Southern California Flea Market

History of the Paramount Swap Meet

In 1947, Joseph Bianchi built a twin screen drive in movie theatre on 26 acres of property. Although a very successful operation at night, Mr. Bianchi saw untapped potential for the land that stayed vacant during the day. Always the entrepreneur, Mr. Bianchi reached out to local businesses and offered them the opportunity to display and sell some of their merchandise on the grounds of the drive in. So in 1955, the Paramount Swap Meet was born. Since Paramount was a dairy town, most of the merchandise displayed in the early days catered to dairymen and farmers. You could find a used plow or milking machine, or even bid on livestock. As word got out and the crowds increased, more and more people were coming out and selling their used items. An entirely new industry was formed.

The popularity of the Paramount Swap Meet continued to grow throughout the 1950’s, and the merchandise began to change from all used items to new and used items. Other savvy entrepreneurs began to purchase closeout items from retailers and sell them at the swap meet.

Paramount Swap Meet Snack Bar

In the 1960’s, swap meets were popular all over Southern California. More and more drive in operators were opening up swap meets on their property. Many wholesalers saw the value of the Swap Meet vendor and the crowds that they attracted. The demand for the wholesalers to sell directly to the swap meet vendor became quite large. The Paramount Swap Meet then opened up on Tuesday for the wholesalers to sell large lots of their products to swap meet vendors. Swap Meet vendors from all over Southern California would come to the Paramount Swap Meet to buy products directly from the wholesaler. As our business grew, so did the number of days we operate. By the early 1970’s, the Paramount Swap Meet was open seven days a week.

Paramount Swap Meet Vendor

After his father’s passing in 1992, Glenn Bianchi assumed the helm of the Company as it transitioned into the second generation of family ownership. With a new vision of what the Paramount Swap Meet could be, Glenn Bianchi initiated a major transformation of the operation. Working in cooperation with the City of Paramount, he purchased additional adjoining property and made numerous improvements to the facility. Today, the Paramount Swap Meet has grown to over 46 acres. We have a parking lot of 2100 spaces, over 800 vendor spaces, over 2.5 million buyers a year and we employ over 100 full and part time employees, making the Paramount Swap Meet the largest daily swap meet in California.

In 2009, the preparation for the third generation of the Bianchi family to continue to run the Paramount Swap Meet came to fruition when Glenn Bianchi’s son, Beau Bianchi was made a General Partner. We take great pride in the fact that we are an incubator for small business. We provide the opportunity and the foot traffic for today’s entrepreneur to start a successful business with a very low operating cost. And of course, let’s not forget the bargains that are available to all who shop here.