Madera 2 Drive-In

201 W. Lincoln Avenue,
Madera, CA 93638

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Additional Info

Operated by: Cal Gran Theatres

Architects: William R. Metz

Functions: Movies (First Run)

Previous Names: El Rio Drive-In, Park-Vu Drive-In

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 559.673.5381

Nearby Theaters

Madera 2 Drive-In

The Merced Sun-Star says that this is one of the last drive-ins in the San Joaquin Valley.

The El Rio Drive-In was opened October 27, 1948 with Gregory Peck in “The Yearling”. It has been owned since 1972 by brothers Bobby and Shawn Gran who also own the Movie Cinema 6. It is open from May to September and there is always a double feature on both screens.

Contributed by Ron Pierce

Recent comments (view all 12 comments)

MovieOffers on June 8, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Please change the link to their website:

Drive-In 54
Drive-In 54 on June 8, 2012 at 7:31 pm

Goggle Aerial View 2012

Predator on February 8, 2017 at 4:51 pm

The El Rio Drive-In opened on October 27th, 1948.

MichaelKilgore on February 13, 2017 at 7:32 pm

This changing name business is pretty confusing. The 1948-49 Theatre Catalog lists the Madera Drive-In as under construction. The 1949-50 edition lists the El Rio in operation, as does the 1952 and 1955-56 editions.

The 1956 Film Daily Year Book of Motion Pictures lists, for Madera CA, both the El Rio Drive-In and the Madera Drive-In. The 1964 edition lists only the El Rio, so I’m guessing the second drive-in in ‘56 was a crossed wire.

On the other hand, the 1984 International Motion Picture Almanac shows the only drive-in in Madera as the single-screen Park Vu Drive In, owned by R. Gran. And the 1995 edition of Goodridge’s Guide to Flea Markets also mentions the Park Vu Drive-In Flea Market at 201 Lincoln. It was definitely known as the Madera by 2004, so the Park Vu must have been an intermediate name.

dansdriveintheater on November 11, 2018 at 10:15 am

they no longer run the swap meet at the madera drive-in

dansdriveintheater on November 24, 2018 at 7:06 pm

news article about the 2018 reopening it has a new owner

dansdriveintheater on August 14, 2019 at 3:14 pm

Now ca,s oldest drive in

MichaelKilgore on October 26, 2019 at 1:36 pm

To elaborate on my comment a couple of years ago, the El Rio was in the very first Motion Picture Almanac drive-in list (the 1950-51 edition), and the Park Vu was in the very last (1988). Considering how slow the MPA reacted to changed in the 1960s and 70s, the name change probably occurred within a few years of 1970.

The full MPA record, which was actually quite stable:

  • 1950-66: El Rio, 400, Henry Preciado
  • 1967-76: El Rio, 400
  • 1977-88: Park Vu, 400 (later 1 screen), R. Gran
dansdriveintheater on April 26, 2021 at 10:45 am

it i now the second to last san joaquin valley drive in that is still operating the other being the ceres cruise-in theatre. also california’s oldest operating drive-in

dansdriveintheater on December 16, 2022 at 1:40 am

Movies return April 2023

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