Airport Auto Movie

132 98th Avenue,
Oakland, CA 94621

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Additional Info

Architects: Alexander Aimwell Cantin, Alexander Mackenzie Cantin

Firms: Cantin and Cantin

Nearby Theaters


The Airport Auto Movie opened October 12, 1949 with Loretta Young in “Come to the Stable”. Yet one more drive-in (this one named due to its proximity to the Oakland Airport) that has since flown away having closed in 1979.

Contributed by Garrett Murphy

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

gsmurph on April 19, 2004 at 3:22 pm

By 1972 the Airport Auto Movie had been split into a two-screen complex.

gsmurph on June 18, 2004 at 11:02 am

Airport Auto Movie’s address was 132 98th Avenue.

jfrentzen on May 10, 2005 at 10:26 pm

This drivein and the Coliseum were excellent venues to see the latest B-movies and R-rated triple bills. Finding the entrance was not easy, even though 98th Avenue was an exit off of the freeway. One of the screens was “darker” than the other — less reflective light from the heavily urbanized neighborhood. When I went to this drivein in the 1970s, the neighborhood was pretty dangerous.

JasonBalch on March 30, 2006 at 11:02 pm

The original marquee is now in use as an airport “Park and Fly” parking lot.

kencmcintyre on November 18, 2008 at 1:31 am

Here is part of an Oakland Tribune article dated 10/11/49:

Oakland’s newest theater, the Airport Auto Movie, a drive-in, will open tomorrow night on the fringe of Oakland Airport, at 131 Jones Avenue near Doolittle Drive. With a capacity of 900 cars, the 12-acre site has been brought up to a grade suitable for drive-in theater purposes by the addition of 30,000 cubic yards of gravel. Airport Auto Movie is another motion picture theater project for the Enea family, long active in the industry.

A waiting space off Jones Avenue will provide “standing” parking for 150 cars as a special convenience and safety feature in getting cars off the highway while waiting for the next show. This will be something like the roped off outer lobby of a conventional indoor theater.

The snack bar, projection room and administration building has been housed in a red brick building 100x60 feet. A screen 80 feet wide is said to be the largest yet installed locally. Latest type RCA portable car speakers have been installed between the parking spaces for each car.

Tomorrow night’s opening show will feature the 20th Century Fox production, “Come to the Stable,” starring Loretta Young and Celeste Holm.

kencmcintyre on November 26, 2009 at 1:46 am

Here is a 1958 aerial view. By 1980 the drive-in was gone and the property redeveloped.

TLSLOEWS on February 25, 2010 at 9:42 pm

Some people just like to post the ariel veiws even if the drive-in or theatre is not there anymore.

rivest266 on August 5, 2018 at 10:50 pm

This opened on October 12th, 1949. Grand opening ad in the photo section.

MichaelKilgore on October 28, 2019 at 4:18 am

The final appearance of the Airport Auto Movie in the Motion Picture Almanac’s drive-in lists was the 1979 edition, when it was said to have a capacity of 1000.

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