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East Side Drive-In Theatre


Address: 19440 Harper Av
City: Harper Woods State: MI Zip: Phone:  
County: Wayne
Notes: AKA Drive-In
View on Mapquest   View on Google Maps   View on Microsoft Live    
Open: 1938 (5-26-38) Closed: 1977 Capacity: 1000 Status: Closed  
Owner History: Westoutdoor
Web Address: N/A
Number of visits to this page since Sept 2013: 3338
 
 

6/6/2014 - J C Woodworth
I remember the greasy spoon near the exit, I don't believe it was part of a chain. It latter became a hair salon. I don't know if I missed this somewhere in the text but I believe when it first opened the sound was piped through large megaphones. I myself only remember the posts with the heaters and the tinny speakers. I wonder how many folks broke out the drivers side window by pulling away and not paying attention.

7/8/2011 - danny sims
I thought they had boats you could ride along with the swings. I remember going on July 4th for the fire works at the end was the American flag. Went to school with a guy that worked there his name was Mike Webster. Great memories.

6/2/2009 - Jeff Gagnon
mY FATHER WAS THE PROJECTIONIST AT THE EAST SIDE FOR YEARS I remember going to it so many times and I can''t even remember all the movies that I saw. We had a blast going and helping my father run the projectors and doing field work until he got hurt there. So sad when they tore it down I also worked there as an usher in the 70''s I remember that the church next door used to complain when they showed R rated movies. Sorry to see almost all the drive in goes a whole generation of kids will never know what fun it used to be.
6/15/2008 - Mike F
Grew up where we could sit on the front porch of my folks house and watch the movies, come 1967 it was my first job. 90 cents or a buck an hour. Friday and Sat nights were a blast. There were two of us ushers one would be by the ticket gate, and if someone came in by themselves they would radio back to the other one to be on the lookout for that car. Usually.



some fools would be piled in the trunks of the car to get in free, and when the got to the back and parked we would catch them getting out of the trunk. One of Harper Woods finest would then escort them out of the place. Pat or Wayne are ya out there somewhere? lolBiggest complainers on the topic of more skin came from the houses on Littlestone which backed up to Tyrone School and had the huge screen staring at the backs of their houses. Same 2-3 guys would always show up at the city council meetings and holler the loudest.

Few years later I was working downtown for MichCon in their computer center on the night shift. I was still living at my folks then, and one night as I came down to Tyrone there were cars parked and stopped all along the street. I cant remember what actress it was, but she didnt have much in the way of clothes on, and those cars were lined up from Brierstone all the way to Bournemouth. What a hoot.

Name of the place in front for many years was Richards, the drive in restaurant.
5/8/2008 - Brad Cook
I worked at the East Side in the early 70''s. It was my first job and I loved it only making a $1. 00 an hour. I work during the day doing maintenance and at night as an usher. I also gave kids a ride on the train in the play ground before the movie started.

I worked there when Summer of 42 first came out and it was a sell out. Cars backed up to 7 mile road waiting to get in. Those years will always be the best years of my life.

9/18/2007 - Melinda Caito
One fact that was not brought to light. Yes, they did start showing films with more skin, and the biggest oppostion of the showing of these films was from the nuns in the convent and the priests in the rectory of Our Lady Queen of Peace catholic church/school. They had a clear shot of the screen from their living quarters.
4/28/2006 - Bud
Also I can remember them having fireworks for New Years and July 4th I could stand on my front porch and watch them. Oh darn I just remembered playing on the swings up by the screen when my parents took me as a 5 year old.

When little my sister and I would have go to sleep in the back seat she always got the seat and I got the floor. But I think I liked going to the Gratiot drive in most as I liked to stand in front and watch the waterfall. And I remember taking in a load of guys in the trunk of my 57 Ford.

and letting them out back by the fence.
4/28/2006 - Bob48152
I remember when the screen caught on fire and burned back in 53 or 54. Bob.
11/13/2005 - Kathy
I used to live near Harper and Kingsville. You could see the movie from my backyard. Wasnt there a diner called the Top Hat (or something like that) right on Harper next to the drive-in? Wasnt the building shiny and silver. Or am I confusing it with some where else? I went to the Bel-Air sometimes, too, but this was my favorite. A kids dream!.

11/16/2004 - Jim Swift
We used to go there in the mid-fifties and.

Has anyone else done these things? 1. Back in the exit of the East Side Drive-in with your lights out (no backup lites on my 48 Chevy) or 2. Loading the trunk of a car with as many kids as you could squeeze in and pay for only the driver?.
9/11/2004 - Johnny Vanneste
I grew up across Harper from the Eastside Drive -In, took my lovely wife/girl friend there, played on the swings in front of the screen, and ran through there during cross country practice at Bishop Gallagher High School. I remember as a kid watching the movies from behind the theatre in nearby Tyrone School when we were too young to go by ourselves. The East Side Drive-In was a big part of my childhod.
3/25/2004 - Dave Mesrey
I was only 8 when the theater closed, but I can remember it well. My father used to take me there in the 70s, and I distinctly remember swinging on the swingset in front of the big screen and seeing my shadow cast on the screen.
10/16/2003 - MichiganDriveIns.com
Detroits first drive-in theater, and one of the first in the world, the Drive-In opened at 8 p. m and tickets were $. 35 per person. The first film was The Big Broadcast of 1938. Its screen measured 50 x 50, and was advertised as the largest screen in the world.

Later known as the East Side Drive-In, and part of the Boston-based General Cinema Corporation, it was later sold to the Wisper & Wetsman chain. Razed. (Motor City Marquees pub. 1992 by Stuart Galbraith IV 4-21-01) Photo:Steven Wojtowicz 1956.

10/16/2003 - MichiganDriveIns.com
I used to work at the Eastside drive-in (1975-1977) until it was closed and torn down to build a park. I did everything at the drive-in (Concessions, tickets, cut grass, change the marquee, clean bathrooms, patrol during the movies and etc. ). Ive got some original photos of the drive-in when it was built.

Ive also have some old 8mm movies of the drive-in I took during my drive-in career. Also have some old news clippings. (Police raid drive-in for showing dirty movies, I have a old ad from the West-Side drive-in showing Michelle vs Godzilla this was my boss and I didnt like her too much). The photos are dated 7-7-56.

The marquee and box office were moved next to the screen, possibly when I-94 was built next to the drive-in. The drive-in closed in the fall of 1977, and was torn down the summer of 1978. (Steven Wojtowicz 11-15-00).
1/6/2003 - Drive-Ins.com
The East Side Drive-In was the first General Cinema Drive-In Theater. I worked there as the manager and we started showing t&a movies (not x-rated just soft r-rated). About a week later the Mayor stopped by and told me he didnt like the movies we were showing, as he put it (as we were walking around the theater) We dont want to tell you what kind of movies to show.

Is that fence up to code?. But we would appreciate it if you didnt show them.

By the way I dont think the screen is up to fire code. James Szeles.

East Side Drive-In Theatre - OLD PIC FROM RON GROSS
OLD PIC FROM RON GROSS
East Side Drive-In Theatre - A COLORIZATION BY GARY AND ROBERT
A COLORIZATION BY GARY AND ROBERT
East Side Drive-In Theatre - ORIGINAL PHOTO - PHOTO FROM RG
ORIGINAL PHOTO - PHOTO FROM RG
East Side Drive-In Theatre - SCREEN AND DRIVEWAY - PHOTO FROM RG
SCREEN AND DRIVEWAY - PHOTO FROM RG
East Side Drive-In Theatre - LANES - PHOTO FROM RG
LANES - PHOTO FROM RG
East Side Drive-In Theatre - MARQUEE - PHOTO FROM RG
MARQUEE - PHOTO FROM RG
East Side Drive-In Theatre - PROJECTION - PHOTO FROM RG
PROJECTION - PHOTO FROM RG
East Side Drive-In Theatre - FROM ROAD - PHOTO FROM RG
FROM ROAD - PHOTO FROM RG
East Side Drive-In Theatre - THE EASTSIDE NOW
THE EASTSIDE NOW
East Side Drive-In Theatre - THE EASTSIDE NOW
THE EASTSIDE NOW
East Side Drive-In Theatre - HMMMM I WONDER
HMMMM I WONDER
East Side Drive-In Theatre - ANNOUCEMENT AD
ANNOUCEMENT AD
East Side Drive-In Theatre - ANNOUCEMENT AD
ANNOUCEMENT AD
East Side Drive-In Theatre - ANNOUCEMENT AD
ANNOUCEMENT AD
East Side Drive-In Theatre - ANNOUCEMENT ARTICLE
ANNOUCEMENT ARTICLE
East Side Drive-In Theatre - OLD AD AFTER OPENING
OLD AD AFTER OPENING
East Side Drive-In Theatre - AD - PHOTO FROM RG
AD - PHOTO FROM RG
East Side Drive-In Theatre - OLD ARTICLE
OLD ARTICLE
East Side Drive-In Theatre - OLD ARTICLE
OLD ARTICLE
East Side Drive-In Theatre - AERIAL - PHOTO FROM TERRASERVER
AERIAL - PHOTO FROM TERRASERVER
East Side Drive-In Theatre - OLD AERIAL
OLD AERIAL
East Side Drive-In Theatre - RECENT AERIAL
RECENT AERIAL

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