Update June 8th 2023 from John Witman: There was only one Drive-In in Spring Lake. The theater was not in operation in 1963 when I took over. I replaced the screen in 1964, cleaned up the property and ran 1st run films, Mary Poppins, Goldfinger! . Business was good at that time, I turned over operations to Steve Eisner mid 1965, he then renamed it M104. Now at 85 enjoying summers in Florida.
The Spring Lake drive-in mystery continues, did Spring Lake have one, two or three drive-ins? Further newspaper ad research has found the Ottawa Drive-In had its grand opening on August 30th, 1955. The last ad found for the Ottawa was on September 22nd, 1963. No ads were found for any Spring Lake drive-ins all through 1964. The first ad for the Oasis Drive-In is found on May 14th, 1965. Another Oasis ad on May 21st states; "Watch for our Grand Opening coming soon."
Apparently the Oasis Drive-In was very short-lived, the last ad found was on September 20th, 1965. Next, we found the first ad for the M-104 Drive-In on April 1st,1966. The ad proclaims the M-104 Drive-In is re-opening on April 8th, under new management. There is, however, no mention of a name change. The M-104 continued on through the 1970s, adding a second screen and becoming the M-104 Twin Drive-In on June 1st, 1979.
The M-104 Twin didn't last much longer, it closed for good on September 4th, 1982 with "Porky's" & "Incubus" on screen one, and "Slumber Party Massacre" & "Satan's Mistresses" on screen two. Were the Ottawa, Oasis, and M-104 all the same drive-in? Thorough research through the 1950s & 60s newspapers did not find any of these three running ads simultaneously, so most likely they were all the same drive-in. But, it still isn't clear, so more research is in order.
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