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10 classic drive-in theaters worth the detour

By: Matt Hickman on July 26, 2013, 11:42 a.m.
Rubidoux Drive-In Theatre, Riverside, Calif.

Photo: Jon A./Flickr

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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?