High Desert Memories - A Hometown Journal Commemorating Ridgecrest California
Crest Drive-In Theater
   Every town has had its drive-in theater.  Ridgecrest was no exception and for years it was THE place for everyone to greet and meet their friends and neighbors.   It created a very casual social atmosphere and many could be observed outside their cars talking and interacting.

  I have been reminded to say that there was a playground here too.  Many young folk spent time on the swings and other playground equipment before the movie and at breaks between movies.  

The popcorn was good, the cokes were good the social atmosphere was festive. 
It was fun to gather in the back  in "Makeout Row" and . . . . . . see who was with who!!

   I loved that drive in out on Inyokern road!! Many good times were had there. They just closed down our very last drive-in here.
    Big bummer!

  Yes it's sad that all the good things are disappearing and no one knows their neighbors anymore. I guess I've been lucky because I know mine. When I was growing up in RC. everyone knew who you where and what you were up to. I remember one summer Lolly and I where walking down the outside hall ways at James Monroe and Mr. Lineback, the principle at that time, saw us smoking. Girl friend our parents knew about it before we could put the damn  things out. Western Union didn't hold a candle to the communication system in RC. later Jerry

Yes it is sad about the drive-ins I just talked to my girl friend in 29 Palms Ca. and Smith Ranch is still kicking for now. We need good healthy fun for the next generation and I don't know what it's going to be. I see your in Clearwater Fl. . My husbands parents live in Winter Haven and we go see them occasionly, I think it's it little hotter there than here.

  The drive-in was fun....They tore down the last one here in Santa Barbara area about 5 years ago, but not before my daughter also got a taste of some good times. That is the only way she wanted to see a movie, theaters were too noisy for her... 

I was one of those kids who grew up with the Ridgecrest Drive In. I broke my wrist in A fight with my best friend, Glen Fortune. Afterwards , he drove me in my car to the hospital. Many good times were had there and I remember Big Mike very well.He didn't smile much but he was A real nice guy and gave quite A few of us breaks after catching us trying to sneek in when we didn't have money to get in. He even let us stay once. What always puzzled me was how A projectionist could afford to drive A Rolls Royce. It was always parked next to the east side of the snack bar. I do believe there is still A drive in on the east side of Barstow off the old Hwy. 58.

Randy Reid 1969
Ok, there was "make out row", but what I remember about the drive-in is my parents taking me there and the playground that was right in front of the screen...kids gathered there before and even during the movie...it was a wonderful time.

Linda (Misfeldt) Avallone  (1975)
Wednesday nights, car load nights at the Drive-In, always a fun time! 
cheryl Dabbs (1971)

The part you forgot to mention was all the kids coming in to the drive-in packed in the trunk. Old Mike knew they were there, but didn't really say anything unless the car was full of rowdies. He made more money off of them at the snack bar than he did from admission. Blazine Saddles was the biggest riot I ever saw. The campfire scene......

Gary Thompson (1971)

    I  don't think I ever got to go to a Wednesday night car load at the drive-in thing. I feel deprived now! Dang it!

CAthy Padgett (1973)

I remember sneaking into the drive-in to see "Saturday Night Fever" <heave> and only one of the four of us was actually 17...like he was going to bother to check our ID...

Mary Ives (1979)

The one and only time Mike ever tried to card us was going to see Blazing Saddles with my sweet, innocent little sister in the car. When he said we couldn't take her in without an adult, my Dad leaned forward and asked if he would do. Scared the bejeebies out of Mike, and he never carded me again. :DDD

Saturday Night Fever??? Talk about polyester overdose!!

D'Laine Brannan

Mary-Saturday Night Fever was the best movie ever-I loved it. I just saw it recently, and it was still good. Cindy

Cynthia Homley (1979)

Wed nites at the drive in were the best. I remember going around the back and trying to sneek in and the manager chasing us out.  I almost ran him down with the lights off on my car.

Frank CAttern (1973)

  I remember cramming eveybody we could into the car and then, at least, three more guys in the trunk. One night, we got all the way to the booth where you pay and Mike Stoner (in the trunk) decided to check on our progress: (Pound, pound, pound) "Are we there yet?" BUSTED!!

Loved it!

Michael Peacock (1972)
Pictures submitted by Nancy Wilhelm
  So now the old drive-in is gone and there appears to be a storage unit going in to replace it.   Just a bit of  valueless nostalgia being put to a better use.