Theater Chain Acts to Placate Swap Meet Foes

In an effort to defuse a controversy that might cause revocation of a permit allowing swap meets at its Edwards Drive-in Theater near Arcadia, Edwards Cinemas has purchased property for off-street parking.

Residents of the unincorporated county area and parishioners from a nearby church have registered numerous complaints about traffic and parking problems stemming from the meet, which is open from 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.

The meet attracts about 10,000 shoppers in about 1,000 cars each day it operates.

Last week Edwards closed escrow on a nine-acre lot across the street from the theater at Live Oak Avenue and Peck Road, said James Edwards, an owner of Edwards Cinemas, a Newport Beach-based theater chain that operates the drive-in. He said the property would accommodate 1,000 cars, which should solve the parking problem.


Meanwhile, the county Regional Planning Commission has scheduled a public hearing at 9 a.m. July 30 at the Hall of Records in Los Angeles to review the permit.

John Gilles, the leader of a campaign aimed at closing the meet, sent Supervisor Pete Schabarum a petition with 740 signatures asking that the swap meet permit be revoked.

The focus of the hearing will be a zoning permit that expires in 1988. There are no conditions in the present permit regulating traffic or parking.