While browsing YouTube, I came across a film from 1958 called “Attack of the Puppet People.”
It’s typical late 50s sci-fi horror mad-scientist shrinks-his-secretary fare for the most part, though the antagonist is actually written as a fairly convincing psychopath for the era (a man of warm candor who ends up doing monstrous things to people out of a fear of abandonment) the actor seems to be unable to really play into the writer’s vision.
I was getting a tingle of familiarity from this film already, and then I spotted something that made the light go off. About 19:15 in there’s a shot of the Rosecrans Drive-In Theater.
I remembered a Rosecrans avenue in Fullerton from a stop I made there in 2010 (which was really weird for me) and it clicked for me that this drive-in was one I was familiar with, one that was still operating around 1974 and that I had been there as Phil.
Sure enough, the Rosecrans Drive-In in Paramount closed in 1993. That precludes my having seen it in 2010. It still doesn’t prove I was there as Phil but it proves that the wave of nostalgia for that particular spot is at least plausible.
Maybe I need to look at some more old films from between 1955 and 1982 and see if anything like this stands out; or maybe I should just wait for another one to come along and strike me at random, since that seems to be where I have my best luck confirming things like this. Either way, it will be interesting to see what memories come to the surface. This is one of the first (if not the first) specific memories of OC I have confirmed on any level so I might have some residual memory there after all.