Now this is a worrying trend. Less than a week after Montclair CA’s Mission Tiki Drive-in Theatre announced it had been sold and would soon close, the Hi-Way Drive-In of Santa Maria is listed for sale at a commercial real estate web site.
As reported by KEYT (Santa Barbara’s News Leader), KSBY (San Luis Obispo’s News Leader), and the Tribune of San Luis Obispo, Lee & Associates is listing 8.89 acres of land that happens to have a drive-in on top of it. The price is a bit odd: $3.33 million. The web site says it’s already zoned for senior housing, medical, or office space, and “The City of Santa Maria is also encouraging a potential shift to residential development”.
As I wrote a couple of years ago during my virtual visit there, the Hi-Way opened in 1959. Twenty years later, Bob Gran, who already owned Santa Maria’s older Park Aire Drive-In, bought the Hi-Way.
All three news sources report that they have reached out to the Hi-Way’s owners for more information. Let’s hope that there’s a way to keep this local institution operating as a drive-in for years to come.