HomeDrive-In TheatersJackson Drive-In Theatre - Jackson, MI

Jackson Drive-In Theatre - Jackson MI

Address: 4400 Ann Arbor Rd
City: Jackson
State: MI
Zip: 49202
County: Jackson
Open: 1948 (4-17-48) AD
Closed: <1988>
Capacity: 700
Owner History: Redstone (1969-) Lawrence J. Aubry
Number of visits to this page: 25013
General Information:

Source: Jackson Citizen Patriot

JACKSON, MI – School is out and the temperatures are soaring. In Jackson’s not-too-distant past, this would be exactly the time that around sundown every night people would pack up their cars and head to a movie at one of the city’s two drive-in theaters. For nearly 40 years, the Jackson Drive-In, 4400 Ann Arbor Road, and the Bel-Air Drive-In, 2603 W. Michigan Ave. , provided cheap summertime entertainment. Whether it was teenagers on a date at the “passion pit” or families with young kids looking for a night out on the town that didn’t require a babysitter, the drive-in theater was the place to be.

On April 29, 1955, Jackson’s Bel-Air Drive-In opened with the slogan, “Come Out West. See Your Stars Under The Stars. ” Alan Ladd and Shelley Winters starred in “Saskatchewan,” and “Thunder Bay,” with James Stewart and Joanne Dru rounded out the double-feature. Admission was 50 cents for adults and free for children younger than 12. Ladies received a free gift and kids got free candy.

With their own charm and some unique advantages, drive-in theaters – including those in Jackson – flourished. Patrons could bring in their own food and drink, including alcoholic beverages. All else that was needed were pillows and blankets for the kids and a can of mosquito spray. “You were charged per person for who was in the car,” Kalen said. “The kids figured out how to get around that by putting a few people in the trunk. ” In 1969, Mr. and Mrs. E. L. Samuels, who owned both Jackson drive-in theaters for about 12 years, sold them to National Amusements of Boston, which also operated as Redstone Theaters Inc. Both of Jackson’s drive-ins closed at the end of the summer season in 1987. They’ve both been demolished.

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Info Updates:
10/20/2003 - WaterWinterWonderland
A closer look revealed that the moonbeam light in the rear of the lot is still standing.
 Photos:21
Jackson Drive-In Theatre - FROM HARRY SKRDLA
FROM HARRY SKRDLA
Jackson Drive-In Theatre - OLD PICTURE
OLD PICTURE
Jackson Drive-In Theatre - OLD PICTURE
OLD PICTURE
Jackson Drive-In Theatre - OLD PICTURE
OLD PICTURE
Jackson Drive-In Theatre - OLD PICTURE
OLD PICTURE
Jackson Drive-In Theatre - OLD PICTURE
OLD PICTURE
Jackson Drive-In Theatre - LATE 80S JACKSON DEMO FROM NEWS ARTICLE COURTESY HAL
LATE 80S JACKSON DEMO FROM NEWS ARTICLE COURTESY HAL
Jackson Drive-In Theatre - OLD PICTURE
OLD PICTURE
Jackson Drive-In Theatre - OLD PICTURE
OLD PICTURE
Jackson Drive-In Theatre - MOONBEAM LIGHT
MOONBEAM LIGHT
Jackson Drive-In Theatre - MOONBEAM LIGHT
MOONBEAM LIGHT
Jackson Drive-In Theatre - DRIVEWAY - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
DRIVEWAY - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
Jackson Drive-In Theatre - DRIVEWAY
DRIVEWAY
Jackson Drive-In Theatre - ANOTHER DRIVEWAY - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
ANOTHER DRIVEWAY - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
Jackson Drive-In Theatre - ANOTHER VIEW - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
ANOTHER VIEW - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
Jackson Drive-In Theatre - NOW AN EMPTY LOT - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
NOW AN EMPTY LOT - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
Jackson Drive-In Theatre - LOT - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
LOT - PHOTO FROM WATER WINTER WONDERLAND
Jackson Drive-In Theatre - OLD AD FROM RON GROSS
OLD AD FROM RON GROSS
Jackson Drive-In Theatre - TICKETS - PHOTO FROM RG
TICKETS - PHOTO FROM RG
Jackson Drive-In Theatre - AERIAL
AERIAL
Jackson Drive-In Theatre - BIRDS EYE
BIRDS EYE
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