Park Aire Drive-In

295 E. Donovan Road,
Santa Maria, CA 93454

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Park Aire Drive-In

The Park Aire Drive-In was opened October 14, 1949 with Dick Powell in “Pitfall”. It was closed in 1995 and was demolished in summer of 1999. Now it’s condominiums - lots of condominiums.

Contributed by MagicLantern

Recent comments (view all 15 comments)

William on May 12, 2008 at 3:03 pm

The car capacity was 500 cars for this Drive-In.

kittyfool on May 2, 2009 at 12:20 am

Park Aire opened in 1959, and was up and running until about 1997. During that time, the projector would shut down during the movie, causing horn-honking from disturbed customers. Shortly after that it closed down. By 1998, a few panels had fallen from the screen and weeds began to grow through the lot’s concrete. By June of 1999, an announcement was made in the paper that Park Aire would soon be torn down after 40 years in existence. The Snack shop was torn down as of June 23, 1999. Then on July 21, 1999, the demolishment of the screen began. The entire screen was down as of July 30, 1999. Demolishment continued, and by August, the concrete was being lifted. Soon after, construction began for the new “Via Rubio” neighborhood on the lot. And finally, in 2002, all construction was complete. It was quite a sad, yet nostalgic event when Park Aire came to be no more.

MyUsername on December 8, 2011 at 6:54 pm

Time will advance and take us farther away from the distant past and people will demolish buildings, break and bury relics but they cannot erase memories. Memories and spirits of the past, remain. I was the little boy in the yellow pinto, eating animal crackers and watching The Buddy Holly Story and Kramer vs. Kramer. Viva Santa Maria and Tri-Tip barbecues! Go Saints!

portugues_1 on April 1, 2013 at 12:03 am

Movies seen…enter the Dragon, Billy Jack movies, Sean Connery 007, convoy, Smokey and the bandit, the list is long. 1968-77.

drjohnny on August 30, 2013 at 9:59 pm

I experienced my first real kiss on a date at the Park Aire in ‘67. I remember seeing The Dirty Dozen there as a teen, but I remember seeing Jerry Lewis in Rock a Bye Baby there with my parents when in elementary school.

Peaches on July 9, 2014 at 11:59 pm

I saw the Blob there… we wore pajamas and when we got tired we slept in the back of the car.

MichaelKilgore on February 11, 2017 at 7:13 pm

The Santa Maria Valley Historical Society Museum has a web page with a timeline of notable local dates. Fortunately for us, it includes the following line:

October 14, 1949 Park Aire Drive-In opened in the 200 block of east Donovan.Road


The Park Aire is listed in the 1949-50 Theatre Catalog but not in the preceding 1948-49 edition, so that opening date looks good.

MichaelKilgore on January 5, 2020 at 5:17 pm

Boxoffice, Jan. 2, 1954: “SANTA MARIA, CALIF. – Seeking recovery of $6,000 allegedly due in back rent and demanding possession of the premises, Charles Pasquini has filed suit here against James Toler and Victor S. Goss, operators of the Park-Aire Theatre. Pasquini, owner, contends that Toler and Goss are in arrears in their rent and charges they have refused to surrender possession of the drive-in.”

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