HomeDrive-In TheatersMaple City Drive-In Theatre - Charlotte, MI

Maple City Drive-In Theatre

Address: 2812 S. Cochran
City: Charlotte
State: MI
Zip: 48813
County: Eaton
Open: 1953 (6-30-53)
Closed: <1990>
Capacity: 500
Owner History: Wisper-Wetsman
Number of visits to this page: 8774
Notes:
Info Updates:
2/20/2021 - Andy Gray
Today I have a treat for Michigan drive-in aficionados: ten photos taken in the fall of 1952 during the construction of the Maple City Drive-In in Charlotte. These 35 mm slides were shot by my grandfather A.S. "Al" Johnson, who owned the Johnson Construction Company and built dozens of Michigan theaters and drive-ins between 1934 and 1956. These images provide a rare look into the the early phases of a drive-in project: site clearing, layout, applying water-proofing tar to the lower blockwork of the concession/projection building, building the foundation for the tower, and tower framing and assembly. One slide shows car speaker posts with precast concrete bases. These later will be interconnected and set in place, then the concrete bases will be covered with gravel prior to the final grading of the parking area. The same slide shows several timbers soaking in drums of creosote for protection against rot. Some of the timbers piled in the back will be cut to length and bolted together with steel gussets to form vertical trusses. These will provide the primary structure of the tower. A series of slides shows the workers raising one of these tower trusses into place using ropes, block and tackle. Once in place, these vertical members will be connected to adjacent trusses with horizontal timbers to form a rigid framework. Though not shown in these slides, the final step of the tower construction involved sheathing the whole tower frame with plywood, applying one or more coats of paint, and then covering the whole tower with a final layer of panels. Ron Gross, administrator of the Michigan Drive-ins Facebook page, says that asbestos panels typically were used for the final sheathing layer during this era. To see part of the tower sheathing process, please see my February 12 Michigan History post on the Starlight Drive-In.
2/14/2021 - Andy Gray
These four photos were taken by A.S. “Al” Johnson in October 1951 and show the early stages of the Johnson Construction Co. Maple City Drive-In project. The fourth slide reveals some interesting aspects of a drive-in construction project. You can see the precast speaker posts and bases ready to be set. Several timbers are being soaked in barrels of creosote in the background. The piles of timbers in the background shows that none of the tower framing was pre-fab. It was all cut and assembled on-site and then manually raised into place, as the next batch of slides will show.
7/9/2010 - Garrett Pierce
According to a recent article in the local paper, the first film show at the Maple City Drive In was "The Pony Express". The drive in is basically gone now, with only the projection house and the original fence still remaining. The rest, as seen in the photos below, has been razed. The last time I recall anything happening out there was back around 1990 when the then owner had car shows out front to help promote the business. It didn''t help, and the property was sold soon after to a party unknown who uses it to store salt /minerals there.
12/18/2003 - Box Office Magazine
Beechler Theatres is running three weekly changes in the Maple City Drive-In at Charlotte.
1/6/2003 - Drive-Ins.com
I have heard rumors that the Charlotte may reopen soon. The marquee and, I believe, the snack bar remain. Bobby Peacock
1/6/2003 - WaterWinterWonderland
Marquee and snack bar/projection booth and fence remain. Lot appears to be used as storage for salt.
 Photos:47
Maple City Drive-In Theatre - 1952 PHOTO FROM AL JOHNSON
1952 PHOTO FROM AL JOHNSON
Maple City Drive-In Theatre - 1952 PHOTO FROM AL JOHNSON
1952 PHOTO FROM AL JOHNSON
Maple City Drive-In Theatre - 1952 PHOTO FROM AL JOHNSON
1952 PHOTO FROM AL JOHNSON
Maple City Drive-In Theatre - 1952 PHOTO FROM AL JOHNSON
1952 PHOTO FROM AL JOHNSON
Maple City Drive-In Theatre - 1952 PHOTO FROM AL JOHNSON
1952 PHOTO FROM AL JOHNSON
Maple City Drive-In Theatre - 1952 PHOTO FROM AL JOHNSON
1952 PHOTO FROM AL JOHNSON
Maple City Drive-In Theatre - 1952 PHOTO FROM AL JOHNSON
1952 PHOTO FROM AL JOHNSON
Maple City Drive-In Theatre - 1952 PHOTO FROM AL JOHNSON
1952 PHOTO FROM AL JOHNSON
Maple City Drive-In Theatre - 1952 PHOTO FROM AL JOHNSON
1952 PHOTO FROM AL JOHNSON
Maple City Drive-In Theatre - SUMMER 2013
SUMMER 2013
Maple City Drive-In Theatre - 1952 PHOTO FROM AL JOHNSON
1952 PHOTO FROM AL JOHNSON
Maple City Drive-In Theatre - SUMMER 2013
SUMMER 2013
Maple City Drive-In Theatre - SUMMER 2013
SUMMER 2013
Maple City Drive-In Theatre - SUMMER 2013
SUMMER 2013
Maple City Drive-In Theatre - SUMMER 2013
SUMMER 2013
Maple City Drive-In Theatre - SUMMER 2013
SUMMER 2013
Maple City Drive-In Theatre - SUMMER 2013
SUMMER 2013
Maple City Drive-In Theatre - SUMMER 2013
SUMMER 2013
Maple City Drive-In Theatre - CONCESSION AND PROJECTION - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
CONCESSION AND PROJECTION - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
Maple City Drive-In Theatre - INSIDE OF CONCESSION - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
INSIDE OF CONCESSION - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
Maple City Drive-In Theatre - INSIDE OF PROJECTION - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
INSIDE OF PROJECTION - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
Maple City Drive-In Theatre - REAR OF PROJECTION - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
REAR OF PROJECTION - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
Maple City Drive-In Theatre - PROJECTOR - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
PROJECTOR - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
Maple City Drive-In Theatre - DRIVEWAY AND FENCE - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
DRIVEWAY AND FENCE - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
Maple City Drive-In Theatre - FENCE - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
FENCE - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
Maple City Drive-In Theatre - MARQUEE NOW - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
MARQUEE NOW - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
Maple City Drive-In Theatre - Photo from early 2000's
Photo from early 2000's
Maple City Drive-In Theatre - MORE OF PROJECTION BOOTH - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
MORE OF PROJECTION BOOTH - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
Maple City Drive-In Theatre - SINK IN PROJECTION BOOTH - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
SINK IN PROJECTION BOOTH - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
Maple City Drive-In Theatre - SOUND EQUIP - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
SOUND EQUIP - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
Maple City Drive-In Theatre - JOHNS - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
JOHNS - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
Maple City Drive-In Theatre - FIELD FROM TOWER FROM DARYLL BURGESS
FIELD FROM TOWER FROM DARYLL BURGESS
Maple City Drive-In Theatre - FRONT OF SCREEN FROM DARYLL BURGESS
FRONT OF SCREEN FROM DARYLL BURGESS
Maple City Drive-In Theatre - MARQUEE CLOSE-UP FROM DARYLL BURGESS
MARQUEE CLOSE-UP FROM DARYLL BURGESS
Maple City Drive-In Theatre - MARQUEE FROM DARYLL BURGESS
MARQUEE FROM DARYLL BURGESS
Maple City Drive-In Theatre - OLD SHOT OF PROJECTION - PHOTO FROM RG
OLD SHOT OF PROJECTION - PHOTO FROM RG
Maple City Drive-In Theatre - SCREEN FROM DARYLL BURGESS
SCREEN FROM DARYLL BURGESS
Maple City Drive-In Theatre - SCREEN WITH SPEAKER - PHOTO FROM RG
SCREEN WITH SPEAKER - PHOTO FROM RG
Maple City Drive-In Theatre - TICKET BOOTH FROM DARYLL BURGESS
TICKET BOOTH FROM DARYLL BURGESS
Maple City Drive-In Theatre - POLES FROM DARYLL BURGESS
POLES FROM DARYLL BURGESS
Maple City Drive-In Theatre - INSIDE CONCESSION FROM DARYLL BURGESS
INSIDE CONCESSION FROM DARYLL BURGESS
Maple City Drive-In Theatre - INSIDE CONCESSION FROM DARYLL BURGESS
INSIDE CONCESSION FROM DARYLL BURGESS
Maple City Drive-In Theatre - INSIDE CONCESSION FROM DARYLL BURGESS
INSIDE CONCESSION FROM DARYLL BURGESS
Maple City Drive-In Theatre - LIGHTS OUT FROM DARYLL BURGESS
LIGHTS OUT FROM DARYLL BURGESS
Maple City Drive-In Theatre - WRECKED MARQUEE - PHOTO FROM RG
WRECKED MARQUEE - PHOTO FROM RG
Maple City Drive-In Theatre - AERIAL
AERIAL
Maple City Drive-In Theatre - BIRDS EYE
BIRDS EYE
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