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Van Dyke Drive-In Theatre


Address: 32341 Van Dyke
City: Warren State: MI Zip: 48093 Phone:  
County: Macomb
Notes:
View on Google Maps  
Open: 1955 (8-12-55*) Closed: 1986  
Capacity: 750 (1957) - 1500 (1977)
Owner History: Detroit Theaters Cohen Theatres/Milton Herman (1957) Cohen Theatres (1965)
Number of visits to this page since Sept 2013: 17626
 
 

1/8/2016 - Jay
Just to comment on the photos below, as one of the anonymous previous posters said, the picture titled Recent Aerial below is actually the lot to the north of where the Van Dyke Drive-In once stood. That photo shows the old arcade / go-kart / mini golf place. and includes the golf dome. That property also operated while the drive in was open, but has also since closed and has been replaced by a Menard's. When I was a kid, my parents mainly took me to the Gratiot Drive-In about five miles away.

which also closed sometime in the mid-80s. But we did see a few movies at the Van Dyke. I remember wanting to go the movies at Van Dyke really, really early so I could go next door and play mini golf and arcade games. but my mom and pop never let me.

If you are in the area and driving north on Van Dyke Ave, as you pass 13 Mile Road keep an eye to the left. The boundaries of the Drive-In started at the current Speedway gas station and extended north past the McDonalds to the donut shop (think it's called the Donut Hole). The lot then extended to the west to where all the current hotels currently stand. down from that service drive next to McDonalds.

3/29/2015 - Bill Jewell
The site of the former Van Dyke Drive-in is now a Menards home center. The golf dome which replaced the theater was torn down about 2 years ago.
10/21/2014 - Deb Ingles
we lived there many week-ends in the summer when I went to Cousino High. We used to load a ton of people into my big Chevy Impala. We even snuck some people in the trunk. I've NOT seen Mad Max like 9 times. For us it was a social event walking around meeting people from other schools and hanging with friends from our school.

10/3/2013 - Elizabeth
Butterfly. Pfft!!! Come on you guys. that had nothing to do with the drive in. I spent many dates in the late 1960's and early 1970's at the Van Dyke drive in. I even remember starting a snowball fight when it started snowing so hard you couldn't see the screen.

Cars were jammed in there. Kids from Warren High, Centerline, Cousino and even Mott or Lincoln. We also went to the Galaxy, Transylvania Park, The Troy, Mt Clemens, The Oak, The Bel Air and The Gratiot. I miss them all!.

12/4/2012 - Shane
The Butterfly arcade/ Golf & Games is now closed. I will post pictures as soon as I can.
8/14/2012 - Janet
WOW. i worked at this drive-in with Milton Herman and his granddaughter Jenny! I can't tell you how many times Milt said HARD RIGHT when the cars had 5 or more people in it. Those were the best nights of my life as a 15-17 yr old kid. The good times my girlfriends and i had in the projection booth hanging out. The bouncers.

(enough said). Those were definitely good times! I was sad to see them demolish that place we tried to go get a piece of the ticket boothes. I will never forget that place! They need to have more!.

5/28/2012 -
The Van Dyke Sport Center, Inc. bought the Van Dyke Drive-In Theater on November 4, 1979 (first day of the Iranian Hostage Crisis) and operated it through the 1985 season.
5/28/2012 -
The photo on near the bottom is not the old concession stand. It is a storage unit, a 'lean-to' if you will, that houses old golf balls, golf mats, and miscellaneous junk from the Van Dyke Sport Center next door to the north of the original dirve-in property. Also, the aerial photos showing the golf dome are again, on the adjacent property to the north. Gordon Foods, McDOnalds, the old Saturn dealership, and 3 hotels now occupy the old Van Dyke Drive in property.

2/9/2009 - Shane Pennington
I wish my generation had anything like this. Now, everything is either owned by a chain or really really expensive (i. e. CJ Barrymore''s). I wish I could''ve been around in the ''60s and ''70s when most of the places featured on this entire website were up and running, but you can only blame time for that.

At least the arcade and golf dome are still open. Not sure about the putt-putt or batting cages. Both were cheap, but fun nonetheless. Kinda glad that the arcade is there.

It might be all dim inside and sometimes smells awful, but at least it gives ya something to do on a Friday or Saturday night with buddies.
1/3/2009 - Jack Essayian
I worked at the Van Dyke Drive-In for a few years between 1966 and 1970. I worked in the concession stand and during the day as a field hand. We repaired speaker/heaters, cut the grass and did general maintenance. My dad was the assistant manager for a while.

5/17/2007 - waz
I remember that in the mid-to-late 70''s they started showing soft-core porn. There was a dead-end side street next to the theatre where we would drive by and see cars with single guys in them watching the movie. Kind of a sad ending for that place.
7/2/2003 - Fred
I grew up in Centerline at 10 Mile and Van Dyke area. We would all load up into the 1971 Ford Ranch Wagon put the middle seat down and away we would go. We saw such movies as Dumbo, Mary Poppins and many more I can not remember, I also saw Star Wars and Silver Streak there when I was older. We moved to Imlay City when I was 12, but my Grandma still lived in Warren so we went by often and I remember when we went by and the screen was going down a sad day for sure.
2/12/2003 - WaterWinterWonderland
A recent site inspection with Scott Biggs and Ron Gross revealed that the entrance with the ticket booth islands remain. It was also discovered that the dis-assembled screen is still on site with the parts being stacked on pallets. There was also a structure that has been modified but appears to be the original concession stand and projection booth.
1/6/2003 - Drive-Ins.com
I grew up in Madison Hgts and we used to go to the Galaxy and Van Dyke most. The Van Dyke was cool because it used to be part of a whole complex called the Butterfly. They had go-carts, batting cages, s driving range, and an arcade. You could go make a whole day of it and top it off with a movie at the drive in. What I remember most about the Van Dyke is the screen.

On the back of it it had a big painting of a baseball, soccer ball, golf ball and other stuff I cant remember. Im sure they had all that because it was part of the sports complex. The Butterfly is still there but of course the Van Dyke is not. I miss that old place.

I dont remember what movies I seen there, I just remember having a good time whenever I went. Like today, its never about the movie for me.

Its all about the drive-in. Daren OConnell.
1/6/2003 - Drive-Ins.com
I grew up in the in a house directly across the road from the Van Dyke. That road was Van Dyke ,hence the name. I was about 6 yrs. old in 1960,and I remember spending many summer evenings there. The back of the screen that faced Van Dyke Rd.

was painted forest green until it became part of the sports complex that is there now. I do remember seeing the steel screen supports twisted and damaged from a torando but dont know the exact date. Thanks for the memories in mom and dads 1955 Buick. Dave Hagan.

Van Dyke Drive-In Theatre - OLD SHOT FROM GERARD BROWNSTONE
OLD SHOT FROM GERARD BROWNSTONE
Van Dyke Drive-In Theatre - TICKET LANES - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
TICKET LANES - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
Van Dyke Drive-In Theatre - LANES - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
LANES - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
Van Dyke Drive-In Theatre - SCREEN FOUNDATIONS - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
SCREEN FOUNDATIONS - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
Van Dyke Drive-In Theatre - SCREEN PANELS - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
SCREEN PANELS - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
Van Dyke Drive-In Theatre - SCREEN TRUSSES - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
SCREEN TRUSSES - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
Van Dyke Drive-In Theatre - POSSIBLE OLD CONCESSION - PHOTO FROM WWW
POSSIBLE OLD CONCESSION - PHOTO FROM WWW
Van Dyke Drive-In Theatre - AD FROM SCOTT BIGGS
AD FROM SCOTT BIGGS
Van Dyke Drive-In Theatre - 97 AERIAL
97 AERIAL
Van Dyke Drive-In Theatre - 67 AERIAL
67 AERIAL
Van Dyke Drive-In Theatre - RECENT AERIAL
RECENT AERIAL
Van Dyke Drive-In Theatre - OLD AERIAL
OLD AERIAL

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