It’s About to be Game Over at Pickwick

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

At its prime, Pickwick was the place to go in Burbank.pickwick-gardensaa7-7

Over the years declining revenue has forced the family owned business to close its public swimming pool and now we may soon see the rest of the establishment closing. Many Burbank residents learned how to swim at that pool.

Photographer Ross A. Benson got one of the last ariel shots of Pickwick Drive-In just before it closed. The pool, located inside the center of the complex, was the first to go.
Photographer Ross A. Benson got one of the last aerial shots of Pickwick Drive-In just before it closed. The pool, located inside the center of the complex, was the first to go.

Now, because of a decline in business that is not making the ice rink, bowling alley and banquet facilities profitable, the Stavert family, who owns the businesses and land have started a process to determine the best options for their legacy property according to a website the family has launched.

The family has approached Burbank city officials as well as local residents in the Rancho District of Burbank to help determine what the next course of action would be to both make the property profitable while working with the community on ideas that they would support.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)
(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Because of the current zoning, there is not much that can be done unless the property were to be rezoned which would be done through zoning and public hearings before the City Council would make a final determination.

Here is the letter that Ron Stavert has been circulating in the local area:

pickwick-letterEDITORS NOTE: It has been brought to our attention that the Pickwick Drive-In only shared the Pickwick name but was never owned by the Stavert family. The article has been updated with the drive-in information removed, We apologize for the error.



    1. The residents of the rancho will fight against the development of apartments. We remember the process that led up to the Whole Foods apartment fiasco. Never again. Are you listening this time Burbank town council?

    2. No they are only planning on building townhomes. If they were exploring their options then they would present multiple ideas and draw up the plans to go with them. So far they are only showing plans for 4 story townhomes. They aren’t approaching this as a community conversation but have instead held multiple meetings that are limited to their own e mail list. This has not given employees at Pickwick Gardens or their patrons a chance for a true dialogue. The owners appear to want the continued revenue without taking the community into account. It is very disheartening for the loyal employees, coaches and customers who have poured their lives into this place that has such a wonderful history in Burbank.

    3. I never heard about it sounds cool and should stay as a gathering and family friendly entertainment complex maybe add performance venue for income. I wish I had known about sooner. Always looking for fun places to take my little one.

    4. I don’t live in the area, but love this place. I encourage residents to fight loosing the rink as it’s great for hanging out locally, gives kids a positive activity. Someone should reach out to the media (radio & TV) personalities that have played there, get this out in the public eye. We have lost too many family friendly venues that are reasonably priced. The LA Kings offered to buy it and the family turned them down, really? They would have renovated and turned it back into a money making entertainment venue. Fight this, the kids need it and those that use it love it.

    5. The ballrooms and all the other places are very outdated. Im sure if an investor came in and updated all the facilities it would bring up revenue.

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