Grand River Drive-In - Michigandriveins.com

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Grand River Drive-In Theater
Farmington Michigan
Michigan Drive-In Theaters - Michigandriveins.com
Name: Grand River Drive-In
Address: 30200 Grand River Ave. Farmington, MI 48336
County: Oakland
Open Date: 4/15/49
Close Date: 7/20/88
Status: Demolished, shopping mall now on site
Car Capacity: 1,200
Screen Count: 3
Owners: Community Theatres
Submit: Info On This Drive-In
Notes: n/a
Grand River Drive-In

Grand River Drive-In Theater
History & Comments

News Article: Leonard Salsbery, manager of the Grand River Drive-In for 12 years, has been with Community Theatres 21 years, starting at the age of 17 to open the Redford and Royal Oak.(Boxoffice Magazine 10/7/63)

Status: GRAND RIVER -- Grand River Ave, next to Chevrolet dealer, Farmington. -- I think a Target is there now. Lost in the 80's with rising property values, had AM radio, 2 screens. (Evil Sams Drive-In Theatre Guide/Lynette A Starr 1996)

Update: I grew up in Redford Twp. and it was just a 10 minute drive to the Grand River Drive-In. My brother, sister and I loved playing on the playground in our pajamas and seeing friends from school and/or the neighborhood there. Now whenever, I drive by there and see the shopping center(Target, a cinema, Funcoland, etc.) it is a bittersweet memory. Thank goodness that the A&W a few blocks down Grand River still have carhops!!! (Denise Frank 7-/4/02)

Update: The Drive in stood where Target and the parking areas for that strip mall sit today--not the Chevy dealer. The Chevy dealer (then KA Roger Peck Chev) was there concurrent to the latter days of the Drive-in operation. I worked there, briefly in 1976. There was no small amount of animosity between the car dealer and the drive in operators, who once allowed an extremely disgruntled customer to park his lemon of a Chevy in the exit of the drive in with a huge sign reading "Roger Peck Chevrolet sold me this lemon". The marquee was along Grand River ave, and the screen was perpendicular along the west property line, next to the Chevy dealer. (Waterwinterwonderland.com/John Lauter 3/10/04)

Update: At the end, it had three screens. I believe the two additional screens were built around 1983. (Waterwinterwonderland.com/John Asselin 3/29/04)

Update: I worked at the Grand River Drive-In from 1970 until 1974 along with my friends and co-workers Gary, Paul, Lori, Ricardo, and our managers Joe & Sybil. We worked the concession stand and always had loads of fun. Ambulance crews would come in for free and watch movies until they received a dispatch at which time they would quietly roll out. Movies playing on my first day there: Last House on the Left, and The Corpse Grinders! I do miss the GRDI!!! (Nick Popravsky 7/8/04)

Update: I worked at this drive in in the 50's with Mr. Salsburys wife Norma. She was a delight and so down to earth for a boss' wife. We played throw the popcorn when there were no customers in the consession stand. I eventually went up front as cashier, and price for ticket was 80 cents. I started my dime collection then as i could search rolls and rolls of dimes for the ones I needed. Salsburys left the drive in and managed the Rits motel in Pontiac in the 60's. (Sandie 6/12/05)

Update: I grew up on Purdue St which ran along the east side of the Grand River Drive In, a place that looking back, contributed to many great memories of growing up in that particular neighborhood. Of course actually going to a Drive In movie occupies some of this memory space. As kids we did so many things around the Drive In property and on the actual Drive In grounds. We played baseball on the North Side on a field that we created, and we played baseball and golf on the grassy South side just East of the entrance, we rode our mini bikes and motorcycles (some did not care for this), there were many tree and underground forts on the property along the tall aluminum perimeter fence, there was a pond behind the car dealership near what I believe was Tuck Rd, we walked through part of the property to get to Shiawassee Elementary School. As kids we used to be able to see the movies playing from our front yards and bedroom windows, there was a neighbor with a house boat that one time let us watch movies from the top of his house boat. I guess I could go on and on as I am beginning to do, there were some great families on that street during the 70's and 80's, hello to...Cary, Kris, Jim, Jody, Shirley, Rob, Tracy, Sharlyn, Rhonda, Denny, Dave, Linda, Dave, Norm, Jill, Elsie, Peggy, Vicky?, Paula, Tom, Terry, Tracy, Art, Marcy, Bob, Jenny, Vera, Tammy, Kim, Ronny, Brian, Tom, Craig, Vicky?, Mike, Michelle, Laura, Mark, Laura, ?, Moddah ?, that was clockwise around the North section of Purdue. Lets try the South of Liberty Purdue...Darlene, Eric, Michelle, Tina, Mary, Laura, Michelle, Lisa, Rick, Steve... (Brad Downs 6/11/09)

Update: Hi, I would like to correct the status. I strongly believe that that the shopping center now occupies this site. Thanks, Regards John Woodward (4/27/13)


Grand River Drive-In Theater Gallery
Click Thumbnails For Large Images
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June 1987 - American Classic Images - Purchase this image at American Classic Images
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Marquee 1949
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Marquee 1955
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Grand Opening Ad 4/15/49
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Grand River 1970s
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Grand River 1970s
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Grand River 1970s
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Ticket Booth on
Closing Night 7/20/88
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Final Movie on
Closing Night 7/20/88
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Final Movie on
Closing Night 7/20/88
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Closing Night Article 7/22/88
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Speaker found at the Ford-Wyoming
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Grand River Matchbook
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Grand River Aerial 1949
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Grand River Aerial 1952
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Grand River Aerial 1957
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Grand River Aerial
1967
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Grand River Site 2013
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