El Rancho I & II Drive-In

157 Hickey Boulevard,
South San Francisco, CA 94080

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El Rancho I & II Drive-In

Viewing: Photo | Street View

This drive-in was located on top of a hill near Hickey Boulevard in South San Francisco district of Colma, to the south of Daly City. What was pretty cool was this was one of the first drive-ins that had FM sound transmission. I had friends who lived up the hill, they could see the movies from their windows and listen to the sound on their radios.

Originally a single screen, operating by 1948 by Redwood-Lippert Theatres, it was later twinned. Closed in the early-1980’s and replaced by a condo-complex.

Contributed by Victor

Recent comments (view all 12 comments)

teecee on July 25, 2005 at 9:40 am

View link

Go to this link and search for “Rancho Drive-In” (leave off the EL) and you will find about a dozen photos from 1948.

lvmstar on October 4, 2005 at 9:15 am

Wow, I grew up right around the corner in Buri Buri. My parents took me to the El Rancho almost every weekend, I’d pack up my blanket and watch in the back of mom’s 68 Barracuda – I can remember many movies but the scariest one I remember was Jaws, think I was about 8. What great memories…

Doron on November 27, 2006 at 10:10 am

I grew up during the “70’s in the Serramonte area. We could see the movies nightly from our living room windows. I wish I knew then about the FM Radio station! :–)

kencmcintyre on November 19, 2008 at 1:12 pm

There is a new collection of Life magazine photos on Google. This 1948 photo may also be on the Getty collection posted in July 2005:

kencmcintyre on November 19, 2008 at 1:29 pm

I think there are two million photos linked, according to Google. If misterboo has an extra year or two to post them all, great.

kencmcintyre on November 19, 2008 at 1:43 pm

This is a silly conversation, and I’m not going to waste more time on it. Please feel free to comment on each Life photo that I post.

kencmcintyre on November 29, 2008 at 7:25 pm

Here is another Life photo from 1948:

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 27, 2009 at 7:02 pm

The various Life Magazine photos linked above do not depict the El Rancho Drive-In in South San Francisco, but the Rancho Drive-In in San Diego. The April 24, 1948, issue of Boxoffice Magazine published an article about the new Rancho in San Diego, with photos. It is unmistakably the same screen tower and mural seen in the Life Magazine photos. There are also easily recognized photos of the Rancho on a web page about San Diego drive-ins published by the San Diego Weekly Reader,

Drive-In 54
Drive-In 54 on January 25, 2012 at 3:40 pm

New picture… alot of broken links.

Jemimah63 on June 6, 2013 at 11:12 am

The Google map I get for 157 Hickey is the wrong location for the El Rancho. The address shown in the map is for Pacifica. The El Rancho was in Souty City. It was located where the Briarcliffe development is now. Look for Crown Circle—-that is where it was.

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