Bar-Len Drive-In

Lenwood Road and Main Street,
Lenwood, CA 92311

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Western Amusement Company Inc.

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Bar-Len Drive-In

Located in Lenwood, near Barstow. The Bar-Len Drive-In was opened on December 29, 1948 with a capacity for 500-cars. It was part of Western Amusements in 1955. It was closed on September 15, 1968 with Walter Brennan in “The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band” & Walt Disney’s “Bambi”.

Contributed by Ken McIntyre

Recent comments (view all 22 comments)

MichaelKilgore on February 19, 2017 at 6:38 pm

The “Bar-Len” was listed in Lenwood in the 1964 Film Daily Year Book. It was also listed, with a capacity 460 cars and in Barstow in the 1972 International Motion Picture Almanac, so it survived until at least 1971. By the 1984 edition, it was gone.

A 1963 Barstow High School yearbook photo calls it the “Bar Len,” though the poster uses a hyphen.

For the clincher, this Flickr user posted “A single frame from the policy trailer shown at the Bar-Len Drive In.” It clearly shows a hyphen in the name.

I can’t tell which city it belonged in, but I think the name really ought to be hyphenated.

dansdriveintheater on January 14, 2019 at 2:26 pm Theatre.8710937,-117.1188704,515m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x80c47ed38970b30b:0x44c2c98e50998007!8m2!3d34.8712906!4d-117.1202499

what is left.

MichaelKilgore on May 10, 2019 at 4:12 pm

The Bar-Len first appeared in the Film Daily Year Book in the 1950 edition. It was also in the first Motion Picture Almanac drive-in list, the 1950-51 edition, and the second Theatre Catalog list, 1949-50.

Motion Picture Almanac drive-in list mentions:

  • 1950-55: Capacity 400, owner P. K. Lyons, by Ish. White
  • 1956: off the list (huh?)
  • 1957-59: 400, P.K. Lyons
  • 1960-66: 400, Western Amusement Co
  • 1967-76: 400 (no owner info)
  • 1977-88: off the list

But the “Barlen” was still included in Western Amusement’s holdings in the MPA’s Theatre Circuit section through 1984.

MichaelKilgore on December 30, 2019 at 11:11 pm

Boxoffice, Feb. 21, 1953: “Dave Peterman succeeds Joseph James as manager of the Bar-Len Drive-In in Barstow.”

MichaelKilgore on July 1, 2021 at 4:41 pm

(Barstow) Desert Dispatch, Dec. 30, 1948: “Barstow’s new $90,000 Bar-Len drive in theater opened December 29. Visitors will see a screen stories high and an auditorium capable of holding 500 cars.” No grand opening ad the week before, unfortunately. The front-page article mentioned a snack bar, in-car speakers, and regular double features.

rivest266 on August 11, 2021 at 7:08 pm

Newspaper listings for this drive-in stopped in 1968 in the Desert Dispatch.

MichaelKilgore on August 12, 2021 at 4:57 pm

To amplify that excellent catch, the Bar-Len’s final performance was on Sunday, Sept. 15, 1968, when it showed “The One and Only Genuine Original Family Band” and “Bambi”. Subsequent ads were “Closed for the winter”.

taylordiving on January 2, 2023 at 6:36 pm

I think the Bar-Len was owned by the same people who owned the Barstow Theatre as they shared ads in the 1965 & 1966 Barstow High School yearbooks.

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