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Ecorse Drive-In Theatre


Address: 21366 Ecorse Rd
City: Taylor State: MI Zip: 48126 Phone:  
County: Wayne
Notes: 2 Screens
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Open: 1951 (4-22-51) AD Closed: <1989> Capacity: 1050 (1951) - 1000 (1977) Status: Demolished  
Owner History: Wayne Amusements
Web Address: N/A
Number of visits to this page since Sept 2013: 13101
 
 

2/3/2013 - Maurice Lafountiane
I lived two blocks (streets) on Harding from the Ecorse DI. My mom and dad would load my 4 brothers and I into then, a '62 Ford Falcon station wagon and stop either at Peppy's or the 'party store' for goodies to munch on. As I got older, I had a friend who lived adjacent to the DI the street that ran along the Ecorse in the back area and we'd sneak under the fence. As a young boy we would ride our bikes up to Peppy's and get food the fish sandwich was awesome. We we're 11,12 or 13 and watch all the high school guys and girls cruise the 360 of Peppy's.

Wonder how many of those guys we lost to Vietnam? I also remember the Standard and Sinclair gas stations down the street from the Ecorse and recall when they built the first Burger King, McDonald's and Taco Bell on Campbell street. And you can't forget Little Skipper's on Mayfair! Yea the Ecorse Drive-In many good memories on that landmark.
10/31/2012 - Jim Zychiewicz
Hey John Borousky. The Dave you worked with is my brother. I did go out to the Garden City store a couple of times. Peppys was a great place to work in the 60s. We had the BEST FF in the city.

Burgers were good too. Dave lives in AZ now.
5/23/2011 - S. Lake
I used to go here all of the time when I was a kid. I remember seeing E. T. and Honeysuckle Rose there. I was only 7 but I also remember the storm quite well, it was actually sunny, if I recall correctly, and my mom was getting ready for her Wednesday bowling league and my brother and I were going to the sitter when it suddenly hit and we hid in the basement.

I remember the sky being green and the devastation that it left behind.
4/16/2011 - Joe Blandino
The zip code was & is :48180.
3/8/2011 - John Borovsky
Hey Jim Zychiewicz : I was a Peppy's Hamburger employee too, In Garden City, and I worked with a guy named Dave Zychiewicz. You must be related to him. Peppy's was a great place to work and Dave was a nice boss.
1/7/2011 - Gerard Fitzpatrick
It's nice to have come across this aerial photo once again. I gave it to Michigan Drive-Ins. com some time ago. My Father happened to be flying into Detroit Metro Airport back in the 1980's and he was originally taking a picture of the Jolly Rogers Drive-In on Van Born Rd. It was taken at the perfect angle that the Ecorse Drive-happened to appear by accident in the far back ground.

To add to the story about the destruction of the Ecorse Drive-In from the high winds or the tornado that passed through the area that day in 1980. I was 11 years old at the time and just came home from summer school that morning. My school friend Rob came over and we were just playing catch in the front yard on Dudley St. in Dearborn Heights just a mile north of the Drive-In.

We couldn't believe our eyes when the winds picked up that morning. The sky turned green and we ran for cover in my parents house. We thought it was the end of the world. The storm lasted about 10 to 15 minutes and it was gone as fast as it came.

Trees down everywhere and no power for 3 days. We heard talk about the Ecorse Drive-In collapsing and my Dad took my sisters and I down to take a look. Sure enough there it was in ruins. I remember someone spray painting Now Showing!!! Gone With The Wind on the marque.

It was sad when they replaced the origanal decorative Ecorse Drive In screen with a cheap looking pole frame supported screen. Each Drive-In had character and personality by design. I hope someday we'll see those Drive-Ins once again.

1/6/2011 - Jim Zychiewicz
Taylor was a great place to live in the 50s and 60s. Live on Huron,south of Ecorse rd. Went to the Ecorse Drive In alot growing up. Use to get undre the fence and turn up the speekers and sit on the roof of a house next to the fence. What a time we had.

I worked at Peppys in high school. Was the mrg. after i got out for a cauple of years. I drove a maroon Corvett back then.

It was the time of our lives! I was living in Riverview when the storm took down the drive in. What a shame. To bad the kids today dont have them to go to.

9/9/2010 - Tim Walker
Wow it sure is strange to see these photo''s I was living in Dearborn Heights at the time of the GREEN storm I have fond memories at Ecorse drive Inn along with Jolly Rogers. We use to hit up TOP HATS on telegraph and Van born for burgers. The lot is now vacated from Farmer Jacks along with a few other stores. It was a lot of fun back in the early 70ty''s a great place to hang out was at Ecorse Drive Inn. I will search for a few photos I might have from my mother she took while in the Park at the front of the Drive inn.

If you drive down Ecorse now the old TACO BELL and OLD MCDONALDS are still on Ecorse road. The Gas station is McDonalds and the old TACO BELL is a lawyer office.
8/27/2010 - kevin w
i remember that storm i was 7 years old i will never forget that green sky as long as i live and that marquee at the escorse drive in saying now showing gone with the wind lol. even to this day its weird seeing that shopping center there instead of the drive in.
3/29/2010 - Stevie-Ray
Nick may never forget what happened that day, but has forgotten what day of the week it was. That storm in 1980 struck on Wednesday; I know because I was stuck in the unemployment office seeing practically the whole city of Taylor going down Eureka road. Trees, roofs, you name it, it went down the road as we watched in horror. We were all sitting on the floor due to no power, and were told to remember where we were in line. When the power finally came back on and I had my check in hand, I was indeed shocked to discover the damage that was done to the downriver area.

Railcars were blown off tracks by 150 mph winds. Trees were uprooted everywhere I drove. The sound of chainsaws was constant along my entire trip home. I was without power for 8 hours in Wyandotte, my mother in Lincoln Park went without for over a week.

Though no confirmed tornadoes were reported by the NWS, the unmistakable damage paths left by vortices was clearly visible in many open areas of southeastern Michigan and were reported as such. There were also many eyewitness reports of funnels and touchdowns, and even today''s meteorologists suggest that the equipment of 30 years ago was suspect especially when that much rain accompanies tornadoes. The NWS likes to classify the storm as a derecho probably due to the absence of their own proof that this storm was loaded with tornadoes.

3/21/2010 - Jan Hoeft
The Ecorse drive in was destroyed by that weird storm we had around 1980 (the skies turned green). I remember the marquee outside saying. Now showing- Gone with the Wind.

3/27/2009 - nick
The damage to the drive-in was not done by a tornado. I remember this storm very well. I was 8 years old and the worse storm of my life struck the Metro-Detroit area on a Saturday morning in July of 1980. The sky and the air turned green, and when it was over there was substantial damage done in the area. My family and I lived in Westland and traveled that afternoon to Taylor to check on my grandmother''s house who was up in Northern Michigan at that time.

I remember going by there and seeing the damage. This was a special place to my dad as my grandfather had moonlighted there on weekends in the 1960s. I will never forget that day.

3/18/2009 - jeffry browne
WOW!Amazing photos of an old hang out of mine in the 70s!Like others,I also remember going to Peppys burgers as a kid and my parents would buy us those White Castle type burgers and fries,then on to the drive-in next door for cartoons,then a double feature. We would all arrive in our pajamas,and would go up front on the playground,and once the movies would begin,everyone would start honking,and all the kids would run back to their cars. If I recall,at that time,they had these square,aluminum type speakers you would place in your car window. I also remember being told if we behaved,we would all get to go to Little Skippers(a drive-in A &W type joint)about a mile down the road to enjoy a root beer float. By the mid 70s,(1975-1977),we were in High School and going to the Ecorse Drive-in was a great way to spend a Friday or Saturday night.

We always had one or two of our friends hop in the trunk and sneak in. We would pull in the back of the lot,and let them out. I recall seeing Texas Chainsaw Massacre for the first time and also remember as a senior,in 1977,watching Smokey and the Bandit at the drive-in. Memories of a few awsome dates also.

Many other great stories and memories,but the most ironic thing when I first came accross the photo of the summer 1980 storm photos ,I also have photos of a 150 year old Willow tree layind down in our front yard on Calvin street in Taylor the same day. I remember that time well. You couldnt even drive around due to all the damage. It took days to clean up the mess on all the streets in Taylor subdivisions.

I will forward some pics of that day soon to post on your site. Thanks for some wonderful memories. J. Browne.

1/10/2009 - Thor
What a great photo of the drive-in in it''s prime. In the mid 1960''s there was a hamburger drive-in right next door called Peppy''s. They had White Castle style burgers that were either a dime or fifteen cents a piece. Mom would pop a huge paper shopping bag full of popcorn. We''d pick up one 6 pack of Coca-Cola in glass bottles and Dad would splurge on a bag full of Peppy''s burgers and then into the Drive-In.

There were 4 of us kids and my little brother and I had to wear our PJ''s. That place was packed on Friday and Saturday nights. They had a playground up by the screen and there''d be a couple hundred kids (half in PJ''s) running around until showtime. Seems to me they always ran cartoons for the first 15 minutes or so.

That was the cue to get back to the car. It was sad what the Green Sky Storm of July 16, 1980 did to the Ecorse. Does anyone remember if the Jolly Roger Drive-In was hit as bad? They were only a mile apart. I went to the Ford-Wyoming twice last summer, had probably been 25 years since I''d been to the Drive-in.

It was a blast.
11/11/2008 - Donnie Love
There was a picture in the local paper when the screen blew down where someone had spray-painted Gone With the Wind on the marquee. I''d like to see that picture, or one similar. I worked at Ecorse Drive-In during the summer of 1987. It was the most fun job I''ve ever had. On more than one occasion, I had to kick some of my friends out for being too rowdy.

At night, after all the customers left we used to have water gun battles. Some of the guys spent money on elaborate water guns. Back in those days you could buy water guns that looked very realistic. I could tell a lot of stories about that place.

I had some good friends there: Eric, T is for Tom. Sadly, that was the year the drive-in closed forever. ALL HAIL EMPEROR RANDY!.
10/21/2008 - Bill Sandridge
I also lived next door to the drvie-in. At night we could climb the tree next to the fence and watch the movie. I really liked on the fourth of july. the last fire works displed would be a parchute that would come down with the american flag. All the kids in the neigborhood would chase it down.

In the winter we would ice skate on a little creek behind the drive-in. The street i lved on was Pinecrest. I sure miss those days sitting in the tree.

9/11/2008 - sheila beaudoin
i lived right smack next door to ecorse drive-in from 1979 - present. the storm was 1980 and pieces of the wall were all in my backyard!! our pool was found 5 houses down. We used to sit under the crabappple tree and tune our radios to an A. M station and watch the movies under the tree. i can recalll watching beverly hills cop, ghostbusters,and the most of all E.

T. T he worst part of living next door to the drive-in was intermission. PPL would honk horns, throw things over the wall,and worst attract rodents. the time they tore the drive-in down (1987) i used to play in the old abandoned concession stand.

the popcorn machines were still there ! so were old tickets that were not printed. The city let it over grow with weeds for a few years. Us kids in the neighborhood used to make mazes with the overgrown weeds and ride our bikes through them. Not tooo far after, they cleared the land for mcdonalds.

Then came farmer jack. rite aid, taco bell, and dunham''s,sec of state, and few in between. Sec of stae and fast food are alll that is left. All out of buisness.

i have some old pics of the drivein !! from about 1978-and early 80''s! i will submit them 4 ya soon!! Note from Webmaster: Please send me these photos ASAP! We need new drive-in content!!!.
7/2/2008 - Jake Nelson
When I was growing up my Cousin lived in a small house off Ecorse Rd. On the way to her house, I would pass this theater on a regular basis. I attended the theater a few times. I seem to remember going to see Back To School in the middle 80''s and, if memory serves, it played with Howard the Duck. I have the memory of the feature behind us being Friday the 13th, Part 6 with Maximum Overdrive since I remember watching that movie when the features were changing (It was the scene where Jason blows through the door and chases the kids).

I don''t remember, but I may have seen Back to the Future here too, but that is very sketchy since I was very, very young at the time (I may have seen it at the Dearborn). I think the last time I went to the Ecorse was around 1986 and I saw Ferris Bueller''s Day Off. Since we didn''t have the internet and I couldn''t drive, I to take word of mouth and found out, via my Cousin, that the theater had been torn down. I didn''t believe it until a few years later when I saw it first hand.

It was replaced by a Farmer Jack (which is gone), a video store (which is gone), an Applebee''s and a Sec. of State office, plus a few other assorted stores. Perhaps if I find time, I will snap a picture or two in the future. Wish I had a pic from the past.

12/18/2003 - Box Office Magazine
May 1959 - William Ahrens of the Ecorse Drive-In and his opposition, Nick George, enjoyed a confab at the Jack Zide luncheon.
12/18/2003 - Box Office Magazine
July 1960 Issue - The Ecorse Road Drive-In in Taylor Township, one of the largest drive-ins in the Detroit area, isbeing taken over by Sportservice of Buffalo, a national concession organization which operates five drive-ins. The theatre was formerly operated by Ohio Drive-Ins Management Company (Interstate Drive-Ins) and Ecorse Drive-In Theatre Company. William E. Ahrens remains general manager.

10/16/2003 - MichiganDriveIns.com
The Ecorse Drive-In was located in Taylor Michigan not Dearborn as is stated, one block east of Monroe Blvd. The original screen was blown down in a large storm one summer ( cant remember what year ). It was replaced (after being down a whole season ) with a tubular metal structure screen but never got back to business like before the screen fell. Went out of business shortly after. Just thought you might like to know.

(Scott True 3-7-02).
10/16/2003 - MichiganDriveIns.com
The Ecorse DI screen was destroyed by either a tornado, or straight line winds back in the summer of 1980. Some of you might recall the storm that rolled through the Detroit area early one morning while the Republicans were in Detroit to nominate Ronald Reagan. Not only was the screen destroyed, but the roof was torn off the office and left in a muffler shop parking lot farther down on Ecorse. The Ecorse wasnt the only DI that suffered damage from that storm, the Dearborn DI screen split in the middle near the top and the west side of the screen over-lapped the east side by about 18. And the high fence along the exit, near the screen at the Algiers DI was bent over at a 10 degree angle.

(FREDRICK R. 9-15-03).
10/16/2003 - MichiganDriveIns.com
Another costly F2 tornado occurred in the Allen Park and Ecorse areas on July 16, 1980. A number of buildings, as well as a train, were either damaged or destroyed by this tornado before it moved into Ontario. Total damage was estimated at over $5 million. (NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE 9-15-03).
1/6/2003 - Drive-Ins.com
Capacity about 1000 cars. Concession stand built below grade and used to flood during heavy rains. The original screen was blown down during a severe storm in the summer of 1980. The replacement screen is currently in use at the Ford Wyoming Drive In. Closed in either late 1985 or 1986.

R. Fredrick.
Ecorse Drive-In Theatre - FROM AMERICAN CLASSIC IMAGES
FROM AMERICAN CLASSIC IMAGES
Ecorse Drive-In Theatre - ECORSE DI DOWN FROM MICHIGAN DRIVE-INS
ECORSE DI DOWN FROM MICHIGAN DRIVE-INS
Ecorse Drive-In Theatre - ECORSE DRIVE-IN 1949
ECORSE DRIVE-IN 1949
Ecorse Drive-In Theatre - AERIAL FROM GERARD FITZPATRICK
AERIAL FROM GERARD FITZPATRICK
Ecorse Drive-In Theatre - ECORSE TORNADO DAMAGE JULY 1980 COURTESY F
ECORSE TORNADO DAMAGE JULY 1980 COURTESY F
Ecorse Drive-In Theatre - ECORSE TORNADO DAMAGE JULY 1980 COURTESY F
ECORSE TORNADO DAMAGE JULY 1980 COURTESY F
Ecorse Drive-In Theatre - ECORSE TORNADO DAMAGE JULY 1980 COURTESY F
ECORSE TORNADO DAMAGE JULY 1980 COURTESY F
Ecorse Drive-In Theatre - ECORSE TORNADO DAMAGE JULY 1980 COURTESY F
ECORSE TORNADO DAMAGE JULY 1980 COURTESY F
Ecorse Drive-In Theatre - ECORSE TORNADO DAMAGE JULY 1980 COURTESY F
ECORSE TORNADO DAMAGE JULY 1980 COURTESY F
Ecorse Drive-In Theatre - ECORSE TORNADO DAMAGE JULY 1980 COURTESY F
ECORSE TORNADO DAMAGE JULY 1980 COURTESY F
Ecorse Drive-In Theatre - MARQUEE - PHOTO FROM RG
MARQUEE - PHOTO FROM RG
Ecorse Drive-In Theatre - OLD NEWS PHOTO FROM RON G
OLD NEWS PHOTO FROM RON G
Ecorse Drive-In Theatre - OLD MARQUEE PHOTO FROM NEWSPAPER
OLD MARQUEE PHOTO FROM NEWSPAPER
Ecorse Drive-In Theatre - TICKET - PHOTO FROM RG
TICKET - PHOTO FROM RG
Ecorse Drive-In Theatre - ECORSE GRAND OPENING AD 4-22-51 FROM MICHIGANDRIVEINS
ECORSE GRAND OPENING AD 4-22-51 FROM MICHIGANDRIVEINS
Ecorse Drive-In Theatre - AERIAL - PHOTO FROM TERRASERVER
AERIAL - PHOTO FROM TERRASERVER
Ecorse Drive-In Theatre - TOPO
TOPO
Ecorse Drive-In Theatre - ECORSE AERIAL 5-24-61
ECORSE AERIAL 5-24-61

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