Location: 675 E. Foothill Blvd, Azuza California
Operator: Edwards, now Pacific drive-in theatres
Closed: Open (closes for Winter)
The fact that the Azuza Foothill drive-in has survived where over 100 others in Southern California have not is amazing in itself, the fact that it is still a single screen venue is incredible. The Azuza still possesses a fabulous neon marquee that is only done justice when viewed at night, (see link at bottom of page for night shots). For much of its life the Azuza was operated and owned by Edwards Theatres. Along with the Edwards drive-in at East Arcadia, both remained as single screen locations. They must have traded well on the film product supplied as the conventional wisdom suggests multiple screens are required to run first release films.
The Azuza drive-in has a very large capacity with still a good deal of space toward the rear that does not contain speaker posts. The drive-in still uses in-car speakers. Porta-loos are an unsightly addition to the rear of the snack bar building, a necessity with a full house in Summer and local city requirements. This drive-in also has blue bins spread across the lot, another unusual feature.
Giant marquees like this were still common on highways in the 1980's, but few remain today. A gardener can be seen clipping the hedge here so it does not obscure the sign. Photos by Buddy 1997.
The drive-in has emerged from the Edwards Theatres financial difficulties under the banner of Pacific Theatres. It will be interesting to see if Pacific add screens to the Azuza or simply accept a bid from the University next door. The site lends itself to a four screen operation that would certainly assist in maintaining current film product. For the first time in its history the drive-in now closes in the cooler months, unusual for drive-ins in Los Angeles.
The vast size of the Foothill drive-in can be seen in this shot, as can the portable bathroom facilities and the rubbish bins spread throughout. Photos by Buddy 1997.
Be sure to make your way out along the Foothill Fwy to visit the Azuza when next in LA, it is one of only two survivors in lA county, the other being the Vineland at La Puente not far away. In fact the drive-ins at Rubidoux, Riverside and Pomona are also within close proximity but reside across the county border.
If you like the drive-ins of Los Angeles, visit Sal Garcia's Southern California Drive-ins site.