Highway 39 Drive-In

7901 Trask Avenue,
Westminster, CA 92683

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Showing 23 comments

davidcoppock on June 13, 2022 at 3:11 am

Opened on 29th June 1955 with “Strategic air command” and “Robber’s roost”.

jwmovies on June 13, 2022 at 2:30 am

Now Westminster Gateway Shopping Center. Please update.

rivest266 on November 23, 2019 at 2:35 pm

The Hi-Way 39 reopened with 4 screens on June 15th, 1979. Grand opening ads posted.

TLSLOEWS on June 14, 2010 at 9:51 pm

Lasted 56 years pretty good.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on June 14, 2010 at 3:38 pm

THanks Ken Mc and Chuck 1231 for the pictures and the ad from 1955.

kencmcintyre on April 8, 2009 at 1:55 pm

If you enter the theater address on this site, you will see a 1972 aerial view. The 1953 view shows only farmland, while the more recent photos show the retail development.
View link

Meredith Rhule
Meredith Rhule on December 20, 2008 at 11:12 pm

I went to Santiago High School in Garden Grove and lived off Trask way before being a projectionist. How horribly sad this is.

kencmcintyre on September 23, 2007 at 3:34 pm

Here is a grand opening ad from July 1955:

kencmcintyre on September 8, 2007 at 6:59 pm

Here is a December 1959 ad from the Press-Telegram:

kencmcintyre on August 27, 2007 at 10:51 pm

Then I would have to call Willie Nelson.

kencmcintyre on August 27, 2007 at 10:15 pm

Capacity in 1963 was 1900 cars. Pacific Theaters was the operator at that time.

kencmcintyre on August 8, 2007 at 9:44 pm

How many drive-ins did Pacific sell in the mid 1990s? I remember the one in Culver City on Sepulveda disappearing around the same time.

kencmcintyre on January 22, 2007 at 4:46 pm

Here is a newspaper article dated 9/28/54:

Westminster Gets Drive-In Theater OK

Construction of a drive-in theater at Huntington Beach Blvd. and Trask Ave. in Westminster has been approved by the Orange County Board of Supervisors. The supervisors, in making the approval, reversed a denial for the theater submitted earlier by the county planning commission. The drive-in theater will cost $450,000 and will be built by the Pacific Drive-In Theater chain. It will be known as the Huntington Drive-In Theater and will have the Cinemascope screen. Added feature of the theater is that it will have a super-sized television screen for the presentation of outstanding national events.

Mrphph on December 22, 2006 at 4:52 am

Oh such a disappointment that must have been. I agree that does not it sound like very good planning on the part of the proprietor. While it must have been apparent to most residents that the days were numbered, to close prior to the scheduled date or without a well-publicized announcement seems premature and a wasted opportunity. If I had known, I would have made arrangements to see it one last time. I would hope that there might have been better shows on the marquis than Beavis Butthead and Howard Stern.

DannGibb on September 13, 2006 at 10:37 am

I was there on closing night. My wife and I were the third car back in line watching the cashiers getting ready to open when a manager walked up to them said something and they all started to close up. People started to get out of their cars and they just said “sorry we are closed”. I remember a news van pulling up but I don’t remember what channel. Maybe O. C. news. What a waste, if they would have anounced the closing earlier they could have had a packed house probably for weeks. Does anyone have info or photos on Fountain Valley drive-in? who is ronp?

kencmcintyre on September 10, 2005 at 8:52 pm

Here is a link with some pictures:
View link

Mrphph on August 22, 2005 at 12:27 am

The Highway 39 was the only Drive-In Theatre I ever went to (for things other than swap meets). My parents took us to see many Disney features there, such as Fantasia, Lady & The Tramp, Pinocchio, Shaggy Dog, Tomasina, 101 Dalmations and Mary Poppins, as well as thrillers like Thunderball, Goldfinger, Dr Strangelove and The French Connection.

The clear, warm, starry skies made many movies all the more memorable. During the fifties, the nearby dairy fields would lend their own unique sensory touches to the Summer nights. On some Autumn evenings, the fog would roll in near the end of the show, making getting out the exits and home a lengthy process.

Nights when we came back from a visit in Los Angeles, the familiar glow of its huge movie screen visible from the 22 Freeway, stood a timeless constant to welcome us back to Orange County. In later years I rediscovered the charm of the Highway 39 Drive-In, when my first girlfriend took us there, beginning a new chain of fond memories, sometimes behind steamy windows.

bkazmer on March 16, 2005 at 1:37 am

We used to travel over from Costa Mesa often to this drive-in since it was so large there would always be a place to park. Always at least a double feature and the snack bar was one of the best in the county. I seemed to be here with Laurie Mynatt at times and then after I was old and married with the wife and kids. It was a good place to go and one of the last to still have speakers rather than your car radio.

MagicLantern on February 12, 2005 at 6:10 am

Its address was 7901 Trask Avenue.

lahabradq on February 12, 2005 at 3:18 am

The Highway 39 Drive-In had a beautiful mural of sail boats on the back one of the screens facing Beach Blvd. Too bad it is gone. The property now contains a Lowes, WalMart and Burger King.

JakeM on May 26, 2004 at 4:36 pm

This was the first Drive-in I ever went to! In 1994, I was 11 years old and my family went to see “The Lion King” here. I wish I had gone back before it closed. I despise the Wal-Mart that now sits on the site. As if the world needs another Wal-Mart.

boxtop45 on March 11, 2004 at 12:41 pm

When I was 4 years old in 1959, I fondly remember seeing the back of the Drive-in screen. I never did watch a movie there, but I would pass by the Westminster on the freeway many times.