In 1956, William Oleksyns Drive In Theatres, Inc. opened a really nice drive-in, the Northland DI on N. Dort Hwy. between Stanley and Mt. Morris Roads in Genesee Twp. near the city of Mt. Morris. It was built on a portion of the Knickerbocker farm. It was indeed nice with only curved screen tower ever in the Flint MI area. It was a wooden tower sheated in corrugated metal on back side. In 1965, this and the other Oleksyn drive-ins were sold to W.S. Butterfield Theatres.
Because it was winter when the drive in was sold and because the Northland DI was developed as a year round drive in, Butterfield started with matinee showings to take advantage of the early sunsets in winter. The South Dort DI was also a year round drive in. But by the late 1970s, high energy prices (those in-car heaters had to be expensive to run) and a decline in the youth population led to the year round drive-ins closing up for the winter. At the end of 1984, The Butterfield theater operations were sold to the George Kerasotes Corp. The drive-ins were not included in the sale.
The Northland stayed open though, run by Arnold Stefanic who was a 25 year veteran of Butterfield at the time of the sale, keeping the Northland going for two more seasons before a decline in business forced its closing. In terms of booking movies, the single screen Northland was at a competitive disadvange compared with the two-screen Miracle Twin DI and the US23 Twin DI. Before the Northland DI gave way to a wholesale automobile auction lot around 1990, an arson fire destroyed the refreshment building.
Please note that location entries may feature older photos or post card views that may not represent the current appearance or features of the attraction. This site is intended to be a historical as well as current record of various attractions but it is not always possible to have up-to-date information due to the vast number of locations featured here. We ask you consult the propietor for current information.