Airport Drive-In

400 Lopez Road,
Goleta, CA 93117

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Just behind the Cinema Twin Theatres, the remains of the Airport Drive-In Theatre (first listed at 6201 Hollister Avenue, an address that was changed later to 400 Frederick Lopez Road; the Cinema Twin is on Hollister but Frederick Lopez runs perpendicular to that).

The Airport Drive-In was opened in April 1951. The lot is used now for airport parking, but the ticketbooth / gateway still remains, and just outside the far fences can be seen the mounts for the drive-in screen, lingering in the dust and weeds.

Contributed by MagicLantern

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

Keithsb
Keithsb on November 9, 2004 at 6:55 am

Those mounts anchored the screen. The backside of the screen faced Hollister Ave and had a beautiful neon sign image of a four prop airplane. That was the first thing to go, then the screen came down a few years later. It was a wonderful place to be. I enjoyed many films there over the years. It is a shame that it has been demolished. The City of Santa Barbara owns the land and is negotiating to build offices or retail buildings on the site.

AntiqueHunter
AntiqueHunter on November 15, 2004 at 1:23 am

I have much information about this theatre, I have the blueprints and details of construction.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on November 15, 2004 at 1:30 am

The Airport Drive-In is listed as having a capacity for 700 cars. Here is a link to a photo of whats left of the entrance to this drive-in.
http://www.drive-ins.com/pictures/catairp01.jpg

JeffPhoto
JeffPhoto on April 12, 2006 at 1:59 am

I worked at the Airport Drive-In around 1963 while attending Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara. I remember packing the letters for the marquee in a box and using a rope to pull the box up to the the marquee. I sold a lot of sodas and hot dogs. It was a great part time job.
Jeff

bojeta
bojeta on July 16, 2006 at 4:32 am

I grew up in Goleta during the early 60's through high school in the70’s. I remember playing in my pajamas at the Airport Drive-In as a small child and taking my first high school date there in 1976. Like Keith said, the neon plane sign was beautiful and it was very sad to see it go. I now teach Multimedia at Righetti High School in Santa Maria up the road. I have hopes of having my students build a virtual copy of the Airport Drive-In and have emailed Randy with a request for a copy of those blueprints. Hopefully he will get the email and can help out.

BTW, our Hi-Way Drive-In is still up and running here in Santa Maria! Took my granddaughter to see Superman Returns there last week.

Adios!

bojeta
bojeta on July 16, 2006 at 4:33 am

Oops! Should have put my email address in that last comment I posted.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on September 24, 2007 at 5:13 am

Here is a January 1980 ad from the LA Times:
http://tinyurl.com/2nr66u

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 7, 2009 at 6:57 am

The Airport Drive-In at Goleta would be “…completed and ready for an opening any day now,” according to an item in the April 7, 1951, issue of Boxoffice Magazine.

KingBiscuits
KingBiscuits on January 7, 2009 at 7:34 am

Woo-hoo, Bruce Lee poser madness!

KingBiscuits
KingBiscuits on January 7, 2009 at 7:34 am

Referring to the ad.

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