1948, 18 acres of land were purchased and construction began on what was to be known as the “La Mirada Drive-In Theatre.” At the time, the land consisted of a dairy and an orange orchard. The area was unincorporated and known as “Dairy Valley.” This was prior to the existence of the city of Santa Fe Springs and thus the name “La Mirada” was chosen since that was the nearest city to this location.
In 1950, two years later, our large, single-screen theatre first opened for business. It was one of the largest drive-in theatres in the country, with the capacity to hold more than 1,000 cars.
One unique aspect of the theatre design was that a large area in front of the grounds, between the screen tower and the front of the street, was reserved with the idea of building walk-in theatres, restaurants, or other future projects. There was even some speculation to build a “heli-port” and set up a helicopter transportation service to transport executives from La Mirada/Downey to downtown Los Angeles. For whatever reason, this idea never quite materialized.
This was all prior to the construction of the Santa Ana Freeway (I-5) which now runs directly south of the property.
It took 15 years for our first swap meet to see the light of day. In 1965, the “La Mirada Swap Meet” opened for the first time. The dirt field in front of the property became an ideal parking area for the thousands of visitors who would eventually attend our swap meet. Attendance of more than 700 daily vendors and more than 1,500,000 customers annually became common throughout the years.
In 1990, with the advent of multi-plex theatres and the general decline of drive-in movie theatre attendance, coupled with the popularity of the swap meet, we closed down the daily drive-in theatre operation (with the exception of special events) and installed stadium lighting. Doing so enabled us to open up the first Los Angeles area outdoor/night-time swap meet “under the lights!”
In the early ’90s we changed our name to the “Santa Fe Springs Drive-In Theatre and Swap Meet” to more accurately reflect the actual city where we are located.
Today, the Santa Fe Springs Swap Meet is in the Affordable, Value and Family Oriented Retail/ Entertainment Business in Southern California. Santa Fe Springs Swap Meet will be recognized as providing the most diverse offerings in this market segment and providing unmatched quality and customer service to both customers and vendors.
Santa Fe Springs Swap Meet sits on over 17 acres of land. Our major cross streets are Alondra Blvd. and Valley View Ave. in Santa Fe Springs, California. We are open every Friday from 4:00pm, Saturday and Sunday from 6:00am.
Santa Fe Springs Swap Meet has over 500 vendor spaces. Our slogan is “come for the bargains, stay for the fun. “Our vendors sell everything! These items include: collectibles, clothing for the entire family, toys, crafts, household appliances, electronics, tools, and shoes.
Santa Fe Springs Swap Meet has a large stage and covered seating area where customers can enjoy live bands every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This area also includes 6 large HD screens which show popular sporting events and shows. Santa Fe Springs Swap Meet is a place where your entire family can have fun. We offer something for all age groups.
Santa Fe Springs Swap Meet has a wide range of food and beverage choices. We have a snack bar food trucks and kiosk carts serving everything from Mexican food to our famous bacon wrapped hot dogs.
Inside you will find a large selection of breakfast and lunch items. For breakfast, try our famous menudo with fresh warm tortillas or ask our friendly cooks to prepare you a breakfast burrito. If you are looking for lunch, we have a full menu which includes cheeseburgers, tacos, burritos, chicken wings, pizza, french fries and much more. The snack bar is located next to the picnic and stage area.
The beer bar is located across from the snack bar and is one of our most popular destinations. We serve a variety of ice cold beers but is famous for our micheladas. Ask any of our friendly beer servers to make you a michelada and you won’t be disappointed.
Beers on tap
Dos XX’s Negro
Hangar 24 “Seasonal”
Goose Island IPA
La Pacha Mama
Located by the east end of the beer bar. La Pacha Mama offers authentic Mexican food most notably Flautas, Huaraches and Tacos Indio served with freshly prepared cactus.
Located on space J-24 and La Pacha Mama location serves a unique fruit base drink that is sure to put a spring to your step. Michelaguas come in a variety of fruit flavors and all topped with a secret chamoy sauce and tajin.
Bacon Wrapped Hot Dogs
The bacon wrapped hot dogs are served in two locations, B-19 and P-26. Each 1/4 lb bacon wrapped hot dog sizzles on the grill with sautéed onions and peppers until served on a bun.
Tropicalizimo Healthy and Natural
Located behind the stage where the bands perform. If you see somebody walking around holding a pineapple with fruit and umbrellas hanging off it sipping through a large straw-this is where they are prepared. Also served are Bionicos, fresh fruit in a cup and fruit waters.
Teriyaki BBQ Sticks
Located on space S-27, the BBQ stick operation has been a part of the swap meet for over 25 years. Choose from chicken, beef or pork kabob sticks with fried rice. Always a crowd favorite!
La Cocina de Maria
Located on space G-15 La Cocina de Maria serves up unique Mexican food. Known for their Torta where customers can choose three meats from Asada, Pastor, Pollo, Milaneza, Chorizo, Carnitas, and Jamon.
Located on space H-22, Antojitos Guanajuato has a variety of tostilocos food offerings with a variety of toppings for you to choose.
Located on space L-7, Botanas Garcia is a crowd favorite. They also serve a variety of tostilocos/chicharones food offerings along with Bionicos and Fresas con Crema.
Ricolini’s Italian Ice & Agua Frescas
Located at the East end of L-row on Saturday and Sunday, Ricolini’s Italian Ice is a perfect way to cool off on a warm day. Try the mango rimmed with chamoy and tajin. It’s delicious!
The Ribeye Guy
Located at north entrance, the Ribeye Guy is one of our newest food additions serving up great food. Most notable, the ribeye steak sandwich with mac & cheese. You can’t go wrong!
Tio Pepe’s Churros
Located on the perimeter aisles of the swap meet, “the Churro” is the swap meet’s signature item. A churro is a long fried-dough pastry that is rolled in sugar and cinnamon then served hot. A churro is a must have when you visit Santa Fe Springs Swap Meet.