May 27, 2023

Easy ups and folding tables transform the Van Buren Drive-In Theater’s parking lot into a treasure trove of deals.

Every Tuesday, Thursday and weekend people wander the makeshift rows of vendors early in the morning scouring table after table for deals. Just getting in is a steal; admission is free during the week and only 50 cents on Saturday and Sundays.

Everything from clothing to antiques to fresh produce can be found at the drive-in. Tables lined with jewelry and all sorts of odds and ends entice buyers to barter for the best price so as to take home a one-of-a-kind find.

“I like them because I get good deals and the quality of the things that I get are good. If it doesn’t seem like a good deal I won’t buy it,” Kylee Magby, sophomore and psychology major said.

For a college student on a budget or a group of friends in search of a fun and different way to spend a Saturday morning, the swap meet is a great option. Parking is free and the concession stand sells all of the late night movie treats typically available at the drive-in.

“I just like to go and browse,” Jessica Pascual, freshman and psychology major said. “Then if I find something that I do like I’ll get it if it’s a reasonable price, which most of the time it is because it is the flea market.”

If visiting one swap meet isn’t quite enough to quench the thirst of a deal hunting shopper, then you’re in luck. Southern California has many swap meets, most not too far from California Baptist University’s campus.

Stop by the Rubidoux Drive-In Theater on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday for just 50 cents during the week and 75 cents on the weekend.

Feel like going for a bit of a drive?

Just 20 minutes away in Ontario is the Maclin Open Air Market. Known for its massive size, every weekend countless people turn out to shop from amongst approximately 500 vendors.

With an $8 entry fee and an hour drive, the Rose Bowl Flea Market may not sound like the best option, but considering the fact that 2,500 vendors set up shop every third Sunday of the month do not count it out too soon. Their website is full of stories of amazing deals on everything from clothing to vintage finds.

“They are convenient when you want something cheap or old that isn’t in normal stores,” Evan Thomas, freshman and theater major said.

Interested in trying out the swap meet? Start local by checking out the Van Buren Drive-In. No matter if they are called swap meets, flea markets or open-air markets, shoppers are bound to come across a deal on a one of a kind find.

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