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I saw Davy Crockett movies & the Beatles Hard Day's Night at the Capitol.

My parents operated a photography studio just down Michigan Avenue. Spent a lot of time at the Ritzee Hamburger place next door. The Mall on Michigan Avenue ruined downtown in 65-66 or so. Those were the days.

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I'll never forget this place.

I just loved the supermodifieds that ran there in the early 60s. The Gordon & Nelson Johncock, Nelson Ward, Jimmy Nelson, Ralph Donaldson, Johnny Logan to name a few. I loved trying to walk on the high banks in turns 1 & 2. I have driven down Parnell Rd.

several times but have never gotten out of the car to look. I can remember going to the popcorn stand on Michigan Ave. after the races on Saturday night. I miss those days and Jackson of the 60s so much.

Never attended a stock car race there, only the supers.
In retrospect, the Americana had a sort of 60s feel in 1977 when I saw Star Wars there after waiting a long time for tickets.

It was a huge event, in the main auditorium. I remember the parking lot being packed. Exciting.Later, the place had gone to seed when I saw Rocky IV at a midnight showing.

1985 I think. It had snowed and my friend, driving, did an accidental 360 on an icy, empty Greenfield afterward. .
NMD wraps up 2021 season this weekendContact: Brian Ledford 231.

218.26579/23/2021FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEKaleva-Northern Michigan Dragway's racing community came together last weekend for the first of two championship race weekends. The generous crowd raised approximately $2,500 to provide much needed funds for the family of Emily Orth, a 16 year-old racer from Traverse City who is recovering from a stroke. Orth is currently at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital in Grand Rapids for several weeks.

Many racers displayed words of encouragement, such as "Emily Strong" or "Racing for Emily." The Authentic 231 Rider Class final points night came down to a final round thriller to decide the championship. Points leader Gordie Bosack of Marion made an outstanding effort to keep his lead, but bowed out in the semi finals with a foul start on his Ski-Doo Mach Z. The final round battle was between the Arctic Cat F7 of Rockford's Thom Rosely and Springdale racer Chris Hardesty on a Buell X-1 motorcycle.

Hardesty needed a win to claim a tie, and force a run-off with Bosack. Rosely had suffered mechanical issues with his own snowmobile at the beginning of the night, but switched to his son's, the same make and model, prior to round 1 of the race. Rosely could claim the championship outright with a win in the finale. Both racers left with green lights, and Rosely used a reaction time advantage to take a come-from behind win in the 5th-round final and claim the class event and season championship.

More season championships continue this weekend. Friday night will feature Thirlby Automotive Street Nights, with time trials at 5pm, and eliminations at 7pm. Two championship races are still undecided in the Street Nights series. The Performance Paint High School class is led by Bellaire's Dominic Dyer and followed closely by Patrick Boris of East Jordan.

Robbie Kesling of Ludington still holds an outside chance in that points chase. The Chicks on Slicks class will also be decided, with Bear Lake's Mel Wade holding a slim lead over Onekama's Jazline Bredbanner. Saturday's TNT Specialized Transport Points event is the always-exciting season championship. Corey Mikus of Bear Lake clinched his 3rd championship in the Pro Systems Bracket I class with his $1,200 win last week.

In Hlavka H&C Bracket II, Dale Mardlin of Kaleva opened up a 49-point lead in the class last week, with a runner-up finish, passing last week's leader Travis Mardlin. In order for Travis to regain his lead, he would need an early exit by the leader, coupled with a 7th round or better finish himself. SK Customs Pro Trophy is also decided, with David Evans clinching his fifth-straight championship. However a strong battle for second is in store, with Ty MacNeill of Lincoln deadlocked with Manistee's Martin Moore.

Thirlby Advanced Juniors was claimed for the third-straight season by Manton's John Root, with his win last weekend. ModuGo Mini Juniors has a 14-point difference between new points leader, Hannah Moore of Cadillac, and Free Soil's Jesse Persinger. Both are in the running for the championship. Saturday time trials start at 1pm, with eliminations scheduled for 4pm.

Northern Michigan Dragway is located 3 miles north of Kaleva at 13991 Potter Road. For further information, visit NMD's social media pages or NorthernMichiganDragway.com.attached photo: A special tribute pass was made during last Saturday's event at NMD.

Emily Orth's purple Mustang was driven by her brother Devin Orth of Traverse City, while Dan Snyder of Houghton Lake drove Devin's car. Points Standings Top 10 each classPro Systems Bracket I1 Corey Mikus, Bear Lake, Chevy Camaro, 4302 Travis Mardlin, Kaleva, Chevy S-10, 3093 Chris Gee, Bear Lake, Ford Mustang, 2674 Tom Whitaker, Muskegon, Chevy Camaro, 2545 Mark Daniels, South Boardman, Pontiac Firebird, 2496 Scott Eriksen, East Jordan, Chevy Camaro, 2297 Patrick Boris, East Jordan, Dragster, 2088 Steve Mikus, Ashley, Chevy Nova, 2079 Eric Johnson, Onekama, Chevy II, 19310 Bud Roof, East Jordan, Dragster, 190 Hlavka Heating & Cooling Bracket II1 Dale Mardlin, Kaleva, Ford Falcon, 4902 Travis Mardlin, Kaleva, Chevy S-10, 4413 David Evans, Benzonia, Chevy Monte Carlo, 4084 Scott Eriksen, East Jordan, Chevy Camaro, 3605 Al McChesney, Kaleva, Plymouth Belvedere, 3566 Kyle Kidder, Benzonia, Chevy Camaro, 2777 Dan Snyder, Houghton Lake, Altered, 2738 Andrew Heinig, Traverse City, Plymouth Barracuda, 2459 Bob Vandewater, Cadillac, Dodge Challenger, 24310 Donnie Heinzer III, Manistee, Chevy Camaro, 220S.K. Customs Pro Trophy1 David Evans, Benzonia, Chevy Monte Carlo, 6992 Martin Moore, Manistee, Chevy Nova, 446tie Ty MacNeill, Lincoln, Chevy Monte Carlo, 4464 Parker Cesaro, East Jordan, Chevy S-10, 4045 Dustin Cesaro, Kalkaska, Chevy S-10, 3826 Bill Moody, Bear Lake, Ford Mustang, 3467 Jim Bacon, Luther, Chevy Nova, 3458 Jim Evans, Benzonia, Buick Skylark, 301tie Nathan Cebula, Bear Lake, Ford Mustang, 30110 Gary Wood, Manistee, AMC Spirit, 285Thirlby Automotive Advanced Juniors1 John Root, Manton, 5092 Leah Helsel, Manton, 4303 Hunter Cesaro, East Jordan, 2344 Toby Helsel, Manton, 2325 Carley Guerne, Bear Lake, 2186 Hunter Sanford, Ludington, 1997 Cheyenne Martin, Manistee, 1538 Lexie Sanford, Ludington, 1329 Damian Snow, Brethren, 12010 Ean Guenthardt, Manistee, 118ModuGo Mini Juniors1 Hannah Moore, Cadillac, 3912 Jesse Persinger, Free Soil, 3773 Knox Schmidt-Stoykovich, Kaleva, 3344 Tyler Thompson, Grawn, 3195 Ava Cebula, Bear Lake, 2386 Ann Cerka, Free Soil, 2187 Wyatt Martin, Manistee, 1738 Emmett Omar, Bear Lake, 1509 Nevaeh Adams, Kaleva, 13210 Eli Omar, Bear Lake, 102Performance Paint High School1 Dominic Dyer, Bellaire, Pontiac Firebird, 772 Patrick Boris, East Jordan, GMC Terrain, 713 Robbie Kesling, Ludington, Ford Mustang, 444 Chase Clark, Central Lake, Dodge Ram, 385 Gannon Dougherty, Honor, Ford Crown Victoria, 316 Madelyn Ledford, Bear Lake, Jeep Cherokee, 177 Dakota Sutter, Chesaning, Ford Mustang, 168 Sean Lamb, Pickford, Pontiac Trans Am, 109 Alexis Rosenburg, Kalkaska, Ford F-150, 6tie Brennan Tallquist, Rothbury, Subaru Legacy, 6Chicks on Slicks1 Mel Wade, Bear Lake, Chevy Monte Carlo, 1552 Jazline Bredbanner, Onekama, Ford Ranger, 1463 Angela Freeman, Kaleva, Chevy S-10, 924 Kim Crawford, Kingsley, Chevy Camaro, 835 Darci Simpson, Free Soil, Chevy S-10, 716 Pam Snyder, Houghton Lake, Chevy El Camino, 707 Kristina Mardlin, Bear Lake, Chevy S-10, 618 Leanna Sorensen, Kaleva, Chevy S-10, 60tie Kalia Wiederhold, Grawn, Chevy S-10, 6010 Rebecca McNinch, Beulah, Chevy Nova, 56 Authentic 231 Rider season completedChamp Thom Rosely, Rockford, Arctic Cat F7, 1372 Gordy Bosack, Marion, Ski Doo Mach Z, 1273 Chris Hardesty, Springdale, Buell X-1, 1164 Jeremy Krueger, Wellston, Arctic Cat Thundercat, 935 Scott Bosack, Cadillac, Yamaha, 796 Danniel Dean, Kaleva, Harley Sportster, 577 Travis Mardlin, Kaleva, Jonway, 528 Tyler Fisher, Benton Harbor, Suzuki, 489 Thommy Rosely, Rockford, Arctic Cat F7, 4710 Dan Marcinkowski, Kaleva, Harley Fat Boy, 40Grand Rapids Machine Repair Top Doorslammer (season completed)Champ Dru Williams, Manton, Chevy Nova, 1152 Sean Nagy, Houghton Lake, Ford Mustang, 973 Ron Brow, Belmont, Chevy II, 914 Brad Rentsman, Stanton, Chevy Malibu, 665 Tim Heiges, Traverse City, Chevy Corvette, 416 Mark Daniels, South Boardman, Pontiac Firebird, 377 Bill Bruske, Glen Arbor, Chevy II, 368 Justin LaRocque, Essexville, Ford Mustang, 31tie Bill Heiges, Honor, Chevy Roadster, 3110 Jason Helsel, Manton, Chevy II, 26Brian & Rebecca LedfordNorthernMichiganDragway.

comTrack Manager & Promotions(231)218-2657 (231)429-4411.
I am the son of the owner (Joseph Ellul Sr) of the Family/Follies Theater.

I was the Manager during the change in the name as well the Builder of the Stage for the New direction of the movie theater to Burlesque. My Father Joseph Ellul Was an Immigrant from the Island of Malta. He came to the USA very young, Alone. Found his way to Detroit and worked at Auto Plants as many hard working new Americans did.

He also owned and operated the Colony Theater and Empress Theater in Detroit, Later Buying out the partners of the Mount Clements Drive-In Theater as well in the early 60's.I do have some other photos that I will retrieve for you.Regards, James (Jimi) Ellul.
Summer of 1970, racing my 40 Ford at Motor City Drag Strip. Partner of the Mt Clemens Drive-In Theater.Photos will be sent email, Thank you
I use to drive by this place alot.

I saw a sign on the ticket booth that I thought was cool. I found the owner of the property and bought it. It's a hand painted sign that has the admission price and rules. I would be happy to send you a picture of it.

I have it im my gameroom.Ken S.
Cinemark now sits on the property.
I believe the 43 blue Dodge was Bob Merrifield in a Chrysler kit car. just fyi
The track is still active. Saturday night racing for 2021Limited Late models, open/limited modified, ABC stock cars, 4 cylinders, mini wedges and karts. Open tire rule for all classes except kart and wedges.August 14, Full show plus bonfire August 28, Full show plus Enduro race and bonfireSeptember 4, Full show and trailer races/night of destruction and bonfire.
The Flynn Theatre offices are now housing the Coastline Children's Film Festival and the Michigan office of Ann Krsul Architecture. The visual artist still has his studio space in the main theater area.
I just purchase a set of Drive in speakers that said "Ionia, Mi. DRIVE IN THEATER! The seller was from Arizona and thought it was LONIA, MI. Lol I plan to full restore these.
There is a short article about the new Booker T Theatre on page 48 of the Modern Theatre section of Boxoffice, issue of March 4, 1950. Architect Ted Rogvoy drew the plans for the conversion of a former garage into a 1000 seat theater including a stage for live performances. It was the first new theater intended to serve black audiences to be opened in Detroit in a dozen years.
My boyfriend and I stumbled across your page while on our quest for old theaters.

We visited the Gaylord Theater and made it a mission to try and find which building was the Old Star Theater. We were pretty confident we had located the building based on the exterior structures. We went in and talked to the owner of the current building but she wasn’t aware of it ever being a theater and only of it at one point being an insurance agency. The building still has the original hardwood floors, as well as the original wall.

After leaving there we began our internet search and were able to find an old postcard on the county historical site advertising a running of the movie “The Mark of Zorro”. Based on the info from that I knew the theater was open for sure in 1924. Then was able to google Gaylord businesses in the 1920’s and stumbled across the information I needed to know it was open in the 20’s and 30’s, and with photos from the historical society we can conclude it was closed by the 40’s. The address of where the theater once was is 240 W Main Street, Gaylord.

We are going to email all the photos we have to you. Thanks for such a great site. We’ve been visiting old theaters from Calumet down the UP and wish we would have discovered this site before then. We have some other photos and information on other theaters if you are interested in them.

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Such a shame that the drive in was replaced by a shopping center that didn't even last long. The place is almost completely vacant now except the current cinema somehow is still active. The target, toys r us and everything else closed.
This cinema is still open and it's actually pretty cool.

When they demolished the Universal Mall they left about 50 percent of the wing leading up to the theater standing and now is part of the main lobby to the cinema. Some of the mall storefronts are now part of the cinemas main lobby. If you compare photos of the old universal mall with current photos of the cinema you can see the hallway in question. The two side entrances of the cinema are also holdovers from the now gone enclosed mall.

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I live in nearby Belleville and can confirm the cinema and mall has been demolished entirely with the exception of the sears building and a small mall hallway which used to contain a restaurant and Joannes fabrics. Walmart, Kohl's and a couple strip malls now sit where the mall was.
Celebration Cinema had been running it as second run theater. They decided not to renew the lease and not reopen after COVID. It was announced Phoenix theaters will reopen the location in fall 2021 as first run theater.
I currently live in Belleville and find it really weird that unlike most other Michigan cities of this size where we have everything fast food and supercenters like Meijer, we for some reason don't have a movie theater at all. You have to go over to Canton or Ypsilanti for the closest cinema. It's weird.
This theater went through a full renovation a few years ago and changed to AMC cinemas and is no longer called plaza cinemas. It permanently closed last year and is not going to reopen. The site is for sale.
Does anyone know what going on with the drag strip i see it for sale a while back but now its off the market
Bowtie Challenge provides amazing finish(From NMD Email Shoutout)photo:  Dru Williams of Manton was quick and consistent with his Chevy Nova, celebrating his second championship of the season in Grand Rapids Machine Repair Top Doorslammer.

 His three winning run elapsed times were 4.51, 4.52 and 4.51 at 159 miles per hour.

The 2021 Bowtie Challenge brought a multitude of storylines.  In this 11th-annual competition, the Chevy racers compete head-to-head with competitive makes, and a point is given to the "Bowtie/Chevy" team for every time they win a match-up, and vice-versa for the competition, aka "The World."   The Northern Michigan Dragway event began Thursday evening, with the Chevy racers falling behind early by a score of 27-18 in preliminary Eriksen Towing & Recovery Street Trophy competition.   A Harley-Davidson racer, Dan Marcinkowski from Kaleva, was the Thursday night winner.

Friday's racing found a new track record in Grand Rapids Machine Repair Top Doorslammer, as Sean "Showtime" Nagy of Houghton Lake had his newest Ford Mustang race car in qualifying.   He blasted through the 1/8-mile with an elapsed time of 4.17 seconds for a new record E., matching his previous-best speed of 168 miles-per-hour.  Nagy claimed the top qualifier position in the "Quick 8" field.Racing action was outstanding in all classes.   Bowtie racers collected a victory in SK Customs Pro Trophy as Brian Boeve of Nunica won with his Chevy S-10.

 The World, however, took wins in three classes.  Mark Daniels of South Boardman topped Pro Systems Bracket I with his Pontiac Firebird.  Chad Brintnell of McBain drove his Ford Fairmont to the Hlavka Heating and Cooling Bracket II victory.  Each racer collected $2,000 for his efforts.

  The Street Trophy victory was captured by Manistee's Kevin Wood in a Ford Mustang, earning himself $600.Despite allowing the World racers to take three of four class wins, the Bowtie racers managed enough late-round finishes to bring the score back to a tie by the end of Friday competition.Heading into the final day, the stage was set for another classic finish Saturday evening.  However, the Bowtie faithful found their hopes becoming dashed by the end of round 2 competition.

 At one point, they trailed by 19 points.  Every race match-up was crucial for the Bowties to mount a comeback in round three of each class.Manton's Dru WIlliams' Chevy Nova was able to hold off Nagy's Mustang in round 2 of Top Doorslammer.  Williams then defeated Stanton's Brad Rentsman in an all-Chevy final round, claiming the $2,000 prize.

 This may have been the spark the Chevy racers were needing.In Bracket I, Jared Ledford of Greenville picked up crucial Bowtie points, as he was the last stock-bodied vehicle in competition with his Chevy Camaro, as he was eventually ousted in a 6th-round semi-final by Fountain's Madisyn McCormick with her dragster.  Madisyn then advanced to a very special event, a $3,000 final against her father, Jeremy McCormick.  Jeremy was the beneficiary of a final-round foul start by his daughter, and claimed the championship with his dragster.

Pro Trophy and Bracket II divisions found several Bowtie racers with outstanding finishes, to help set the stage for a remarkable comeback.  Against the odds, the Bowtie racers clawed their way back to striking distance by the end of round 6.  The Pro Trophy class had three of them winning their way into a 7th-round semi-final, racking up wins for Bowtie each round.  David Evans of Benzonia bowed out in the semi-final against the superb teenage sensation from Bailey, Cody Marlatt.

 The youngster earned a trip to his first final-round appearance in his Chevy Vega.  Jim Bacon of Luther took the solo pass "bye-run" into the final with his Chevy Nova.  Bacon claimed the Pro Trophy championship with his win in the 8th-round final.    Due to head-to-head Bowtie Challenge match-ups becoming increasingly scarce, Bracket II found all the pressure and the fate of the Bowties on the steering wheel of one racer.

  A crucial 6th-round quarter-final matchup was to be had by North Branch racer George McConnell in a Chevy Malibu "The Aggravator."  The lead had been trimmed to 1 point.  His opponent was a super-tough Mopar competitor in Kaleva's Al McChesney with his Plymouth Belvedere.With the NMD loudspeakers playing the Electric Light Orchestra classic song "Don't Bring me Down" the tension was as high as ever.

 The race was quickly decided with a foul start by Mopar.  The Bowtie faithful celebrated the satisfaction of coming back to a tie score, where they had started the day's racing.  A pair of Chevy racers then squared off as Kaleva's Travis Mardlin drove his S-10 to a win over Jonesville's Derek Shaw in a Camaro.  The last Mopar racer, Tommy Aretakis of Ray advanced to round 7 with his bye-run in a Plymouth Barracuda.

Three cars remained in the $7,500-to-win race.  Mardlin earned the bye-run to the final due to his best reaction time in his 6th round win.   The stage was set, yet again, with all the pressure on McConnell in his Malibu, as he faced yet another dominant Mopar racer in Aretakis.  Both drivers left with nearly-identical reaction time, and the win light came on for the Malibu.

 It was announced that McConnell was the "hero of the day" for the Bowtie fans.  In the 8th-round final, Travis Mardlin grabbed the win for the largest payout of his young racing career, and re-established himself atop the 2021 NMD points standings for Bracket II.In junior classes held Thursday and Friday, Tyler Thompson of Grawn won both nights in ModuGo Mini-Juniors.   Thirlby Advanced Juniors also ran the first two nights.

Carley Guerne of Bear Lake picked up the Thursday win, while Leah Helsel of Manton won Saturday.NMD management was pleased to see another participation record set for the event, as the total number of race entries surpassed 684 for the weekend.  The previous record turnout (2020) was 636 entries.Racing action continues the next two weekends.

 This coming weekend features Street Nights, sponsored by Thirlby Automotive on Friday starting at 5 pm.   Saturday resumes the NMD 2021 points series with a full race program in all bracket classes, with time trials slated for 1 pm and eliminations beginning at 4 pm.The following weekend, the 24th Annual Mopars Against the World, sponsored by Allstar Performance and Pertronix, will take place, starting Thursday, July 22nd.  NMD is located 3 miles north of Kaleva on Potter Road.

  For further information, visit the social media page, see NorthernMichiganDragway.com, or call (231)218-2657Brian & Rebecca LedfordNorthernMichiganDragway.comTrack Manager & Promotions(231)218-2657 (231)429-4411.
I am looking for any pictures of the Sunset Speedway back in the early fifties.

If anyone has any pictures of the car number " 3+1", the driver is Fred MacDuff, he is my father and my family has been looking through all of his pictures and all of my father's pictures of him and his car are gone out of the albums, but I have pictures of many car's and there drivers. None of my father, if anyone can please help. that would be most appreciative. I will get through the rest of these pictures and in the next few day's, I will post pictures of the track and the drivers that I have.

Thank You in advance.
6/27/2021FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEKaleva-Race fans had a big letdown this past weekend as the 11th Annual Bowtie Challenge was forced to be postponed due to the weather.

. Northern Michigan Dragway's entire race weekend was rescheduled two weeks down the calendar; July 8-10. Next up on NMD's 2021 schedule is this coming weekend's God Bless America Race Saturday, July 3rd. The Hlavka Heating and Cooling sponsored race will be the 6th event of 18 TNT Specialized Transport points series annual events.

Travis Mardlin of Kaleva is off to a hot start this season, leading both Bracket I and II divisions, seeking his first championship. David Evans of Benzonia is leading the pack and looking for his fifth-straight championship in Pro Trophy. John Root of Manton, back-to-back champ, is again leading in Advanced Juniors, while Jesse Persinger of Free Soil is leading in Mini Juniors. NMD's Rider class has an exciting new sponsor, Authentic 231, and a 6-race series debuts Saturday.

The class features motorcycles and snowmobile riders, and is sure to bring even more excitement to the events they're running. Time trials are set to begin at 1 pm on Saturday, with eliminations starting at approximately 4 pm. NMD is located 3 miles north of Kaleva on Potter Road.

For further information, visit the social media page, see NorthernMichiganDragway.com, or call (231)218-2657.
The Lee Theater actually stood in the small parking lot to the south of the Coney building. The theater and restaurant portion were actually attached to each other. The restaurant survived the fire and the bowling alley was later added on.
Orlin Teegardin, Gene Simcox and Earl Fortney all raced here. Loved watching the old races when I was a kid.
Wish they would bring that all back
My grandfather, Jacob Stocker, was the owner of the Myrtle.

My father, Seymour Stocker, inherited from Jacob when he died. My father owned the theater until it closed in 1950. As a young boy I would go to work with my dad and help him in the projection booth. Fun memories of father-son times.

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Don W .

. . Thanks for the post in 2020 with the name of Billy Salvetta and the Screamin Dago car. I'm attempting to get a pic .

. anyone have any ideas? I'd love to get any video in the archives of a TV station? Anyone have a connection or recall who broadcast the weekend recaps they use to provide on Sunday evenings? .
As of June 12, 2021, the Main Art Theatre is closed. https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/oakland/2021/06/12/main-art-theatre-royal-oak-closing/7667560002/
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