Park Aire Drive-In

295 E. Donovan Road,
Santa Maria, CA 93454

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MichaelKilgore on January 5, 2020 at 2:17 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.”

MichaelKilgore on February 11, 2017 at 4:13 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.

Peaches on July 9, 2014 at 8:59 pm

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

drjohnny on August 30, 2013 at 6:59 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.

portugues_1 on March 31, 2013 at 9:03 pm

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

MyUsername on December 8, 2011 at 3:54 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!

kittyfool on May 1, 2009 at 9:20 pm

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.

William on May 12, 2008 at 12:03 pm

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

bojeta on July 17, 2006 at 9:20 pm

Yep, it closed in the `90’s. Now buried under roughly 30 new homes. I took my kids, along with most the kids in our cul-de-sac, to this drive-in several times before it closed. Another sad chapter in the Santa Maria history book.

morcoded on December 30, 2005 at 4:14 pm

I grew up near the Park Aire. Its closing date is closer to the mid-90’s.

MagicLantern on August 2, 2004 at 1:07 pm

When I visited the address, the only evidence I could find of its existence was a double driveway possibly near the former entrance (much like the old Santa Paula Drive-In’s only possible remains).

scottfavareille on August 2, 2004 at 12:03 pm

This drive-in closed in the early 1980’s.