Lemon Bowl Cinema-Dine

6800 Federal Boulevard,
Lemon Grove, CA 91945

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Lemon Bowl Cinema-Dine

This was a San Diego area drive-in theatre that opened November 22, 1947 with Cary Grant and Shirley Temple in “Batchelor & the Bobby Soxer”. It had a capacity for 650 cars. It closed in 1953. It was demolished in the 1970’s for an automobile dealership.

The unusual name stems from the fact that it had, for the time, an extensive concession menu and that the speaker poles had intercoms that patrons could use to order food and soft drinks which would be delivered by carhops. The theater also had a miniature golf course.

Contributed by Christopher Walczak

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

CSWalczak on November 24, 2010 at 10:25 am

There is a picture of the Lemon Grove Cinema Dine on p.83 of this online book (you may have to scroll up or down to see it or use the tool at the top of the page): http://tinyurl.com/244x8wh.

There is reminiscence about the theater here: View link and its gallery page at Drive-ins.com has a small picture of the eat-in-your-car menu that will enlarge a bit if clicked upon: http://www.drive-ins.com/gallery/catlemo

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on November 25, 2010 at 11:33 am



Could use more info and photos.

rivest266 on August 9, 2011 at 11:48 am

Picture is at http://www.historicaerials.com/aerials.php?scale=2.88184505225325E-05&lat=32.7392941215329&lon=-117.0549555088&year=1953

It’s gone by 1964.

rivest266 on August 9, 2011 at 11:50 am

Correction, the link povided by CSWalczak states that it closed in 1953.

rivest266 on April 6, 2012 at 1:49 pm

This opened on November 22nd, 1947. I posted its grand opening ad.

Drive-In 54
Drive-In 54 on September 21, 2015 at 6:00 pm

Updated with a 1953 aerial with 2014 highway overlay. So it was gone by 1956.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 22, 2015 at 1:12 am

Located in Lemon Grove, but the screen tower and the menu that has been uploaded to the photo page both advertised it as the Lemon Bowl Cinema-Dine.

rokcomx on November 4, 2015 at 1:47 pm

The Lemon Bowl Cinema Dine was San Diego’s second drive-in theater, opening shortly after the Midway DI. The 1948-49 Theatre Catalog lists its original owners as C.E. Norcross, Suburban Theatres Inc. of Loma Linda, California. Ira Durham and Oliver McNeel operated the theater through 1953, before leasing it to Sero (which had opened San Diego’s third DI, the Rancho) for one or two final seasons. The lot included a restaurant, where snacks and dinners were served, as well as prewarmed bottles of baby formula, delivered for a time on carts that could only navigate horizontally along the lot’s flat surface aisles. With no local advertising after September 1954, it appears this ozone was torn down even before the nationwide atrophy of drive-ins began, to make room for access to the 94 freeway, with a portion of the property eventually housing a Toyota dealership.

davidcoppock on October 5, 2018 at 4:59 am

CA 94 runs through the center of the former drive-in site. The front and back parts are now Edco recycling Center and a portion of College Grove Shopping Center.

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