Stadium 8 Drive-In

1501 W. Katella Avenue,
Orange, CA 92867

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Stadium 8 Drive-In

Viewing: Photo | Street View

When the Stadium Drive-In 1-2-3-4, Orange County’s last-built drive-in, opened on May 27, 1970 it was billed as “The only four-screen drive-in in the entire West”. The circular snack bar, with a centralized projection booth on top, projected to all four screens.

During the 1980’s Syufy (now Century) Theatres would add four more screens to the venue changing its already 2,600-car capacity to an indeterminate number.

For its last night of operation on September 12, 1996 admission was reduced to 1970 prices of $2.25 per person for a feast of 1970’s films such as “The Exorcist” and “Saturday Night Fever”, along with two from its opening night, “MASH” and “Easy Rider”.

Its closing left Orange County which once had drive-ins at 11 locations with only one ozoner, the Highway 39 Drive-In, which would later close in March of 1997.

Century was quick to rebuild, because in November of 1997 they opened a 25-screen indoor stadium on the site.

Contributed by Ron Pierce

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

mtcamp
mtcamp on July 21, 2012 at 1:01 pm

I started working at the Stadium drive-in 4 in 1975 picking trash from the lots. In 1980 I was running the projection booth after they got rid of the projectionist’s union. It was a glorious time for an 18 year old. Best memories of my life. It went from a 4 screen to a 5 screen to a 6 screen during my tenure. Met my wife of 30 years there. Thanks for the link!

kermitthefrog76
kermitthefrog76 on July 26, 2013 at 3:56 pm

I remember my friends and I attending the last night. It was a double feature of the Shining and the Exorcist. Before the second feature they were giving away clear trashbags of popcorn just to get rid of the stuff!! Irritating yet spooky was the Exorcist film kept breaking…queue scary music!!

waves92
waves92 on July 17, 2014 at 5:45 pm

For anyone living in the Orange area in the 70s/80s, this was a great place to go on a Friday or Saturday night, particularly in Summer. Wide selection of movies and awesome SoCal weather in the evenings. Everyone from families to teenagers on dates or with friends were there. OC was paradise back then. Great times!

Scott Neff
Scott Neff on July 17, 2014 at 8:20 pm

I know Syufy built most the drive-ins the same, but the building here looks I-DENT-I-CAL to the Sacramento 6. The Capitol 6 in San Jose doesn’t look as big as either Sac or Stadium.

mtcamp
mtcamp on July 18, 2014 at 12:06 pm

@ Scott. Just like the las Vegas drive in. It was a cookie cutter twin of the Stadium Drive-in snackbar/projection booth. Felt like I was in Orange Ca.

Scott Neff
Scott Neff on July 18, 2014 at 3:03 pm

You must mean the Desert Drive In, in Las Vegas. LVDI is way different. Some of the drive-ins they built had way smaller domes than others. The domes in Glendale and Scottsdale were much smaller, and the one in San Jose, though similar doesn’t seem like it was built with as many windows as Stadium appeared to have.

mtcamp
mtcamp on July 18, 2014 at 3:36 pm

@ Scott, you are correct. I remember the projection booth was a bit different. Yeah, it was the desert drive in.

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