Arcata Drive-In

1635 Heindon Road,
Arcata, CA 95521

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Arcata Drive-In

Located at Highway 101 and Guintoli Lane, Arcata, CA. The Meribel Drive-In was opened in July 1957. In 1962 it was renamed Arcata Drive-In. It was closed around 1988.

Contributed by David coppock

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

Kenmore on May 12, 2019 at 6:12 am

A closer address (at least for Google Maps) is 1635 Heindon Rd, Arcata, CA. This is the current address of the Arcata Chamber of Commerce which sits at the front of the old entrance road to the drive-in.

Today, the chamber, a couple of federal offices, and a trailer park sit on the property. There is no trace of the drive-in remaining.

MichaelKilgore on May 12, 2019 at 2:12 pm

The 1956 aerial showed an empty field. It’s there by 1972 and gone by 1989 even though a 1988 topo map shows its outline.

Motion Picture Almanac drive-in list mentions:

  • 1960-61: Meribel Drive-In, capacity 500, owner Walter Bell

  • 1962-66: Arcata Drive-In, 500, Theatre Management
  • 1967-76: Arcata, 500 (no owner info)
  • 1977-82: Arcata, 500, M. Thomas
  • 1983-88: Arcata, 1 screen, R. Rickard
  • By the way, the MPA eventually added a second drive-in in Arcata, though it could have been the decades-old Midway that was between Arcata and Eureka.

    • 1985-88: Midway, 1 screen, R. Rickard

    The North Coast Journal wrote on March 26, 2009 that Bob Rickard’s career “included running the 299 Drive-in in Willow Creek then the Arcata and Midway drive-ins”.

    MichaelKilgore on January 17, 2020 at 10:02 am

    Boxoffice, July 27, 1957: “Walter Bell recently opened his new 600-car drive-in just north of Arcata in northern California. The $140,000 operation covers ten acres. Bell opened his first "airdome” theatre back in 1911. It cost a total of $225 and seated 96 persons on wooden benches. It proved so profitable that Bell built four others on the prairie in Kansas. Later he moved to Humboldt County, Calif., and built three theatres in a span of five years."

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