The 750 Car, single screen Drive-In opens on August 21st, 1964 by owner-operators John and Mary Magocs.
A contest was held at the Drive-In shortly after it opens to decide on a name... the winner received a brand new sewing machine. The winning name was The Capri. That name was submitted by... Mary Magocs (and yes, she kept the sewing machine :-)
Admission in 1964 was $1.00 and a cheeseburger was 45¢. The snack bar at the time was leased to Auto City Candy Company of Detroit. Operating a Drive-In for the Magocs was a family affair. John and Mary, John Jr. and Tom, spent many a night making sure the show went off each night.
From 1964 through 1977, The Capri served the residents of Branch and Calhoun counties. The 50's, 60's and 70's were boom times for Drive-in's. In Michigan, there were 87 open Drive-In's in 1954, growing to a peak of 110 in 1958. The number of open Drive-In's remained constant over the next 20 years, with 103 Drive-In's still open in Michigan in 1977.
In 1977, the operation of the Capri Drive-In was leased to William Clarke of Coldwater while the Magocs resided in Florida. In 1980, Tom and John Jr. resumed operation of the theatre. Tom and John Jr. were 5 and 9 years old when John and Mary opened the theatre. Capri Drive-In After 16 years of learning the ropes, the boys took over. One of their first decisions was to install AM radio transmission of the movie sound. This was cutting edge technology at the time in the Drive-In industry. All but 5 rows of speakers were removed.
In 1982, Susan Magocs (Tom's beautiful wife) assumed operation of the Snack Bar. Between 1964 and 1981 the snack bar had been run separately. For those of you who remember back 20 years, this was a major UPGRADE for the concession stand. The Capri Drive-In's concession now consistently rates as one of the best Drive-In concessions in operation.
In 1986, the Capri became a twin. Screen Two was added on the back side of theatre. Screen One's car capacity was decreased to 550 cars, with Screen Two parking 300 more. It was at this time that 5 remaining rows of speakers were also removed. In 1996, sadly, the original "showman", John Magocs Sr. passed away in his Naples, Florida home.
Concession 1997 through 2022 saw The Capri Drive-In continually increase their technology and film exhibition capabilities. FM radio transmission of the sound, following by FM Stereo brought indoor theater sound quality to the Outdoor show. The Addition of a Red Dye Cye Analog filter (which was replacing Silver Nitrate on new films) allowed the Capri able to show current first run films.
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