Sunset Drive-In

255 Elks Lane,
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

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Sunset Drive-In

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Independently owned and operated, this is one of the few remaining drive-in theatres in Southern California that’s still screening films. It’s just before the famous Madonna Inn, on the right side of Highway 101 (the screen is difficult to miss) heading northbound.

Contributed by MagicLantern

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

scottfavareille
scottfavareille on August 2, 2004 at 2:58 pm

This drive-in is owned by a drive-in buff! Originally opened in 1951, a great drive-in. I regularly went there in the late 1970’s-early 1980’s when I lived in the area. Also has Sunday swap meets. Amongst the films I saw there: Friday the 13th, Road Games, Grand Theft Auto/Eat My Dust

MagicLantern
MagicLantern on August 2, 2004 at 4:01 pm

Wow! “Friday that 13th” in a drive-in – that must’ve been great! Drove past it the other evening but you couldn’t catch a glimpse of what was playing from the freeway.

GaryParks
GaryParks on August 3, 2004 at 3:09 pm

I’ve passed by this drive-in along Highway 101 for decades. I noticed not long ago that the red neon SUNSET sign tower sign is much better maintained these days. The fact that it’s run by a drive-in buff explains this. I have gone off the highway to find the entrance and marquee sign. There’s nice neon on it as well, and is worth a look.

Manwithnoname
Manwithnoname on January 1, 2005 at 11:25 am

I remember seeing “Frogs” with Ray Milland here when I was a student at Cal Poly. I also remember the pizza being pretty darn good then.

bojeta
bojeta on July 18, 2006 at 12:17 am

Glad to hear one of the good guys is running the Sunset. Being a Poly grad, and living just down the road in Santa Maria, I’m gonna make it a point to head up to SLO and see a flic at the Sunset. I’ll take my `47 Plymouth!

I feel really lucky to live close to two of the few remaining drive-ins in CA. There used to be two running at once here in Santa Maria, but the Park Aire Drive-In closed down in the early `90’s to make room for yet another housing development.

Alison
Alison on July 23, 2008 at 10:23 pm

I grew up going to the Sunset Drive-in in the 60’s and 70’s and took my kids there often in the 80’s. I’ve since moved to the East Coast but am coming home for a family reunion. I’m looking forward to taking my grand-children to see a movie there! What a hoot!

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 15, 2009 at 1:27 am

From the March 18, 1950, issue of Boxoffice Magazine: “Also set to open in April is the Sunset in San Luis Obispo, a 500-car drive-in owned by Don McClaren and Charles Pasquini. McClaren, a former branch manager for J.P. Filbert Co. here, served as his own architect.”

J.P. Filbert Co. was a theater supply outfit in Los Angeles.

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