Geneva 4 Drive-In Urban Scrabble

While recently looking for a nice location for an afternoon hike with a friend, we stumbled across the remains of the Geneva 4 Drive-In movie theater in Daly City. What first caught my eye was three old lightbox signs atop polls with changeable marquee letters.

Geneva Drive-In

Cinema Treasures tells us that the Geneva was a 4 screen multiplex that opened in 1950 on an abandoned dog racing track. It had west facing screens positioned at the bottom of a gentle sloping grade with a mesmerizing view of the infamous aptly named Cow Palace. “Great place for taking dates in the 50’s and 60’s.” Apparently Hunter S. Thompson was a frequent visitor and wrote about his experiences there. One can only imagine the freaky shit that must have gone on during its 50-year history.

Geneva Drive-In

This required further investigation. We wandered around the grounds and soon discovered a cache of leftover marquee letters strewn about.

Geneva Drive-In

With darkness coming on fast, we quickly went about to use our collective Scrabble skills to come up with this solid 17 point word score.

Geneva Drive-In

I get the feeling this place doesn’t get a lot of visitors, as the marquees hadn’t been changed in over a year as evidenced by photos on the SF Gate’s The Poop blog.

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  • I'm proud to say that I saw “Showgirls” at this drive-in, circa 1995. The fact that it closed not long thereafter is surely a coincidence.

  • Chris

    I saw a double feature, one being Terminator 2 way back in the 90s. Also visited the flea market after that. I ended up taking all the plastic letters I don’t know why.

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