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Capri Drive-In Theatre


Address: 119 W Chicago Rd
City: Coldwater State: MI Zip: 49036 Phone: (517) 278-5628  
County: Branch
Notes:
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Open: 1964 (8-21-64) AD Closed: OPEN IN 2006 Capacity: 804 (1964) 1200 (2001) Status: Open  
Owner History: Tom and Sue Magocs
Web Address: http://www.capridrive-in.com/
Number of visits to this page since Sept 2013: 17069
Video Clip:This video is from the annual Halloween Party.
Video Clip:This video was from the summer of 2003 or 2004.
Video Clip:A quick video of the marquee at the drive-in

 
 

5/7/2011 - Gary
Screen size is confirmed at 115' x 50' per Ron and Gary.
6/28/2008 - Kalamazoo Gazette
'A beautiful night in Michigan' Capri Drive-In theater owned by same family for more than 40 years COLDWATER -- Aaron Noel, 18, sat on a lawn chair in the bed of his blue, 1979 Ford F-250 with pillows, blankets, his iPod and a couple of energy drinks close by. Noel, of Athens, was parked in one of the first few rows at the Capri Drive-In in Coldwater last Wednesday as his girlfriend, Sarah Spradlin, 17, of Union City, walked around outside the pickup truck. The couple were on their first date together at the drive-in theater and were waiting for the sun to go down and the opening credits of Kung Fu Panda to start rolling. They also planned to stick around for the second film of the night, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which explained the need for energy drinks. It was going to be a long night.

But the couple was prepared and excited about taking in the fresh air, natural air conditioning of the Capri, which was built on Aug. 21, 1964, and is one of nine drive-in theaters still open in the state. The first drive-in opened 70 years ago this summer. It's different.

You don't get to do this often, experience something people were doing 70 years ago, Noel said. The Capri, 1475 W. Chicago Road in Coldwater, has been operated by the Magocs family every year of its existence -- with the exception of 1977-79 when it was leased to William Clarke of Coldwater -- giving it the same classic feel that appealed to Noel. You step back to 1964 when you step in here, said co-owner Susan Magocs, who operates it with her husband, Tom.

It was built as a single-screen theater by John Magocs, who moved from Detroit to Coldwater to open his own theater. He died in 1996, one year after ownership of the Capri was deeded to his son Tom, who still runs it with his wife from their home next to the theater. Tom Magocs, 49, grew up at the Capri, which now has two screens each showing two movies per night. I always ran around and picked up papers, cleaned the toilet, played on the playground, he said.

The Capri survived the industry decline of the '80s and thrived during the boom created by the release of Jurassic Park in 1993. Business has settled somewhere in between and relies heavily on two factors: If I've got the movies and the weather, I'll do OK, Susan Magocs, 50, said. It was pleasantly cool last Wednesday night at the drive-in, which is open seven days a week. The eight-acre ground holds about 800 cars, although everyone had their pick of spots since it was a slower night.

As the sun set, a few cars trickled in the main entrance while some people looked over the concession stand menu and the Karabetsoses kicked a soccer ball around the limestone-covered parking area. Brothers Mike and Steve Karabetsos showed their sons the same drive-in where, about 20 years ago, they gathered with friends and brought their dates. Mike Karabetsos, 37, of Devil's Lake, and Steve Karabetsos, 39, of Three Rivers, sat in lawn chairs between their respective cars. Their sons -- Caden, 6, and Alexander, 2 -- were inside Steve Karabetsos' silver minivan.

Alexander, Steve's son, sat in a Spider-Man booster seat on the passenger's side while Caden sat behind the steering wheel. They were eagerly awaiting the start of Kung Fu Panda, armed with candy and bug juice. It's one of the first trips together for the foursome and a tradition the dads hope will catch on. I hope it's here for a long time to come, Mike Karabetsos said.

It would be great to see them bring their kids, Steve Karabetsos said. Once the sun gave way to a clear night, an almost full moon hung over the concession stand. There's something that happens when the sun goes down and the movie goes on, Susan Magocs said. It's just a beautiful night in Michigan.

8/12/2006 - Holmes Family
We make the 45 minute trek to Coldwater about 3 times a year to go to Allens Root Beer Drive in on US-12 for dinner (over 30 flavors of shakes) and then on to the Capri. Clean bathrooms, great service, great price. It has to be in the top 5 fun things our family does. They are very family oriented - the only thing I can say is missing is a playground to keep the kids busy before the show starts.

10/31/2003 - WaterWinterWonderland
Easily the best drive-in in the state if not the country, the Capri is a top-notch operation run by Tom and Sue Magocs. These folks have taken the drive-in to a new level, as every aspect of this facility is just right To name just some of the features of the drive-in, you have the gorgeous neon marquee (always in perfect order), the beautifully maintained ramps and lot, the sharpness and quality of the picture on the 2 large screens, the spotless concession stand with great food and very reasonable prices as well as the hospitality of the crew and the Magocs family. All of this combines for the perfect drive-in experience.
10/31/2003 - Web
From the Capri Web Site - The 1000 Car, single screen Drive-In opens on August 21st, 1964 by owner-operators John and Mary Magocs. A contest was held at the Drive-In shortly after it opens to decide on a name. the winner received a brand new sewing machine.

The winning name was The Capri. And that name was submitted by.

Mary Magocs (and yes, she kept the sewing machine :-) Admission in 1964 was $1. 00 and a cheeseburger was $0. 45. The snack bar at the time was leased to Auto City Candy Company of Detroit.

Operating a Drive-In for the Magocs was a family affair. John and Mary, John Jr. and Tom, spent many a night making sure the show went off each night. From 1964 through 1977, The Capri served the residents of Branch and Calhoun counties.

The 50s, 60s and 70s were boom times for Drive-ins. In Michigan, there were 87 open Drive-Ins in 1954, growing to a peak of 110 in 1958. The number of open Drive-Ins remained constant over the next 20 years, with 103 Drive-Ins still open in Michigan in 1977. In 1977, the operation of the Capri Drive-In was leased to William Clarke of Coldwater while the Magocs resided in Florida.

In 1980, Tom and John Jr. resumed operation of the theatre. Tom and John Jr. were 5 and 9 years old when John and Mary opened the theatre.

After 16 years of learning the ropes, the boys took over. One of their first decisions was to install AM radio transmission of the movie sound. This was cutting edge technology at the time in the Drive-In industry. All but 5 rows of speakers were removed.

In 1982, Sue Magocs (Toms wife) assumed operation of the Snack Bar. Between 1964 and 1981 the snack bar had been run separately. For those of you who remember back 20 years, this was a major UPGRADE for the concession stand. The Capri Drive-Ins concession now consistently rates as one of the best Drive-In concessions in operation.

In 1986, the Capri became a twin. Screen Two was added on the back side of theatre. Screen Ones car capacity was decreased to 550 cars, with Screen Two parking 300 more. It was at this time that 5 remaining rows of speakers were also removed.

In 1996, sadly, the original showman, John Magocs Sr. passed away in his Naples, Florida home. 1997 through 2000 saw The Capri Drive-In continually increase their technology and movie showing capabilities. FM radio transmission of the sound, following by FM Stereo brought indoor theater sound quality to the Outdoor show.

The Addition of a Red Dye Cye Analog filter (which was replacing Silver Nitrate on new films) kept the Capri able to show current first run films. In 1998, The Coldwater Indoor Cinema opened and many predicted the demise of the Capri Drive-In. But they couldnt have been more wrong. The Capri Drive-In has continued to thrive, with an ever growing and widening audience.

Not only do we see regular customers from local counties like Branch and Calhoun, but regular weekly visitors from Kalamazoo, Lansing, Angola, Fort Wayne, Jackson, Defiance, and even semi-regulars from as far away as Detroit, Chicago and Toledo. During the Summer of 2000, a local Coldwater TV program featured the Coldwater Drive-In. Historically Speaking conducted about a 20 minute interview with Sue Magocs of The Capri. Sue talked about the Drive-Ins past, the present and its future.

Classic video footage was found and shown for the show. In the summer of 2001, The Capri Drive-In earned its highest honors, named One of Ten Drive-Ins Worth a Detour by both the USA Today and The New York Times. In the article written by Drive-In author and aficionado Don Sanders, the Capri was called what a drive-in experience should be. The whole text run said The original family runs the theater, which has great food and the original neon sign.

Great FM sound system, too. This family (Tom and Sue Magocs) really knows what a drive-in experience should be. Cool nights! 517-278-5628.

Capri Drive-In Theatre - SUMMER 2014
SUMMER 2014
Capri Drive-In Theatre - LINING UP 2004
LINING UP 2004
Capri Drive-In Theatre - FROM DON GURKA
FROM DON GURKA
Capri Drive-In Theatre - AERIAL PHOTO
AERIAL PHOTO
Capri Drive-In Theatre - GREAT 68 UNDER MARQUEE
GREAT 68 UNDER MARQUEE
Capri Drive-In Theatre - LINE OF MUSTANGS AT SCREEN 1
LINE OF MUSTANGS AT SCREEN 1
Capri Drive-In Theatre - MORE MUSTANGS
MORE MUSTANGS
Capri Drive-In Theatre - COLE STORY FORD
COLE STORY FORD
Capri Drive-In Theatre - WAITING FOR BULLITT
WAITING FOR BULLITT
Capri Drive-In Theatre - LINE OF MUSTANGS ON US-12
LINE OF MUSTANGS ON US-12
Capri Drive-In Theatre - BEAUTIFUL
BEAUTIFUL
Capri Drive-In Theatre - WISHFUL THINKING
WISHFUL THINKING
Capri Drive-In Theatre - CLOSE-UP OF MARQUEE - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
CLOSE-UP OF MARQUEE - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
Capri Drive-In Theatre - OLD MARQUEE IN JUNKYARD
OLD MARQUEE IN JUNKYARD
Capri Drive-In Theatre - MARQUEE AT NIGHT - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
MARQUEE AT NIGHT - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
Capri Drive-In Theatre - SCREEN AND MARQUEE - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
SCREEN AND MARQUEE - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
Capri Drive-In Theatre - TICKET BOOTH - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
TICKET BOOTH - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
Capri Drive-In Theatre - CONCESSION WITH GAMES - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
CONCESSION WITH GAMES - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
Capri Drive-In Theatre - VERY CLEAN CONCESSION - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
VERY CLEAN CONCESSION - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
Capri Drive-In Theatre - INSIDE OF SNACK BAR - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
INSIDE OF SNACK BAR - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
Capri Drive-In Theatre - CONCESSIONS - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
CONCESSIONS - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
Capri Drive-In Theatre - OUTSIDE OF CONCESSION - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
OUTSIDE OF CONCESSION - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
Capri Drive-In Theatre - PROJECTOR - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
PROJECTOR - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
Capri Drive-In Theatre - PROJECTOR FRONT - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
PROJECTOR FRONT - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
Capri Drive-In Theatre - SCREEN AT NIGHT - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
SCREEN AT NIGHT - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
Capri Drive-In Theatre - SCREEN FRONT - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
SCREEN FRONT - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
Capri Drive-In Theatre - SCREEN 2 - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
SCREEN 2 - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
Capri Drive-In Theatre - CAPRI FROM AIR COURTESY TOM AND SUE MAGOCS
CAPRI FROM AIR COURTESY TOM AND SUE MAGOCS
Capri Drive-In Theatre - REWINDER
REWINDER
Capri Drive-In Theatre - BOOTH FOR SCREEN 1
BOOTH FOR SCREEN 1
Capri Drive-In Theatre - CAPRI FROM AIR COURTESY TOM AND SUE MAGOCS
CAPRI FROM AIR COURTESY TOM AND SUE MAGOCS
Capri Drive-In Theatre - RESTROOMS - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
RESTROOMS - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
Capri Drive-In Theatre - GRAND OPENING AD
GRAND OPENING AD
Capri Drive-In Theatre - NEWS ARTICLE
NEWS ARTICLE
Capri Drive-In Theatre - AERIAL
AERIAL
Capri Drive-In Theatre - 1967 FROM RON GROSS
1967 FROM RON GROSS
Capri Drive-In Theatre - LIVE SEARCH
LIVE SEARCH

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