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This Pop-Up Drive-In Theater Will Screen 'E.T.' And Other Movies Filmed In The Valley

(Courtesy of Universal Pictures)
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[Update: 7/21/17]

The event has been moved to a new location. The drive-in will take place at the Lake Balboa Complex, 6335 Woodley Avenue, Lake Balboa. We're told that all showtimes will remain the same.


Ah yes, the San Fernando Valley. Or, "the Valley," if you're into the whole brevity thing. The San Fernando Valley might not be the first thing people think of when they talk about Hollywood. But it can't be denied that the area is familiar to the world—it has starred front and center in a great deal of movies, from the endearing Valley Girl, to the unassumingly romantic Punch Drunk Love.The Valley has been a popular locale for shoots because it combines two seemingly disparate things: the thrum of energy that suffuses Los Angeles, and a sleepy suburbia in which you can envision families living and existing in.

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This summer, a pop-up drive-in will give the Valley its due as a filming location. The Valley Relics Museum, which collects tokens of L.A. pop culture, is presenting "San Fernando Valley Summer Drive-In Nights" at the Pacific Theatres Winnetka 12 & XD. Part of the proceeds will go towards the museum.

On four separate nights in August, the drive-in will be held right outside the Winnetka 12. The selections are E.T. the Extraterrestrial (August 4), Back to the Future (August 5), The Karate Kid (August 11), and La Bamba (August 12). As you may have deduced by now, all these movies were filmed (at least in parts) in the Valley. Sections of E.T. were filmed in Porter Ranch and Northridge, and Marty McFly's home was in Arleta.

As an added bonus, each screening will be preceded by a live band that's thematically appropriate. The Flux Capacitors band, for instance, will be playing right before the Back to the Future screening. The bands perform at 7:30 p.m. each night, while the movies start at 8:30 p.m.

Unsurprisingly, the movie selections veer towards the ubiquitous and family-friendly. We hope that there'll be future screenings of Magnolia and Pulp Fiction if this drive-in series does a second run. Apparently, Plan 9 From Outer Space was also filmed in the Valley?

As noted at LA Weekly, the fact of a drive-in itself is A Valley Thing. The Pacific Winnetka theater actually used to be home to the Winnetka 6 drive-in, which was torn down in 1996. This blog does a great job of listing the Valley's past drive-ins, with entries from Reseda and Canoga Park, among others.

Regular prices for the tickets are $20 a person, and $60 for one carload (it doesn't matter if you can fit three or five people in your car, though we advise that you avoid doing a clown routine with your Mini Cooper). Valley Relics informed LAist that there's currently a presale that'll possibly run into the weekend: in the presale, tickets are $15 a piece and $50 for a carload. Also, if you choose to sit outside your car, you can rent a pair of wireless headphones for $5.

Pacific Theatres Winnetka 12 & XD is located at 9201 Winnekta, Chatsworth. Check here for tickets to the drive-in series.