am

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.

rivest266 on February 4, 2018 at 7:50 pm

This opened on May 27th, 1949. Grand opening ad in the photo section.

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