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H & S Drive-In Theatre

Address: Marlette Rd.
City: Marlette State: MI Zip: 48543 Phone:  
County: Sanilac
Notes: AKA Marlette Drive-In, Starlite Watertown
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Open: 1949 (5-27-49) Closed: 1969 Capacity: 280 Status: Closed  
Owner History: H.E. Schroeder, Elwyn Baerwolf
Web Address: N/A
Number of visits to this page since Sept 2013: 3307

12/18/2003 - Box Office Magazine
July 1959 - Tim Hunt is running the H&S Drive-In at Marlette, formerly operated in partnership with Ralph Schroeder.
12/12/2003 - Andrew Wilson AKA The Librarian
Drive-In Theatre Opens Friday, 10 Miles East Marlette Leader - Thursday May 26, 1949 - Page 1 Sanilac Countys first Drive-In motion picture theatre is opening Friday night on East Marlette road this Friday under the management and ownership of Mr. Tim Hunt. The new drive-in is said to be one of the largest in the Thumb area, having a capacity of 300 cars and occupying about seven acres. The Drive-In has been under construction for several months. Mr.

Hunt assisted by his son-in-law, Mr. Ralph Schrader and his father, Mr. Delbert Schrader, did most of the work. The screen size of the new theatre is approximately 50 feet by 32 feet.

The latest type of sound equipment, including an individual speaker for each car has been installed. Two shows will be presented nightly, starting at 7:30. A wide range of pictures will be presented according to Mr. Hunt.

The new Drive-In is called the H and S Drive-In Theatre.
11/24/2003 -
Mystery finally solved - the H&S Drive-In was indeed renamed the Starlite Drive-In in 1962. An ad for the Star-Lite Drive-In theatre was found in the April 26th, 1962 issue of the Brown City Banner newspaper. The ad states the Star-Lite (formerly H & S) Drive-In Theatre opens for the season on April 27th, 1962. The final H & S ad for 1961 indicated it would close for the season on September 3rd, but gave no indication there would be a name change. The ads give its location as: 10 Miles East of Marlette - 6 Miles South and 3 Miles West of Sandusky.

10/16/2003 -
It does appear that the H&S (Marlette) Drive-In, and the Starlite Drive-In were indeed the same theater, with two names. The 1953-54 Theatre Catalog lists the H&S Drive-In in Marlette, MI. The owner/booker was William Clark of Detroit, and the capacity was 300 cars. And the 1956, 1957, 1964, 1965, 1968, 1971 and 1972 editions of the International Motion Picture Almanac list the H&S in Marlette, with the owner being H. E.

Schroeder, and a capacity of 280 cars. The 1964, 1965, 1968, 1971 and 1972 editions also list the Starlite Drive-In in Watertown, the owner was Elwyn Barefolf (sp. Baerwolf?), and it also had a 280-car capacity. Most likely the name was changed from H&S to Starlite sometime around 1963 or 1964, and the Almanac was never updated to reflect the name change.

10/16/2003 - Lee Burgess - Hwy 18 Outdoor Theatre
The H & S and the Starlite are definitely the same theatre. There were not two Drive Ins in that area. We often went down Marlette Road (from my Grandparents farm) and turned north on M-19 (where Watertown is although there is no real town there) to head up to Sandusky and Lake Huron where our lake lot was (of course we passed the Highway Drive In along the way). There was only one Drive In on Marlette Road. Now, I never remember it as the H & S, it was always referred to as the Marlette Drive In, but it could have been called the Starlite at one time.

From your photos and aerial shot, you cant tell there was ever a Drive In there now. On the topographical map Ill say this, the screen pointed northwest, not north as shown on the map (a minor point, I know, but perhaps important to Drive in purists).
10/16/2003 - Lee Burgess - Hwy 18 Outdoor Theatre
Being from Michigan (Detroit area, and having grandparents in the Marlette/thumb area), I have many fond memories of Michigan Drive Ins of the 50s and 60s. We used to go to the H & S Drive In (everyone in town called it the Marlette Drive In) quite a bit in the 50s when I was young. It was located on Marlette Road (east-west road that runs through the center of town) about 2-4 miles east of town. It was located on the north side of the road and the screen faced northwest. It was very similar to the Highway Drive In out near Carsonville (another Drive In we went to frequently), except even smaller (as I recall).

Absolutely nothing remains of the H & S that I can find. (.
1/6/2003 -
H and S Drive In (the locals called it the Marlette Drive In), another one I used to attend regularly in the 50s. It was located on Marlette Road just east of Marlette, Michigan. It was very small (Id guess 250-300 cars) and was as cheaply constructed as they come. Nothing remains of it today. What I remember most of this theatre is that they had a projectionist that regularly used to fall asleep during the second picture and the kids (myself included) used to delight in banging on the projection door to wake him up when the reel ran out.

H & S Drive-In Theatre - HISTORIC AERIAL
H & S Drive-In Theatre - THE FIELD NOW
H & S Drive-In Theatre - STARLITE AD JUNE 28 1962
H & S Drive-In Theatre - GOOGLE EARTH
H & S Drive-In Theatre - TOPO MAP

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