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Thunder Bay Drive-In Theatre


Address: 74XX M-32
City: Alpena State: MI Zip: 49707 Phone: (517)379-2618  
County: Alpena
Notes: Thanks to Harry Mohney and Curt Peterson for info and pics!
Thanks to John for ticket booth pic
http://www.flickr.com/photos/j-engine/5097838273
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Open: 1955 (6-28-55) AD Closed: <1988> Capacity: 500 (1957,1965) 400 (1977) Status: Graveyard  
Owner History: I. Sweet
Web Address: http://www.waterwinterwonderland.com/alpena/
Number of visits to this page since Sept 2013: 1729
 
 

6/14/2011 - steve senchuk
i have some pics of the concert u might want to have on this sight. From the webmaster: Please email them to me if you can.
7/3/2003 - WaterWinterWonderland
A recent site inspection revealed that the Thunder Bay still has some remnants of its past. There were numerous speaker poles both standing and in piles. Ramps were still visible as well as screen parts. The lot is partially occupied by a modular home vendor and it looks like all signs of the drive-in will soon be gone.

6/18/2003 - Dave Rouleau
The 10 acres were purchased from my great-grandparents, and the family was given life-time passes. The theatre was built in the mid-50s and operated nearly 30 years. As a teenager, my mother worked the concession stand and my uncle even washed car windows as a kid. The theatre ran exclusively on speaker sound. The angle of the tower and the trees obscured most of the screen from my bedroom window, but my grandmother had a pretty good view.

The path running outside the back fence (starting at the exit) and veering off to the right leads to my uncle’s hunting camp and is where I used to ride my bike back and forth in order to not get eaten alive by mosquitoes while watching the movies. I’ve heard the intermission reels so many times from my bedroom at night, that I can still replay the whole ten minutes in my head. Scaaarry, eh, kids? But, what’s really scary is the fact that Detroit rocker Alice Cooper performed at the theatre on his Flush the Fashion ’80 tour, in an ill-fated attempt by the owners to make the drive-in an Outdoor Auditorium. I was thirteen at the time and, of course, thought this whole business was cool as beans (I still have Cooper’s Clones 45 single), but my family thought otherwise, so the adults policed our front lawns in case any crazy teenagers tried to trespass.

I watched a lot of the concert from the back fence and I remember Cooper’s crew on the roof of the concession stand and the big screen being used for images during the show. From what I remember, we only had a couple of minor.

uh, situations on our property. Thing was.

the theatre was built for 300 cars, but it seemed like most were parked along the road and were walking up for a free show. In other words, I think the owners took a bath with the whole drive-in concert idea. In 1993, the screen tower and concession stand were bulldozed into two piles.

amazingly, the tile floor of the snack bar is still intact. Most of the poles have yet to be removed.

the speakers are long gone. The property was sold in summer 1998. I got permission from the owner to snoop around the lot.

the only thing I came back with was about 1/3 of a PIC intermission film reel (D. Vogel plays it at the Bengies and it was also featured in Tim Reed’s Revenge of the Intermission Clocks).

If it wasn’t one of my favorite DI clips, I would have just tossed it since it’s in pretty bad shape.
Thunder Bay Drive-In Theatre - ALICE COOPER AT THE DRIVEIN
ALICE COOPER AT THE DRIVEIN
Thunder Bay Drive-In Theatre - FROM JOHN AT J-ENGINE PHOTOGRAPHY
FROM JOHN AT J-ENGINE PHOTOGRAPHY
Thunder Bay Drive-In Theatre - WHEN IT WAS OPEN FROM HARRY MOHNEY AND CURT PETERSON
WHEN IT WAS OPEN FROM HARRY MOHNEY AND CURT PETERSON
Thunder Bay Drive-In Theatre - WHEN IT WAS OPEN FROM HARRY MOHNEY AND CURT PETERSON
WHEN IT WAS OPEN FROM HARRY MOHNEY AND CURT PETERSON
Thunder Bay Drive-In Theatre - WHEN IT WAS OPEN FROM HARRY MOHNEY AND CURT PETERSON
WHEN IT WAS OPEN FROM HARRY MOHNEY AND CURT PETERSON
Thunder Bay Drive-In Theatre - WHEN IT WAS OPEN FROM HARRY MOHNEY AND CURT PETERSON
WHEN IT WAS OPEN FROM HARRY MOHNEY AND CURT PETERSON
Thunder Bay Drive-In Theatre - WHEN IT WAS OPEN FROM HARRY MOHNEY AND CURT PETERSON
WHEN IT WAS OPEN FROM HARRY MOHNEY AND CURT PETERSON
Thunder Bay Drive-In Theatre - PILE OF POLES
PILE OF POLES
Thunder Bay Drive-In Theatre - SPEAKER POLE
SPEAKER POLE
Thunder Bay Drive-In Theatre - SPEAKER POLES
SPEAKER POLES
Thunder Bay Drive-In Theatre - SCREEN PARTS
SCREEN PARTS
Thunder Bay Drive-In Theatre - MORE SCREEN PARTS
MORE SCREEN PARTS
Thunder Bay Drive-In Theatre - CONSTRUCTION AUGUST 1955 COURTESY DAVE ROULEAU
CONSTRUCTION AUGUST 1955 COURTESY DAVE ROULEAU
Thunder Bay Drive-In Theatre - INSIDE CONCESSION COURTESY DAVE ROULEAU
INSIDE CONCESSION COURTESY DAVE ROULEAU
Thunder Bay Drive-In Theatre - UNDER CONSTRUCTION COURTESY DAVE ROULEAU
UNDER CONSTRUCTION COURTESY DAVE ROULEAU
Thunder Bay Drive-In Theatre - UNDER CONSTRUCTION COURTESY DAVE ROULEAU
UNDER CONSTRUCTION COURTESY DAVE ROULEAU
Thunder Bay Drive-In Theatre - SUMMER 1956 AD
SUMMER 1956 AD
Thunder Bay Drive-In Theatre - SUMMER 1956 AD
SUMMER 1956 AD
Thunder Bay Drive-In Theatre - SUMMER 1956 AD
SUMMER 1956 AD
Thunder Bay Drive-In Theatre - AERIAL PHOTO - PHOTO FROM TERRASERVER
AERIAL PHOTO - PHOTO FROM TERRASERVER

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