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Silver Screen Not So Golden at Star-Vu Drive-In

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We're all about creative dissent here at LAist. You got the pro view on the new Star-Vu Drive-In from Ryan Young. Now for something completely different. Here's an opposing take on the Star-Vu experience written especially for LAist by Josh Tate.


The words of Ian Malcolm troubled me as I surged onto the 405-N. "Dinosaurs had their shot and Nature selected them for extinction." The last three and a half hours of my life had been spent watching the 93-minute Shrek 3 at the spankin’ Star-Vu Drive-In at the Orange Country Fairgrounds. Christ, maybe there was a good reason that the drive-in had faded from our culture.

I wanted to like it. I swear, I really did. The last time I was at a drive-in I had managed to get completely wasted on only half a fifth of peach schnapps while enjoying the rare handie from my (then) c-tease of a girlfriend. Mind you, that was back in ‘87 so a thick aroma of nostalgia was percolating nicely as I pulled into the entrance of the Fairgrounds. There I met one of Star-Vu’s founders, Bob Deutsch, who seemed an eminently decent fellow, properly enthused about his new business and enjoying the corresponding cigar. This was the unfortunate highlight of the evening. Thereafter, my date and I spent the next 57 minutes inching towards the ticket counter located a scant quarter mile away and, more troubling, the rum buzz I had caught at dinner was disappearing.

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By the time our car reached its slip, the movie was already 30 minutes late in starting, the concession stand was out of hot dogs and the popcorn was cold and unusually greasy. Star-Vu was undergoing some serious birth pangs. The movie eventually started about 45 minutes after the posted show-time of 10:30, but the audio was so hissy and the screen so dim that my date and I quickly submitted to the palpable schadenfreude impulse and cracked wise for the duration of the screening.