By: TIM COLLINS | September 10, 2020 | WBCK
They were once like Buffalo dotting the plains. In the 1950s there were more than 100 in the state of Michigan. We’re talking about drive-in movie theaters. They were the hottest thing after WW2, and though the 50’s and 60’s.
But with Daylight Saving Time, compact cars, cable TV, VCRs, and multiplex theaters, the end came quickly for many Drive-Ins in the 1970s. A few hung on into the ’80s. A couple are still around today.
The team at WorkWise analyzed drive-in movie theatres across the U.S. They found that Michigan is among the states with the most drive-in movie theatres in the nation. Here’s more of the insights:
- There are 10 drive-in movie theaters in Michigan. The average is 6.58 among the 50 states.
- It costs about $11.75 for a drive-in movie theater ticket in Michigan, compared to the national average of $10.14.
- Based on Yelp data, drive-in movie theaters in Michigan have earned a 4.53 rating out of a possible 5, about the same as the national average of 4.59.
- New York State leads the nation with 28 drive-in theaters. Pennsylvania has 27.
Calhoun County used to have three drive-ins: The West Point, The Auto-Drive In, and the Albion Drive-In Theater. The closest one now is the Capri Drive-In Theater in Coldwater.
Here’s a list of the remaining Drive-In Theaters in Michigan, according to driveinmovie.com
Capri Drive-in, 119 East Chicago Road, Coldwater
The Capri Drive-in is a twin screen drive-in theater located in Coldwater. The Capri Drive-in was first opened in 1964 and has been run by the same family that built it. Each of their twin screens shows double features seasonally March thru October.
Five Mile Drive-in, 28190 State Route 152, Dowagiac
The Five Mile Drive-in was originally built in 1961 and is known as “The Fiver”. It is one of the few drive-ins that still has a playground for the kids.
Sunset Drive-in, 69017 Red Arrow Highway West, Hartford
The Sunset Drive-in has been around since 1948 making it one of the few remaining drive-ins from before 1950.
Getty 4 Drive-in, 920 East Summit Avenue, Muskegon
The Getty Drive-in is a large drive-in boasting 4 screens and a car capacity of around 1200 cars.
Hi-Way Drive-in, 2778 East Sanilac Road, Carsonville
The Hi-Way Drive-in is the oldest of Michigan’s drive-in theaters as it opened in 1947. It had gotten run down but then was purchased by new owners.
Ford Wyoming Drive-in, 10400 Ford Road, Dearborn
The Ford Wyoming was once the largest drive-in theater in the United States (as far as car capacity as it could hold 3000 cars).
US 23 Drive-in Theater, 5200 Fenton Road, Flint
The US 23 Drive-in Theater was a single screen drive-in when it opened in 1952. It was one of largest single screen drive-ins as it could hold 1250 cars.
Cherry Bowl Drive-in, 9812 Honor Hwy, Honor
The Cherry Bowl Drive-in is named as it placement in the cherry growing region of Michigan. In fact, the drive-in is still surrounding by cherry orchards.
Highway 2 Drive-in, 5876 W. US-2, Manistique
The Highway 2 Drive-in is a single screen drive-in theater located in Manistique, Michigan in the Upper Peninsula. It was originally opened in 1953.
Summer Drive-in at USA Hockey Arena, 14900 Beck Road, Plymouth
The Summer Drive-in is located outside a large hockey arena and shows movies on 3 screens in the summer.
You can see the full WorkWise report and your state on the map here.