Olympic Drive-In

12109 W. Olympic Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90064

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Pacific Theatres

Nearby Theaters

Olympic Drive-In exterior (Before the remodel with surfer mural)

This former drive-in originally opened in 1934 as the 500-car capacity Drive-In (the first drive-in in California) at Pico Boulevard and Westwood Boulevard. It was soon re-named Pacific Drive-In (the operators were Pacific Theatres) and had become the Pico Drive-In when it was closed on October 1, 1944. (A separate page on Cinema Treasures covers this theatre)

It moved 2 miles to the west from that location to Olympic Boulevard and Bundy Drive, (re)opening on April 4, 1945 with Edward G. Robinson in “The Woman in the Window” & Bud Abbott & Lou Costello in “Lost in a Harem”. It was renamed the Olympic Drive-In on October 3, 1945. This drive-in had a screen tower with a mural of two surfers (a boy and a girl) riding a wave. Opened with 775 car spaces, it lasted until October 14, 1973 when it was screening adult movies. The final program being “School Girls”, “School Girls Growing” and Swinging Wives".

Cars are still located at this old drive-in – a Cadillac dealership replaced it.

Other classic Pacific murals were located at the below list, but sad to say all have been demolished:

  • Century D/In Sailing Ships

  • Compton D/In Viking Ship

  • El Monte D/In Spanish Dancer

  • Gage D/In Spanish Horsemen

  • Hi-Way 39 D/In Sail boats nr beach

  • Lakewood D/In Sail boats

  • Rosecrans D/In Jet Plane

  • San Pedro D/In Spanish Horsemen nr a beach

  • Tri-City D/In Two Skier going down hill

  • Van Nuys D/In Spanish Horsemen nr Spanish house

  • Vermont D/In Woman surrounded by birds & trees

  • Whittier D/In Spanish Dancers

Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 30 comments)

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on June 8, 2010 at 7:07 pm

I saw “THE FACTS OF LIFE” bet alot of L.A. drive-ins were used in the movies.

BRADE48 on June 6, 2011 at 4:47 pm

Went to this drive in quite a few times in my childhood. I remember it quite fondly.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 15, 2011 at 3:33 am

This theater should be listed in Los Angeles. West Los Angeles is a district, not an independent city.

TivFan on April 9, 2013 at 2:52 am

I just watched “The Facts of Life” (UA, 1960) which shows the Olympic Drive-In Theatre. The b&w movie is available on a 2007 MGM/UA DVD. The segment starts at the 56:59 point and ends at 1:00:10. Bob Hope and Lucille Ball are driving, nervously looking for some place to go, and Hope says, “Hey, there’s an idea. Wanna see a movie?” Ball replies, “Sure” and they enter the Olympic Drive-In Theatre. There are great shots of the Olympic exterior, showing the name in neon and a mural showing a couple on surfboards, sailboats in the water and a beach/coastline. The theater entrance is shown, then a long-shot of the Drive-In lot, showing the screen and the car entering and pulling into a spot. At the end of the scene, the car exits the Olympic, showing the street side of the screen. Is this the Olympic Drive-In shown in the “interior” shots? I assume it is, but you never know with “movie magic”…

TivFan on April 9, 2013 at 2:58 am

A few other movies with “drive-in” scenes (not the Olympic) are “Lolita” (1961) and “Lonelyhearts” (1958) with Montgomery Clift.

davidcoppock on October 3, 2018 at 6:27 am

Original location is now Westside Pavilion Mall. Second location is now Martin GMC-Cadillic dealership and KTTV-TV FOX Channel 11.

MichaelKilgore on July 13, 2019 at 4:01 pm

The Olympic (re-)opened on April 4, 1945, showing Woman in the Window and Lost in a Harem, per its listings in The Los Angeles Times.

rivest266 on September 11, 2019 at 1:40 pm

tiny grand opening ad posted.

MichaelKilgore on May 20, 2021 at 9:00 pm

The Olympic was remodeled in spring 1950, adding a playground, enlarging the rest rooms, and swapping in better in-car speakers. Maybe that was when its screen tower switched from the plain one shown in its grand opening ad to its famous Pacific mural? The surfers were definitely there by August 1951, when they appeared in a (Venice CA) Evening Vanguard newspaper ad.

There were a lot of conflicting references to the Olympic’s capacity. A month before it opened, the Citizen News said the drive-in would be able to hold 800 cars. In September 1945, the Evening Vanguard ran a press-release type of article that said 1200 cars. Then in March 1950, in a story about upcoming Easter services there, the Evening Vanguard mentioned “the 820 cars which can be accommodated on the large parking lot”.

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