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Videos on Michigan History


Things Not Here Anymore
This is a great video series produced by WKAR TV, the Lansing Public Television outlet. Some of the topics that have been covered include Lake Lansing Amusement Park, the Michigan Theatre and a great retrospective on some of the old downtown landmarks like the Lansing Dairy and some of the great old stores. More info here.

Preservision - Neighborhood Theatres
A good, albeit short, documentary on downtown theatres in Michigan and their preservation. Contains nice footage of the Farmington Civic, The Alger, The Pix and others. Interviews with the theatre operators and historians is included, discussing the preservation and restoration of these sites.

Drive-In Movie Memories Don and Susan Sanders
"Drive-In Movie Memories" is a film celebration of America's greatest icon of youth, freedom and the automobile. What began as an auto parts owner's business venture to make some easy money accidentally became a magical place where romance, fun and a sense of community flourished. This film chronicles the drive-in's birth and development, its phenomenal popularity with audiences of all ages, its tragic decline, and its inevitable comeback as a classic form of Americana.

America's Castles - Movie Palaces Arts and Entertainment
Profiles of four re-furbished theatres are used as a vehicle to describe the movie palace era. Has some good info on atmospheric theatres and the cloud making machines that were used to provide the illusion of moving clouds on the ceiling of the auditorium. Produced by A&E - 50 minutes.

Hi-Way Drive-In Documetary Paul Muczynski
Thanks to Scott Biggs, who made me a copy of this video, I can now say that this is a great effort! Very good production of the complete history of the Hi-Way that also provides a unique insight into the operation of a drive-in, including a great segment featuring the veteran projectionist of the Hi-Way and how he does his job. Out-of-print.

Drive-In Blues Jan Kravitz
Drive-in Blues was filmed during the summer of l985 following several months of contacting drive-in theatre owners. The location shoot took place over a five-week period. The film crew travelled 5000 miles through Texas and Colorado, on the trail of living, dying, and abandoned drive-ins.

After Sunset (The Life and Times of the Drive-In Theatre) Jon Bokenkamp
Great video on drive-ins! Contains footage of drive-ins as well as interviews with lots of people from the world of drive-ins from exhibitors to film-makers. My favorite was Samuel Z. Arkhoff of American International Pictures, the studio that produced some of the definitive, classic works of the drive-in era.

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