By Mitch Waldow/FOX 11 Archive Manager
The Paramount Drive-In Is Back In Business:
After 23 years, projector beams are hitting the screens at the Paramount Drive-In. The same family that's owned the theater since 1947 has brought it up to the digital age, with two screens and wireless sound and a new snack stand.
For years the 45 acre property has hosted a swap meet, but Glenn Bianchi, whose family owns the land and also runs an adjacent 11-screen multiplex, believes it's time to introduce new generations to the fun of outdoor moviegoing. Although drive-ins were a common sight in the 1950s, with some 4,000 screens across the country, there are fewer than 400 of them today. In L.A. County there are only three true drive-ins still in operation.
The Paramount Drive-In(s) can hold 800 cars. There are two first-run features on each screen. One program is geared for family viewing. The other features are aimed at general audiences. And though some of us will remember the "passion pits" of the 1950s and ‘60s, this drive-in is more family-friendly.
A side note: the Fox 11 studios occupy property that was once the site of Pacific's Olympic Drive-In Theatre – which featured on the street side a giant mural of a goofy-looking couple on wooden surfboards. That tells you how old it was. The drive-in closed in the 1970s.
Drive-ins have long been subjects of teen-age lore. Even the comic duo Cheech and Chong had a routine about one. Maybe the Paramount's revival will spawn new stories.
The new Paramount Drive-In is at 7900 All America City Way, off Somerset Boulevard in Paramount. FACEBOOK PAGE for Paramount Drive-In: CLICK HERE