HomeDrive-In TheatersTawas Drive-In Theatre - East Tawas, MI

Tawas Drive-In Theatre

Address: 2005 N. US-23
City: East Tawas
State: MI
Zip: 48730
County: Iosco
Notes:
Open: (1952) NA
Closed: 1991
Capacity: 250 (1957,1965) 400 (1977)
Owner History: Ashmun Bros.(1957,1965) R.J. Ashmun (1977) D & D Kitchen (1985)
Number of visits to this page: 9084
Info Updates:
2/24/2021 - Andy Gray
Today I'm featuring the Tawas Drive-In, a project that my grandfather Al Johnson's construction company completed in 1952. The drive-in was located at 2005 N. US-23 in East Tawas, Michigan. Al's slides include one showing construction of the concession/projection building with what could be a flatbed well-drilling rig in front of it. This image was taken in March 1952. The remaining slides were shot in July 1952. These show the project nearing its completion. Vertical tongue-and-groove knotty pine sheathes the concession/projection building doors and also covers the ticket booth. A Jeep, used to set the precast speaker stands, is shown in one slide. A swing set can be seen in front of the screen. Child play areas, sometimes with benches or chairs from which their parents could watch over their children, were a common feature of drive-ins of the era. Two images show the drive-in on opening night. The marquee reads: "Gala Opening Tonight 'Thief of Bagdad' and Judy Canoya in 'Hit the Hay' Souvenirs to first 500 cars."
3/3/2015 - Janice Kitchen
This was my family's drive in! My sister and I spent many years working in the box office, we always had a summer job. There was so much to do - in the mornings we picked up the prior evenings trash people tossed out of their cars. We took the old popcorn home and fed it to the birds. Lots of lawn mowing, painting, cleaning, repairs. Replacing stolen speakers. you know who you are! My dad could do most tasks himself, he taught me so much. One thing I recall he couldn't do was repair the neon signs, if one was was broken we made the trek to Saginaw to the repair shop. I have so many great memories and realize now how special and unique this business was. Our family took so much pride in this theatre. Thank you to all who came out, we enjoyed serving all of you!.
3/10/2008 - Tom Elmore
Does anyone know if the projection system was saved at all? I know the building was in pretty bad shape with the roofleaking and vandals etc.. I saw a lot of moves there as a kid.


Thanks
-Tom Elmore
Anchorage, Alaska
10/5/2007 - Bobby Peacock
Projection booth torn down as of Summer 2007.
1/6/2003 - WaterWinterWonderland
The projection booth reamains, there is now a gas station and a closed taco bell where the screen foundation used to be.
1/6/2003 - Drive-Ins.com
The Tawas DRive-in closed after the 1991 season. Most of the field is intact, but there is a church and a Citgo gas station on the site. The snack bar remains, and is probably owned by the church. Bobby Peacock
1/6/2003 - Drive-Ins.com
This was a great drive in, in its day, i used to go to it all the time when i went up north camping and when i moved up to Oscoda in the late 80s. I was saddened when it shut down, but they first had said it was gonna be a christian retreat, but they built a convenience store and other stuff on the property, i have lived in Florida since 1992, but was up there 2 years ago, the concession building was still in place, but all torn up, i did get some pics of the place though, basically just a field except out near the street where they built the store. This was a great drive in, was hidden from the street by heavy tree growth out front, but was a great place to see a movie, but being so close to lake Huron, i knew its life was limited, but its so sad because of all the memories it brings back to me.
 Photos:31
Tawas Drive-In Theatre - SCREEN TOWER FROM JIM
SCREEN TOWER FROM JIM
Tawas Drive-In Theatre - SCREEN TOWER FROM JIM
SCREEN TOWER FROM JIM
Tawas Drive-In Theatre - SCREEN TOWER FROM JIM
SCREEN TOWER FROM JIM
Tawas Drive-In Theatre - SCREEN AND SNACK BAR FROM JIM
SCREEN AND SNACK BAR FROM JIM
Tawas Drive-In Theatre - MARQUEE FROM JIM
MARQUEE FROM JIM
Tawas Drive-In Theatre - MARQUEE FROM JIM
MARQUEE FROM JIM
Tawas Drive-In Theatre - INSIDE CONCESSION FROM DAN MARTIN
INSIDE CONCESSION FROM DAN MARTIN
Tawas Drive-In Theatre - INSIDE PROJECTION BOOTH FROM DAN MARTIN
INSIDE PROJECTION BOOTH FROM DAN MARTIN
Tawas Drive-In Theatre - CONCESSION - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
CONCESSION - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
Tawas Drive-In Theatre - 1950 SHOT FROM A S 'AL' JOHNSON
1950 SHOT FROM A S 'AL' JOHNSON
Tawas Drive-In Theatre - 1950 SHOT FROM A S 'AL' JOHNSON
1950 SHOT FROM A S 'AL' JOHNSON
Tawas Drive-In Theatre - 1950 SHOT FROM A S 'AL' JOHNSON
1950 SHOT FROM A S 'AL' JOHNSON
Tawas Drive-In Theatre - 1950 SHOT FROM A S 'AL' JOHNSON
1950 SHOT FROM A S 'AL' JOHNSON
Tawas Drive-In Theatre - 1950 SHOT FROM A S 'AL' JOHNSON
1950 SHOT FROM A S 'AL' JOHNSON
Tawas Drive-In Theatre - 1950 SHOT FROM A S 'AL' JOHNSON
1950 SHOT FROM A S 'AL' JOHNSON
Tawas Drive-In Theatre - 1950 SHOT FROM A S 'AL' JOHNSON
1950 SHOT FROM A S 'AL' JOHNSON
Tawas Drive-In Theatre - 1950 SHOT FROM A S 'AL' JOHNSON
1950 SHOT FROM A S 'AL' JOHNSON
Tawas Drive-In Theatre - 1950 SHOT FROM A S 'AL' JOHNSON
1950 SHOT FROM A S 'AL' JOHNSON
Tawas Drive-In Theatre - PROJ AND CONCESSION - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
PROJ AND CONCESSION - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
Tawas Drive-In Theatre - SUMMER 2007 FROM DAN MARTIN
SUMMER 2007 FROM DAN MARTIN
Tawas Drive-In Theatre - SUMMER 2007 FROM DAN MARTIN
SUMMER 2007 FROM DAN MARTIN
Tawas Drive-In Theatre - SUMMER 2007 FROM DAN MARTIN
SUMMER 2007 FROM DAN MARTIN
Tawas Drive-In Theatre - PROJ BOOTH - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
PROJ BOOTH - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
Tawas Drive-In Theatre - PROJ BOOTH AND JOHNS - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
PROJ BOOTH AND JOHNS - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
Tawas Drive-In Theatre - INSIDE OF PROJ BOOTH - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
INSIDE OF PROJ BOOTH - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
Tawas Drive-In Theatre - LOT - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
LOT - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
Tawas Drive-In Theatre - DRIVEWAYS - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
DRIVEWAYS - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
Tawas Drive-In Theatre - TAWAS HERALD TAWAS DRIVE-IN ARTICLE JULY 4 1952
TAWAS HERALD TAWAS DRIVE-IN ARTICLE JULY 4 1952
Tawas Drive-In Theatre - TAWAS HERALD TAWAS DRIVE-IN ARTICLE JUNE 13 1952
TAWAS HERALD TAWAS DRIVE-IN ARTICLE JUNE 13 1952
Tawas Drive-In Theatre - TAWAS HERALD TAWAS DRIVE-IN ARTICLE NOV 1951
TAWAS HERALD TAWAS DRIVE-IN ARTICLE NOV 1951
Tawas Drive-In Theatre - AERIAL - PHOTO FROM TERRASERVER
AERIAL - PHOTO FROM TERRASERVER
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