Located where the former Sky Drive-in Theater once stood in Yucca Valley, this funky desert treasure is a dense shanty-like town of booths and stands packed with curios, desert junk, overgrown cactus gardens, crazy artistic displays and a folk art masterpiece known as the “Crystal Cave”.
When you drive east along State Route 62 through Yucca Valley toward Joshua Tree you can see the sign for the old Sky Valley drive-thru movie theater that is now the site of the swap meet. Come on in, you’ll find everything from “Junk 2 Gems.”
The Sky Drive-in Theatre was built in 1958.
It closed in 1994 with “The Lion King” being the last movie shown. The former drive-in has been used for swap meets since 1996.
The 5-acre property is filled with lovely little nooks and crannies…
…and kooky surprises throughout.
You can admire some blooms…
…and visit a doll on shrooms.
There’s a pig that cuts hair…
…3 bunnies who stare…
…and weird shit for Cher.
Stained glass magic…
…and driftwood that’s tragic.
In the heart of the swap meet is the Crystal Cave – a phantasmagorical folk art masterpiece by Bob Carr, owner and creator of Sky Village Swap Meet. Bob’s larger than life personality and creative sensibility has been the driving force behind the success of this highly eccentric swap meet community.
In 2008, despite the swap meet’s popularity, the Yucca Valley City Council decided to take the land that the swap meet occupied through eminent domain. As their legal claim became more and more of a reality, Bob decided to demolish his structures, including the Crystal Cave.
However, as the result of local civil uproar, the council gave the land back to Bob. Unfortunately Bob was left with a broken Crystal Cave as well as what he describes as a broken heart. In admiration and respect for Bob and all that he represents, two Danish art and curatorial students, Merete Vyff Slyngborg and Mette Woller initially worked with him on the ongoing restoration of the Cave and since their departure the Cave has continued to grow, expand and evolve. One of the newer features includes an adjacent courtyard area.
Another recent addition to the Crystal Cave is a running river that flows through the center of it.
Most people peer through the portals to view the flowing river, gems, fake moss and undulating levels of spray insulation covered in bright paint.
But I was lucky enough to run into Bob, who has said in the past that he is very sensitive to energies and loves the Cave so much that he only wants good energy inside of it. Fortunately, I must of been giving off some positive vibes because he opened the door for me and I was able to sit by myself on an old worn out sofa and enjoy the inside of the cave for the next 10 minutes. These are the moments I live for, thank you Bob.