Well, it only took three and a half years, but we finally made it to a drive-in movie theatre here in southern California, the Mission Tiki Drive-In. If you remember my days in Oregon, then you probably remember our summer visits to the 99W Drive-In in Newberg, and how much I utterly adored that drive-in. But this post isn’t about the 99W right now. Nor is it about my complex feelings that I had comparing the the 99W with the Mission Tiki during and after my visit…no…perhaps you’ll get those ramblings in another post. Today, let’s focus on the positive, the fact that there are still drive-ins, oh, and my cute outfit.
The Mission Tiki Drive-In opened back in 1956, and was originally called The Mission Drive-In after its location on Mission Boulevard in Montclair, about 33 miles west of LA. Like many drive-ins at that time, it had one screen, but in 1975 they decided to add three more screens, with a single octagonal projection booth above the central snack bar that allows films to be projected on each of the four screens from one location. In 2006 the Mission Tiki underwent a massive restoration and theming, with new projectors, repaving of the parking area, and tiki-fying their ticket booths and concession stand.
Unlike the 99W which operated only on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays during the good weather months of the Pacific Northwest, the Mission Tiki operates every day of the week, and year round! It also follows the trend down here in Southern California of having daytime swap meets on select days of the week.