Starlight Drive-In Theater (now site of Fashion Fair)

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Re: Starlight Drive-In Theater (now site of Fashion Fair)

by Guest » Wed Aug 19, 2020 12:42 pm

I first really understood that I needed glasses at the Starlight. It was 1977. I would have been around 14. My brother and I sneaked into a showing of the R-rated Saturday Night Fever in the trunk of my cousin's car and had to park fairly far from the screen. At one point, one of the actresses took her top off, but I had no idea what everyone in the car was so excited about.

Re: Starlight Drive-In Theater (now site of Fashion Fair)

by 1christone1 » Thu Jul 06, 2017 2:00 pm

I can't tell you what year the Starlite opened, but it was already thriving when my family moved into the neighborhood in August 1955.
Fresno Bee - Aug. 12, 1955 / Click to Enlarge

Re: Starlight Drive-In Theater (now site of Fashion Fair)

by Brett G » Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:41 am

That was a true, classic drive in. I went there to see the movie "The Fog" in 1980 just days before I left for Navy Boot Camp. Of course, after the movie started, the fog rolled in. Really added great effects.


Re: Starlight Drive-In Theater (now site of Fashion Fair)

by Fresburger » Mon Jan 18, 2016 3:46 pm

In the early 70's My big Brother would take my self and friends to the Starlight to see all the "B" Dracula movies starring Christopher Lee (RIP). And of course saw the Night Of The Living Dead there. It's funny how one of you mention that you would ride your bike there at dusk and watch the movie. We would also do crap like that; gone all day riding our bikes all over Fresno without our Parents worrying a bit! I would be worried sick in today's would if my kid was gone all day long without so much as a call! Lord please bring back Fresno like it used to be!

Re: Starlight Drive-In Theater (now site of Fashion Fair)

by FresnoShadow » Mon Nov 30, 2015 11:26 am

I only did this a couple of times: The Starlight was easy bike distance from my house. Just after dusk I would ride over there and sit on the back fence until it was good and dark. Just as the movie started up I would hop down, turn-up the speakers as loud as they would go in the unused spots on the back row (always empty). Then I would jump back on the fence and watch the movie. It was great! Best of all, I was never caught.

Re: Starlight Drive-In Theater (now site of Fashion Fair)

by Arne Dresslar » Sat Nov 14, 2015 11:48 am

My family and I moved to Fresno in 1959 from Reno Nevada. My Dad worked for Pacific Telephone at their offices on Dakota Avenue just east of Blackstone Avenue.

I remember sometime in the early 1960's that we attended a theater-in-the-round (I believe it was at Carey Park) right next to the Starlight Drive-In and saw "How to succeed in business without really trying" in a live performance with (can you believe this?) Jack Bailey as the company president (remember him from the 1950's hit daytime show "Queen for a Day?) in the part played by Rudy Vallee in the motion picture. The young man moving up the company ladder (played by Robert Morse in the motion picture) was some other TV actor whose name I can't remember.

It was a great time to be a young kid in Fresno and I miss it terribly.

Re: Starlight

by Munschy » Sun Oct 26, 2014 6:37 pm

We live a few blocks from the Starlite Theater and did the same thing, just a bunch of neighborhood kids, no parents. Sat in Carey Park and watched the movies, now it is Macy's.

Re: Starlight Drive-In Theater

by billmac » Sun Oct 28, 2012 12:47 pm

I was a student at McLane high in the late 60's and we use to frequent the Starlight Drive-In. Sometimes there would be a line of cars several blocks long on weekends waiting to get in to see popular movies. I remember seeing Dr. Zhivago with a very pretty girl I thought I liked. After we parked, she immediately informed me what my intentions were and how she was going to have none of it. That wasn't what I was thinking, but suddenly she did not look near as pretty. That was the longest movie I have ever seen and could not wait to dump that girl home. lol

I remember one time the line was super long to get into the Starlight. I had a 15 year old ford that overheated in the line. When I finally got inside and shut the motor off, the engine puked antifreeze all under the front of the car. It stunk and everyone that walked by laughed and some said, "do your car is leaking antifreeze". Needless to say, that was embarrassing for me and my date. The car was hot and so was the evening. Yeah, I remember the Starlight. lol

Re: Starlight Drive-In Theater

by jcwsaturn1 » Sun Jul 22, 2012 1:04 pm

I remember it took 5 or 6 attempts to finally see "Rosemary's Baby" sober. We would many times back up a pickup truck facing the screen, with a plywood board across it for a 'viewing bench.' Drank so much wine each time, we had to keep coming back on various weekends to try and finish the damned movie. Finally got it, tho.

Starlight Drive-In Theater

by jcwsaturn1 » Sun Jul 22, 2012 1:01 pm

We used to go to the Starlight all the time. One time I was in the trunk of a friend's car (had to save $$), when the car behind us in line accidentally bumped us. I could hear everyone getting out of their cars, and I was rather scared. Lots of arguing, almost a fight--but the trunk never was opened, got in ok, and crawled into the car via the pushed open back seat.