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Woodland Drive-In Theatre


Address: 3290 28th St SE
City: Kentwood State: MI Zip: 49508 Phone:  
County: Kent
Notes:
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Open: 1969 (7-69) Closed: <1988> Capacity: 800 Status: Closed  
Owner History: Jack Loeks Theatres
Web Address: N/A
Number of visits to this page since Sept 2013: 9715
 
 

9/1/2012 - Howard Parks
Where the screen once sat is now a Goodwill store, across from Lowes.
7/2/2006 - Grand Rapids Press
Grand Rapids Press - May 3, 1998 Owner John Loeks hopes to build a mini-mall at 28th Street and Broadmoor. John Loeks knows hes sitting on a 28th Street gold mine. A $ 10 million gold mine. Loeks, whose company owns the property, and Ben Muller Realty Co. are readying development plans for the 20 vacant acres where the old Woodland Drive-In Theater once operated at Broadmoor Avenue and 28th.

Theyre not ready to raise the curtain on those plans yet, but say they want to build a retail center there and hope construction begins as soon as this fall. Both Loeks and Realty President Mark Muller hint that high-end retailers are interested in a mini-mall concept on the corner. We can offer 200,000 square feet of retail space and wed like to think we can do something different thats not in this market at all, Muller said. The land is the last open site for development on this busy stretch of 28th, Loeks said, referring to land that has been a part of the Jack Loeks Theatres Inc.

business since the early 1960s. In fact, it might just be the most prized piece in West Michigan because of the trunklines, said Kentwood Planning Director Tim Cochran, referring to the intersection of M-37 (Broadmoor) and M-11 (28th). Realtors estimate the lands price at $ 10-$ 12 a square foot, which calculates to $ 500,000 an acre. Loeks and Muller, who are handling the property, say they will present development plans to Kentwood this summer.

Everyone seems to think its the best place to be and we have the advantage of being there, Loeks said. Retailers have been coming to us.

Weve just allowed the whole thing to evolve and its going to take a lot of money to make improvements on the property, he added. We want to do it right. While the two would not reveal possible tenants, Loeks has purchased the Cascade Inn Motel property to the south and will raze the building.

He needs the property to reach Whiskey Creek (and a major drain for Eastbrook Mall) that will have to be re-directed before they build. Muller said theyve made the studies and will proceed if Kentwood agrees. Kentwood officials dont know whats planned yet but Cochran said inquiries had been made about meeting development and driveway requirements for an upscale shopping center. We would expect it to be an extremely dynamic project because of the cost of that property, he added.

Woodlands announcement that it would renovate the whole mall and bring in the Lord & Taylor department store has everyone excited and energized this whole area.
7/2/2006 - Grand Rapids Press
The Grand Rapids Press July 12, 2000 KENTWOOD -- Lowes Home Improvement Store will open in Kentwood if the company can live with the citys Planning Commission list of 25 conditions. Were encouraged, Tom Wilkinson, director of site development for Lowes, said after Tuesdays meeting at which a divided Planning Commission voted 5-2 to approve the project but not until after two hours of discussion. Were going to have to sit down and take a close look at everything, but were hopeful we can work with the city, Wilkinson said. The company plans to build a 135,000-square-foot store with a 28,000-square-foot garden center on the southwest corner of Broadmoor Avenue and 28th Street SE -- the largest frontage for developing left on 28th Streets retail portion. The site -- owned by the John Loeks family and mostly vacant since the Loeks Theatres Woodland Drive-In theater closed two decades ago - - is receiving close scrutiny from Kentwood officials.

They noted how important the site is as a gateway to the city, sitting at one of the busiest intersections in West Michigan. Wade Laufenberg, senior real estate manager for Lowes, said it may be possible to open as early as spring or summer 2001. The Planning Commission granted special-approval use for an open- air business or garden center and also approved the site plan for the overall concept. Howard VandenToorn and Walter Bagby voted against the project.

Planners also want to safeguard against unsightly and hazardous outside storage and displays. The Planning Commissions conditions covered such things as traffic flow, driveway locations, landscaping and lighting. One condition limits the company to no more than 511 parking spaces. Since Lowes plans 649 parking spaces, store representatives said they likely will appeal that condition to the City Commission.

Another condition is posting a surety bond to ensure Lowes complies with all stipulations and guidelines for outdoor sales in the garden center. For several years, the planners have wrestled with what they claim are prohibited outside sales and displays in garden centers at Home Depot, and the former Home Quarters and Builders Square stores. The open-air special approval use is limited to only the garden center as shown on the plans, said Community Development Director Terry Schweitzer. We want to make certain there is no misunderstanding at all.

The special use allows Lowes to sell items from a greenhouse area adjacent to the store but does not allow storage or sales in front of the store or in the parking lot. Sidewalk sales are allowed under certain conditions. Lisa Golder, Kentwood city planner, said she believes there are three main issues with the site -- parking, circulation and aesthetics. Golder said she was concerned that delivery trucks would add to traffic congestion at the corner.

Aesthetically, Lowes representatives said they recognize the corners importance. Lowes is a national home improvement store in business since 1946 with approximately 600 stores in 40 states. Sales top $20 billion a year.

12/16/2003 - MichiganDriveIns.com
One Sunday evening in 1970, Rev. Ray Rewerts, pastor of Fifth Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, preached a sermon in which he challenged the congregation to begin an outreach ministry in our community. Members of the congregation picked up his enthusiasm and got together for a brainstorming session. A task force was formed. Several ideas were considered, but the group kept coming back to the concept of a drive-in church.

When this idea was presented to the congregation, it was accepted immediately. Many were eager to join in this new venture. The objective of this ministry was not simply to develop another church in the Grand Rapids area, but to have a permanent outreach ministry—a place where those who did not feel comfortable in an organized church could worship and praise God, a place where the slogan would truly be practiced, “Come as you are. ” The next question was location.

A drive-in theater seemed to be the logical place to hold such a service. The task force surveyed the south side of Grand Rapids and decided on the Woodland Drive-In Theater, owned by Jack Loeks. When the idea was presented to Mr. Loeks, not only was he willing to give permission, but he was also enthusiastic about the project.

In the nineteen years that Woodland Drive-In Church worshiped at that theater, the owner never accepted any rent for the use of his property. Our only cost was paying for the utilities during the months that the theater was closed. The next problem was that of set-up. As far as its first platform was concerned, the task force was able to purchase an old hay wagon for $25.

00. On June 25, 1970, the Woodland Drive-In Church held its first service. About forty cars attended. The format of that service was similar to the current one, although a few changes had to be made.

It only took a couple of Sundays to realize, for example, that congregational singing was out. Collecting offering envelopes and registration cards from car to car was replaced with people voluntarily turning these in to greeters at the end of the service as they left. The sound system left something to be desired in the early days. A work crew had to set up early Sunday morning by hanging a cable that stretched from the platform to the concession stand, so that people could listen to the services through the drive-in theater speakers.

Poles were placed every forty feet to support the cable. One Sunday morning the service had to be delayed because those setting up the cable had not figured on the height of a pick-up truck with a camper on it.
10/16/2003 - MichiganDriveIns.com
The front half of the Woodland Drive-In graveyard has been completely erased the new Lowes store. The rear half, across 29th street remains vacant. The screen and merry-go-round foundations were found, as were a couple of speaker poles. Both marquees have been removed.

4/28/2003 - WaterWinterWonderland
The lot has been split by 29th Street, with the front half occupied by a Lowes. The rear of the lot however, reveals a few remnants of the old Drive-In including the foundation of the screen tower.
Woodland Drive-In Theatre - AERIAL PHOTO FROM THE JACK LOEKS THEATRES COLLECTION
AERIAL PHOTO FROM THE JACK LOEKS THEATRES COLLECTION
Woodland Drive-In Theatre - AERIAL PHOTO FROM THE JACK LOEKS THEATRES COLLECTION
AERIAL PHOTO FROM THE JACK LOEKS THEATRES COLLECTION
Woodland Drive-In Theatre - WOODLAND DRIVE-IN THEATRE & CHURCH 1970 COURTESY PASTOR VERLYN VERBRUGGE
WOODLAND DRIVE-IN THEATRE & CHURCH 1970 COURTESY PASTOR VERLYN VERBRUGGE
Woodland Drive-In Theatre - WOODLAND DRIVE-IN CHURCH DEC 1970 COURTESY PASTOR VERBRUGGE
WOODLAND DRIVE-IN CHURCH DEC 1970 COURTESY PASTOR VERBRUGGE
Woodland Drive-In Theatre - WOODLAND DRIVE-IN CHURCH 1970 COURTESY PASTOR VERBRUGGE
WOODLAND DRIVE-IN CHURCH 1970 COURTESY PASTOR VERBRUGGE
Woodland Drive-In Theatre - WOODLAND DRIVE-IN THEATRE & CHURCH 1970
WOODLAND DRIVE-IN THEATRE & CHURCH 1970'S COURTESY PASTOR VERBRUGGE
Woodland Drive-In Theatre - WOODLAND DRIVE-IN CHURCH 1970
WOODLAND DRIVE-IN CHURCH 1970'S COURTESY PASTOR VERBRUGGE
Woodland Drive-In Theatre - WOODLAND DRIVE-IN CHURCH 1970
WOODLAND DRIVE-IN CHURCH 1970'S COURTESY PASTOR VERBRUGGE
Woodland Drive-In Theatre - WOODLAND DRIVE-IN CHURCH 1970
WOODLAND DRIVE-IN CHURCH 1970'S COURTESY PASTOR VERBRUGGE
Woodland Drive-In Theatre - WOODLAND DRIVE-IN CHURCH APRIL 1973 COURTESY PASTOR VERBRUGGE
WOODLAND DRIVE-IN CHURCH APRIL 1973 COURTESY PASTOR VERBRUGGE
Woodland Drive-In Theatre - WOODLAND DRIVE-IN CHURCH NEW PLATFORM APRIL 1973 COURTESY PASTOR VERBRUGGE
WOODLAND DRIVE-IN CHURCH NEW PLATFORM APRIL 1973 COURTESY PASTOR VERBRUGGE
Woodland Drive-In Theatre - WOODLAND DRIVE-IN CHURCH 1970
WOODLAND DRIVE-IN CHURCH 1970'S COURTESY PASTOR VERBRUGGE
Woodland Drive-In Theatre - WOODLAND DRIVE-IN CHURCH DEC 1977 COURTESY PASTOR VERBRUGGE
WOODLAND DRIVE-IN CHURCH DEC 1977 COURTESY PASTOR VERBRUGGE
Woodland Drive-In Theatre - WOODLAND DRIVE-IN CHURCH JULY 1980 COURTESY PASTOR VERBRUGGE
WOODLAND DRIVE-IN CHURCH JULY 1980 COURTESY PASTOR VERBRUGGE
Woodland Drive-In Theatre - OODLAND DRIVE-IN CHURCH ANNV BOOKLET 1980 COURTESY PASTOR VERBRUGGE
OODLAND DRIVE-IN CHURCH ANNV BOOKLET 1980 COURTESY PASTOR VERBRUGGE
Woodland Drive-In Theatre - MARQUEE - PHOTO FROM RG
MARQUEE - PHOTO FROM RG
Woodland Drive-In Theatre - DRIVE AND MARQUEE THEN - PHOTO FROM RG
DRIVE AND MARQUEE THEN - PHOTO FROM RG
Woodland Drive-In Theatre - NOW A LOWES - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
NOW A LOWES - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
Woodland Drive-In Theatre - FOUNDATION - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
FOUNDATION - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
Woodland Drive-In Theatre - RAMPS - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
RAMPS - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
Woodland Drive-In Theatre - SCREEN BASE PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
SCREEN BASE PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
Woodland Drive-In Theatre - SCREEN FOUNDATION - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
SCREEN FOUNDATION - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
Woodland Drive-In Theatre - SPEAKER POLE PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
SPEAKER POLE PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
Woodland Drive-In Theatre - AERIAL - PHOTO FROM TERRASERVER
AERIAL - PHOTO FROM TERRASERVER
Woodland Drive-In Theatre - LIVE SEARCH
LIVE SEARCH

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