'Michigan's Drive-In Theaters' Discussed By Author Harry Skrdla With Ann Arbor's 107one host Martin Bandyke

Monday August 18, 2014: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Pittsfield Branch: Program Room

This event will be recorded

Here in Ann Arbor, watching outdoor movies at festivals is a way of life in the summertime. But how did we get here? What is the history of Michigan outdoor film venues? And why are drive-ins so scarce?

Revisit a part of Michigan History as Martin Bandyke, morning host on Ann Arbor's 107one, interviews Harry Skrdla about his new book Michigan's Drive-In Theaters and the history of these Michigan outdoor film venues. "Michigan's Drive-In Theaters" is a nostalgic depiction of the state's outdoor theaters from the pinnacle of their popularity to their downfall, and the subsequent resurgence of interest in the remaining theaters through more than 200 vintage images.

Harry Skrdla is an engineer and a historic-preservation consultant based in Ann Arbor who as contributed to the preservation and restoration of a number of noteworthy structures, including the ornate 1920s movie palace the Fox Theatre in Detroit, one of the last of its kind in America. The initial preservation of the Fox Theatre was overseen by Skrdla and fellow theatre historian, Greg Bellamy.

Books will be for sale at the event and the evening will include a book signing.


My first movie was "Mary Poppins" at the drive-in.

We took Lat to one of the last remaining ones in Dearborn when she was young. But, times change. Wondering if indoor movie theatres will go the way of the outdoor ones, too.

The Ford-Wyoming Lives!

@Thomas If you're talking about the Ford-Wyoming in Dearborn, it's still in operation. A fun place to go for a double feature! ;) I'm guessing, though, that there probably used to be more than one drive-in in/around Dearborn!

Honor Michigan

The Cherry Bowl outdoor theater is in Honor Michigan (near Traverse City and Sleeping Bear Dunes). It is well worth the trip. They've been in business since 1953, and have many nostalgic touches. We try to go up every summer.

I've always been interested

I've always been interested in drive-in theaters but have never been to one

Fond memories

I have fond memories of watching movies in my PJs at the back of the station wagon as a kid. I keep meaning to take my kids to one, but these long summers make it a little hard. There seem to be an awful lot of community groups showing outdoor movies these days, and happily, there are some remaining! The DIA has been sponsoring Movies at the Metroparks with one showing of Godzilla remaining tonight, Aug 15 at Willow Metropark in New Boston; the Saline Rec Center will show the Lego movie at Mill Park Pond on Aug 22 (I've posted about it before), and there are a good number remaining through Park it Fun, in various Detroit suburbs.

It's been years since I last

It's been years since I last saw a drive-in movie. I remember going as a kid and sitting in the family station wagon watching ET.