Rubidoux Drive-In Theatre, Riverside, Calif.
You’d think that Southern California would be positively lousy with drive-in theaters considering the temperate weather and the almighty presence of “the business.” But like the rest of the country, even Los Angeles and environs began to see a steep decline in drive-ins starting in the '70s. One surviving standout is the Rubidoux in Riverside, a landmark tri-screen gem built in 1948 that’s been lovingly renovated and preserved to maintain its myriad art-deco charms.
The '50s-era petting zoo and miniature railroad, however, have been replaced with decidedly more modern features such as FM broadcast and digital projection. Open 365 days a year and charging only $7 a head, the Rubidoux is A-OK with outside refreshments, but why bother when the snack bar serves up some seriously tasty — and authentic — Mexican food?