Circle Drive-In

1633 Ximeno Avenue,
Long Beach, CA 90815

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Pacific Theatres

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Circle Drive-In

The Circle Drive-In was opened April 4, 1951 with Dennis Morgan in “Raton Pass” & Rod Cameron in “Stage to Tucson”. I can remember this very large drive-in, with its grand marquee at the corner of Pacific Coast Highway and Ximeno Avenue. It was a large part of the feel of the area, built in the post-WW II boom, many built in mid-century modern “Googie” style. The Circle Drive-In was closed on January 31, 1985 with Michael Sopkiw in “2019:After the Fall of New York” & Doug McLure in “Humanoids from the Deep”.

The Circle Drive-In was joined recently (May 2004) in the “lost” column by another local icon, the Java Lanes bowling alley, with it’s huge Polynesian “A”-frame roof. The Circle Drive-In was named for the (in)famous Alamitos traffic circle roundabout, down the street.

Contributed by Randy

Recent comments (view all 26 comments)

rivest266 on August 8, 2012 at 4:13 pm

April 4th, 1951 grand opening ad posted in the photo section here.

LBtheaterfan on October 14, 2013 at 7:21 am

Can’t tell how many movies I happily missed in my junior year in high school!

mamat5kdz on October 3, 2014 at 6:14 am

Wow…!!! IN 1951 my mom would’ve been 7…I grew up going to this this Drive In… but I have , however very comingled memories as we had another Drive in too..I wanna say it was Los Altos?!?!. Anyway…I remember Oscars being close by for the best pattymelts and shakes and also somewhere near we would get to go to a christmas tree set up every year…my gramma always got flocked trees…a freeway nearby? I am trying to remember if I saw Star Wars at Circle. It was released May of 77' ….which by then we had moved to near Sacramento after my first semester of 9th grade at the end of 76'…but I am soooo confusd because I remember friends being there with their families but…ugh! And I keep remembering the Lagoon…this weird little beach place….lol… and The Java Bowling alley was my mom’s sanctuary…I spent a lot of time in the kids room. I tell ya…memories are so vivid but blurry…crazy! At some point didnt The circle have more than one screen?..

Denny Pine
Denny Pine on October 2, 2018 at 10:21 am

Final night of operation was January 31, 1985 with “After The Fall Of New York” and “Humanoids From The Deep”.

davidcoppock on December 30, 2018 at 2:20 am

Is the roundabout the drive-in was named after, still there?

Bruce D
Bruce D on January 2, 2019 at 7:20 am

Yes, the Los Alamitos Circle commonly referred to as the Long Beach Traffic Circle is still there.

DavidZornig on November 17, 2019 at 12:54 pm

Here is the video from which the Overview photo/screen grab came from. Circle Drive-In at 3:34.

davidcoppock on March 1, 2021 at 4:49 am

Opened on 4/4/1951 with “Raton Pass” and “Stage to Tucson”.

Jamey_monroe45 on July 26, 2023 at 6:42 pm

Now The Landing at Long Beach apartments @ 1601 Ximeno Way, Long Beach, CA 90804.

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