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Books on Michigan History


Michigan Movie Theatres - A Pictorial History Michael Doyle
Publishers notes: From the movie palace of the 1920s to the multiplex of the twenty-first century, here are Michigan’s premier theatres—past and present. Over seventy theatres are carefully detailed in this book, through historic photos and well-researched text. The book also looks behind the curtain at the families who built movie house empires in Michigan (often on a shoestring). Major architectural styles and movie posters are featured as well. Loaded with nostalgia and optimism, this book is for anyone who loves movies and Michigan history.

The American Drive-In Movie Theatre Don and Susan Sanders
This is a great book on Drive-Ins througout the country, with a couple of cool pictures and stories about Michigan DI's. Lots of other stuff on all aspects of the Drive-In Theatre world.

Drive in Memories: Popcorn and Romance Under the Stars Don and Susan Sanders
Another good book by Don and Susan Sanders, more good pics and stories, although not as many as "The American Drive-In Movie Theatre".

Cinema Under the Stars: America's Love Affair With the Drive-In Movie Theater Elizabeth McKeon
A decent book on Drive-ins, not as in-depth as others I have read though. Alot of the content is fairly common stuff you see all over.

Movie Palaces (Architecture and Film, 1) Ave Pildas
This book is basically a primer on the premier architects of theatre in America. Charles Lee, John Eberson, all of the greats. Contains great photos with many close-up's of architectural details

Googie: Fifties Coffee Shop Architecture Alan Hess
This a fantastic guide to googie and retro-futuristic architecture that was mainly popular in the western part of the country, but still is seen here in the midwest too. Lots of great pics!

The Show Starts on the Sidewalk (An Architectural History of the Movie Theatre) Maggie Valentine
Good book on theatre architecture featuring Charles Lee. Some good technical information and lots of pictures. Currently out-of-print.

Drive-In Theatres (A History from Their Incepetion in 1933) Kerry Segrave
A great, rare book. Probably the best book for an in-depth look at the historical aspect of Drive-Ins from Hollingshead forward. Lots of technical stuff and details of the patent battles and lawsuits that took place in the beginning of the business. Takes a somewhat comical turn towards the end, with the author trying to make the case that the owners of the drive-ins themselves were idiots who were basically despised by both the motion picture industry and the community at large. And, as a result, were largely responsible for their own downfall. Out-of-print.

American Theatres (Performance Halls of the Nineteenth Century) David Naylor
This book is a look at both movie theatres and legit opera and playhouses around the country. Basically features a few theatres each of different architectural styles. Nice feature on the Calumet theatre in the U.P.

Silent Screens (The Decline and Transformation of the American Movie Theatre) Michael Putnam
Somewhat sparse, but still decent. Contains some history of movie palaces and listings of theatres. Also has some decent B/W photos of various theatres.

The Best Remaining Seats (The Story of the Golden Age of the Movie Palace) Ben M. Hall
Definitely a classic, this book is an in-depth look at the great movie palaces and the people behind them. Lots of stuff on the pioneer of it all, S.L. Rothafel (Roxy).

Ticket to Paradise (American Movie Theatres and How We Had Fun) John Margolies
Great book with lots of personal stories about old theatres. The fantastic photos were done by one of the best there is, John Margolies. Great stuff on Drive-Ins too!

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