Lompoc California Closed Drive-in Theatre
If you enjoy driving around and finding cool photo-ops, you definitely want to check this out! Plus, who isn’t a fan of drive-in theaters?!
Matt and I were on a mini weekend road trip to the California central coast. When we road trip, we love roaming around and getting into places we don’t know. We were wandering down Highway 1 toward Lompoc and I was busy looking at my phone for places to check out when Matt pointed out the drive-in and we immediately hit the breaks and turned into the entrance. It was awesome! The drive-in is no longer in service but they use it as a recycling center. It is now called, “The Valley Drive-in RECYCLING CENTER”. Not a major change in name which I absolutely love.
The typography, surprisingly, is in amazing condition since the drive-in was probably built in the late 50’s. I did some research and there really isn’t much information about this drive-in theatre. A few links with some photos and general information, but really no old articles, no old photos of people who worked or visited the drive-in. If you look it up on Instagram you can find a few photos but it doesn’t seem to be a well-known stop for travelers. Sad, but at the same time, it’s very exciting that we got to check it out.
One of the best things I found on the theatre was this neat comment from someone saying,
“I remember when my Dad built the Drive-In. Lompoc was in a boom time due to Vandenberg being the choice for the space program at the time. We spent many a good time there. I think we went for free since my Dad built it. Funny story: Back then, the river bank was lined with old cars. I guess that was sort of ok then to prevent erosion. There was a stand of eucalyptus trees behind the drive in. So, me and my best friend took the seat out of one of the cars and mounted it up in the eucs. We ran a wire for a speaker from the back row to our perch in the trees. Then we’d ride our bikes down there and watch the show. That is until we got busted! Those were the days……..”.
I love hearing old stories so I thought this was really nice to read since there wasn’t much information on the drive-in.
Also, for you tech nerds someone left a comment in a link I found and mentioned that they worked there as a projectionist in the 60’s and they used “Simplex XL equipment”. Just another neat fact I thought I’d share.
The address is 2126 North H Street. Lompoc CA 93436. I definitely recommend stopping by if you’re in the area. Beautiful places like this need to be visited and admired to be kept alive and even though they’re using it as a recycling center it is still how it was left which I can surely appreciate.
If you have any questions or like this post please let me know in the comments section below. The more I see people enjoying these posts the more I want to share them!