Motor Movies

3883 S. El Dorado Street,
Stockton, CA 95206

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Blumenfeld Theater Circuit

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Motor Movies

This drive-in theatre was located to the south of Clayton Avenue on S. El Dorado Street. It had a capacity for 887 cars, and was opened as the Motor Movies on May 14, 1948 with James Craig in “The Man from Texas” & Burton’s Birds in “Bill and Coo”. It was operated by the Blumenfeld Theatres chain. It was closed in 1982.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

jwmovies on October 26, 2012 at 10:22 pm

Above address is incorrect. Approx. address for this drive-in was 3845 South El Dorado Street.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 27, 2012 at 10:39 am

Old USGS maps show that the Motor Movies Drive-In occupied an irregular quadrilateral lot of about ten acres along El Dorado Street starting about 300 feet south of Clayton Avenue and extending about 600 feet farther. A narrow additional parcel used as a driveway extended north to Clayton on a line with Mary Avenue, but the main entrance appears to have been on El Dorado.

The screen was at the northwest corner, at the back of what appears to now be a lumber yard. In the satellite view you can see a small, white-roofed building, set at an angle, about where the screen used to be. The rest of the drive-in’s parcel is now occupied by industrial uses and a storage area for big rig trailers.

I don’t know just where the marquee and attraction board were located, so I’ve set Street View to the southeast corner of the parcel, which is where the USGS maps show a driveway entering from El Dorado Street.

Go to Historic Aerials and enter the address 4000 S. El Dorado, Stockton, CA, and then when the aerial has been fetched click on the 1987 topo map link (T) to see the former layout.

JasHarv on November 3, 2012 at 10:51 am

The marquee was on El Dorado (old Highway 50)near the box office.

MichaelKilgore on October 29, 2019 at 12:15 pm

The Film Daily Year Book first included this as Motor-In in its 1948 edition. It became the Stockton Motor Movies in 1949. The Motion Picture Almanac series included the Motor Movies through its 1982 edition, and a 1982 aerial photo showed it in good shape, but the drive-in fell off the 1983 list.

I agree with the commenters above that the address should be 4000 S. El Dorado or something close to it.

A March 2019 Google Street View shows an empty, grassy field where the Motor Movies once stood.

MichaelKilgore on February 26, 2020 at 2:52 pm

Boxoffice, May 29, 1948: “S. R. Claggett is managing the Motor Movies first drive-in in Stockton, which was opened May 14 by the Blumenfeld circuit. It is a 712-car layout.”

rivest266 on June 27, 2022 at 12:56 pm

This opened on May 14th, 1948, as Motor Movies. Grand opening ad posted.

davidcoppock on June 27, 2022 at 10:28 pm

Opened on 14th May 1948 Wirth “The man from Texas” and “Bill and Coo”.

Kenmore on June 28, 2022 at 1:57 pm

A closer address is 3927 South El Dorado Street, Stockton, CA.

The entrance to the drive-in is now a parking area next to Desi Truck Sales. The entire property has three truck driving schools and related businesses present.

The old entrance is the only thing left from the drive-in, which sat on the opposite side of the street from a small office that is seen in a 1957 aerial and is still present today.

MichaelKilgore on January 11, 2023 at 12:02 pm

I believe the Film Daily Year Book got it wrong. I doubt that this was ever called “Motor-In”.

Boxoffice, May 8, 1948: “Motor Movies, Stockton’s first drive-in, was scheduled to open May 7. Joe Blumenfeld of Blumenfeld Theatres announced that the theatre will be managed by S. R. Claggett, who for the past two years has been operating drive-ins in southern California.”

Jamey_monroe45 on August 24, 2023 at 3:20 am

Now Desi truck sales @ 3883 S El Dorado St, Stockton, CA 95206.

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