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Mt Clemens Drive-In Theatre


Address: 45360 N. Gratiot at Hall St
City: Mount Clemens State: MI Zip: 48042 Phone:  
County: Macomb
Notes:
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Open: 1952 (4-18-52) Closed: 1996 Capacity: 1000 (1957) - 1200 (1977) Status: Closed  
Owner History: Mutual Theaters
Web Address: N/A
Number of visits to this page since Sept 2013: 12043
 
 

10/23/2015 - frank. kahofer
I have movie film that I took of the Mount Clemens Drive in coming down and other items from Mount Clemens anybody interested on any of the above write me an email I have it on DVD disc the kids rides are now at an ice cream place on 23 mile road going to New Baltimore next to a driving range the swing and other items.
8/8/2015 - John Bussinger
There is still evidence that there was a drive in there.
3/25/2013 - Joseph Ellul Jr.
Hello My Friends! It is great to read such wonderful reviews about the Mt Clemens Drive In Theatre. I enjoyed every minute of my 22 years in the motion picture industry. Please take a moment to visit my website at EllulEnterprises. com to see what I have been up to over the past 25 years. I would love to see you again during one of my visits to Michigan and reminisce about the good old days.

Contact info is on my website so feel free to connect at any time. Take Care, Joe Ellul Jr.
7/12/2012 - John
It has been Demolished for some time now and no longer there. It is now a big Ford Dealership lot.
5/23/2012 - Dan Wieczorek
I worked as a car hop from 1970 to 1973. it was the best time of my life, Joe Ellul jr. was a great boss and a great friend, his brother Jim and new bride Julie ran the concession stand, they were a great couple to be around. I'll always remember the time Joe jr. welcomed president to macomb county with giant words spelled out across the drive-in that could be seen from an aircraft.

Joe jr. was very proud of the citation he got for that. i also liked the autographed picture of Morgus X that hung outside the managers office. But the very best part of working there was driving the Bronco around and catching kids trying to sneek in either in trunks of cars or under the fence.

i was real good at spotting cars with full trunks and the Ellul's liked that about me. Joe jr. called me Ghengis Kahn hahahahahaha.

2/21/2012 - Audrey Robertson
My first real job working in the consession stand. From 1967-1971 I also worked at the Gratiot Drive-in when the manager Frank and his wife Mary went to that location. Loved it!!! Would love to hear from any others that worked there or from Frank & Mary's family. Vinny or Danny are you out there? I still have an old ashtray stand from it. Great memories!!!!.

4/18/2011 - clarence ziehmer jr.
my name is butch ziehmer and i was a carhop in the old drive in which also was my first job. my best friend allen worked in the concession stand and thats where i met my first girlfriend nora moore. we loved working there every weekend. i worked for joe sr. and junior who rode us hard to get ready for the weekend.

i took the tickets to the cars and tore them in half and gave it back to jan the ticket girl. police,fire and ambulances would get in free for them and their families in case an emergency happened. we painted the play ground swings bright colors and they had pony and boats that floated for the children movie stars came and made apearances there in the sixties and spoke on top of the concession stand waving to all the customers. in the old days joe sr.

would let some lucky employee pick a childrens show and if sales were good you got a twenty dollar bonus. i picked a woody woodpecker cartoon between munster go home and don knots ghost and mr. chicken. there were cars lined up for miles to get in.

alot of families drove station wagons and would lower the back seats and lay their children on sleeping bags in the back in case they fell asleep. on the weekends their was money to be made by cleaning up the drive in in the day time picking up garbage from the night before and finding money from all those beer drinkers in the back rows where boys and girls dated and necked in the back of the cars. where the projection booth broke a film the horns would honk, when a film ended and went to white screen youth children would rush in front of the picture making hand shadow puppets. some nights it was so peacefull that couples would walk around the cars holding hands,kissing and stopping to talk to others from school laughing and some singing to music played over the speakers that you would hang in your window and roll the window up suspending it from the top of your windows.

it was metal and had a log cord going to a post with a green or red plastic number lit so you could find your car in the dark. the drive in was not paved just a gravel field with hills so when you went down a lane and pulled in facing the screen you would be facing upwards. in the winter they had electric heaters so you could hang in the car so you wouldnt have to run the motors to stay warm. some people put them on the cars floor and caught a few shag carpeting on fire.

the summer months they would fog the drive in with mosquito spray to kill the bugs at night but made a few shunks mad who who crawl under the back fence and spray forcing some to leave that night. when fm converters came in you could dail the converter all the way to the left and listen to the movie playing on your car sterio instaed of the single pole speaker,which alot of people accidentally forgot on occasions to return them to the poles and drove off pulling the wire out of the pole or drive off and their window would smash. on night we had a small metieroite fly through the screen and make a huge sparks. if you look at the front of the screen upper right corner you can see where we patched the hole where it went through.

i still remember that stupid jingle with the dancing popcorn,pop,ice cream and hotdog singing it's intermission time,lets go to the consession stand,lets go into the movie where you can find food and drink of every kind,,the movie will start in fifteen minutes. i miss the old days when you could pack up the old station wagons fill the coolers if you did not want to buy the food and bring the whole family for fun. before the movie started the car clubs would show off their old cars,the kids could play in the playground. pet lovers would walk their pets around the outter fence and let them do their business.

some flew kites and others practiced their lines on how to lie to their parents that the were studing late at the library instead of meeting that cute boy or girl from school at the drive in. cigar smokers and smokers could puff away and not offend anyone. politicians would drive there with banners or signs adverting vote for them and reletives could play horse shoes before the movie started. how many first kisses were there how many breakups were there.

me and allen made a fortune off of returnable bottles. older girls gave the young teenieboppers their first makeup handed down to make them pretty for the boys. people fired forth of july fireworks there. the list goes on.

racing for pink slips after the movie on joy boluvard. how many went to the drive in with their grandparents and later took their children or grandchild. remember that lifes hold little treasures of your past that once their gone only memories and stories of people and places that once were there are gone only remain in memories and photographs. i think i will always remember the times good or bad and the people who shared our lives.

your old carhop butch ziehmer.
6/5/2010 - Price
The Mt. Clemens Drive-In was interesting in that it became a family friendly venture sometime in the late 1980''s. I don''t seem to remember it playing R-rated movies past the middle 80s and, from all the research I''ve done on it, the theater seemed dedicated to having two family-friendly features during its final years. Often playing Disney movies (or a cartoon) with a family oriented live-action feature, the Mt. Clemens was part of a trend which is now more common today with other remaining drive ins I''ve encountered.

Personally, I lived too far from the Mt. Clemens to visit it with any kind of regularity, but I knew many who did frequent the joint. In fact, I have a memory of my nephew telling me about taking his children there to see Roger Rabbit with Adventures in Babysitting there in the late 1980s. Why I found that interesting is that I know one of those movies had been out of theaters for a while when the other was released.

I''m not sure, but this seems like it may have been he way the Mt. Clemens did business in the late 80s and early 90s. One feature that was ''first run'' and another that was a slight bit older and, perhaps, on VHS already. Interesting, indeed.

5/15/2009 - Amy
Growing up, my grandparents lived literally right around the corner from the Mt. Clemens Drive-In, and I remember when I was younger we would take I94 home, so we would have to drive past the drive-in to go home. I have to say, I''ve seen brief moments of hundreds of movies over the years. And I remember always bugging my Dad to take me there one night, and when he finally did, I felt like someone had given me the keys to a candy shop! It''s so sad yet so enjoyable to read about all the old drive-ins from years ago! It was such a special time to grow up during that era. Normally we went to the one on Dequindre in Madison Heights.

We had a station wagon growing up and when they used to charge by the car (and when you were allowed to sit in the back of the stationwagon with all your friends and face backwards!) my parents would make a bunch of popcorn, koolaid and load a bunch of my friends and I up and go to the drive-in. You''d play on the playground, watch the first movie (which was usually kid friendly) and then fall asleep during the second movie (the one with all the bad words in it!) Countless times I remember waking up as we pulled into our driveway, Gosh, I miss that time!.
6/3/2005 - Box Office Magazine
8-3-64: Pearce Parkhurst, formerly well known in Michigan as manager of the Lansing Drive-In at Lansing, has returned to the area to assume general management of the Joseph Ellul circuit, with headquarters at the downtown Family Theatre in Detroit. Much of his attention will be centered on the Mount Clemens Drive-In. Parkhurst, who won a reputation for his exploitation activity during his stay at Lansing, for the past two years has been advertising director for Chakeres Theatres, a circuit of about 40 theatres centered at Springfield, Ohio.
1/15/2004 - Cinema Treasures
The Mt. Clemens Drive-In was one of the last of the single-screen drive-ins in southwestern Michigan when it closed in 1996 (leaving the Ford-Wyoming in Dearborn the sole survivor). This 1952 drive-in (built for the Mutual circuit)originally could accomodate about 1000 cars, but was increased to 1200 by the 70s. It was demolished around 1998 or 1999, and an auto dealership now occupies the site. Cinema Treasures Link.

Mt Clemens Drive-In Theatre - FROM AMERICAN CLASSIC IMAGES
FROM AMERICAN CLASSIC IMAGES
Mt Clemens Drive-In Theatre - FROM GRATIOT DRIVE-IN FAN
FROM GRATIOT DRIVE-IN FAN
Mt Clemens Drive-In Theatre - DEMO BY SUE UNDERWOOD
DEMO BY SUE UNDERWOOD
Mt Clemens Drive-In Theatre - DEMO BY SUE UNDERWOOD
DEMO BY SUE UNDERWOOD
Mt Clemens Drive-In Theatre - DEMO BY SUE UNDERWOOD
DEMO BY SUE UNDERWOOD
Mt Clemens Drive-In Theatre - DEMO BY SUE UNDERWOOD
DEMO BY SUE UNDERWOOD
Mt Clemens Drive-In Theatre - DEMO BY SUE UNDERWOOD
DEMO BY SUE UNDERWOOD
Mt Clemens Drive-In Theatre - DEMO BY SUE UNDERWOOD
DEMO BY SUE UNDERWOOD
Mt Clemens Drive-In Theatre - DEMO BY SUE UNDERWOOD
DEMO BY SUE UNDERWOOD
Mt Clemens Drive-In Theatre - DEMO BY SUE UNDERWOOD
DEMO BY SUE UNDERWOOD
Mt Clemens Drive-In Theatre - JOE ELLLUL SR AND JOE ELLUL JR COURTESY JOE ELLUL JR
JOE ELLLUL SR AND JOE ELLUL JR COURTESY JOE ELLUL JR
Mt Clemens Drive-In Theatre - SHOWMANSHIP AWARD COURTESY JOE ELLUL JR
SHOWMANSHIP AWARD COURTESY JOE ELLUL JR
Mt Clemens Drive-In Theatre - JOE ELLUL JR RECIEVING SHOWMANSHIP AWARD COURTESY JOE ELLUL JR
JOE ELLUL JR RECIEVING SHOWMANSHIP AWARD COURTESY JOE ELLUL JR
Mt Clemens Drive-In Theatre - NATO CONVENTION ARTICLE COURTESY JOE ELLUL JR
NATO CONVENTION ARTICLE COURTESY JOE ELLUL JR
Mt Clemens Drive-In Theatre - BOX OFFICE ARTICLE ON PRESIDENT NIXONS VISIT FROM JOE ELLUL JR
BOX OFFICE ARTICLE ON PRESIDENT NIXONS VISIT FROM JOE ELLUL JR
Mt Clemens Drive-In Theatre - NEWS ARTICLE COURTESY JOE ELLUL JR
NEWS ARTICLE COURTESY JOE ELLUL JR
Mt Clemens Drive-In Theatre - LETTER REGARDING PRESIDENTIAL VISIT COURTESY JOE ELLUL JR
LETTER REGARDING PRESIDENTIAL VISIT COURTESY JOE ELLUL JR
Mt Clemens Drive-In Theatre - CERTIFICATE OF APPRECIATION FROM PRESIDENT NIXON COURTESY JOE ELLUL JR
CERTIFICATE OF APPRECIATION FROM PRESIDENT NIXON COURTESY JOE ELLUL JR
Mt Clemens Drive-In Theatre - MARQUEE - PHOTO FROM RG
MARQUEE - PHOTO FROM RG
Mt Clemens Drive-In Theatre - SCREEN AND DRIVEWAY - PHOTO FROM RG
SCREEN AND DRIVEWAY - PHOTO FROM RG
Mt Clemens Drive-In Theatre - TICKET BOOTH - PHOTO FROM RG
TICKET BOOTH - PHOTO FROM RG
Mt Clemens Drive-In Theatre - SCREEN AND LANES - PHOTO FROM RG
SCREEN AND LANES - PHOTO FROM RG
Mt Clemens Drive-In Theatre - FRONT OF SCREEN - PHOTO FROM RG
FRONT OF SCREEN - PHOTO FROM RG
Mt Clemens Drive-In Theatre - NOW - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
NOW - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
Mt Clemens Drive-In Theatre - REPLICA AT AUTORAMA
REPLICA AT AUTORAMA
Mt Clemens Drive-In Theatre - TICKET BOOTHS 1996
TICKET BOOTHS 1996
Mt Clemens Drive-In Theatre - OLD PICTURE
OLD PICTURE
Mt Clemens Drive-In Theatre - NEWSPAPER - PHOTO FROM RG
NEWSPAPER - PHOTO FROM RG
Mt Clemens Drive-In Theatre - MAGAZINE - PHOTO FROM RG
MAGAZINE - PHOTO FROM RG
Mt Clemens Drive-In Theatre - AERIAL - PHOTO FROM TERRASERVER
AERIAL - PHOTO FROM TERRASERVER
Mt Clemens Drive-In Theatre - OLD AERIAL
OLD AERIAL

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