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Wayne Drive-In Theater
Wayne Michigan
Michigan Drive-In Theaters - Michigandriveins.com
Name: Wayne Drive-In
Address: 38547 Michigan Ave. Wayne, MI 48184
County: Wayne
Open Date: 5/20/49
Close Date: 7/14/90
Status: Demolished, Ford plant now on site
Car Capacity: 842
Screen Count: 4
Owners: Wayne Amusements
Submit: Info On This Drive-In
Notes: na
Wayne Drive-In

Wayne Drive-In Theater
History & Comments

News Article: Detoit's Wayne Circuit Planning Expansion - Four-way expansion plans by the Wayne Amusement Circuit, operated by the family of the late Walter Shafer, have been disclosed, making the second program for new theatre construction to be announced by a local circuit in the past few days. Plans are:
1. A major twin drive-in to be built in suburban Wayne. (Wasn't built apparently- ed.)
2. A 206-room 5-story hotel with 24-store mall to be built adjacent to their present Quo Vadis Theatre complex.
3. Incorporation of technical developments for daylight operation, to be especially adaptable for childrens' matinees.
4. Fully automated theatres, when this concept is more developed.
The Shafer brothers, Martin and Charles, disclosed their plans in an interview with John Finlayson, entertainment editor of the Detroit News, which resulted in a front page illustrated feature article in the Sunday Amusement section. Titled "Togetherness Pays Off," the article had a double significance-in the togetherness of the family, including Martin's wife, Dorothy, who is active in the design aspects of the operations; and in the togetherness of the Quo Vadis, where they have a large standard theatre, two smaller upstairs theatres, and a drive-in all on one site. (Boxoffice Magazine 9/16/68)

News Article: 1,000 Car Twin For Wayne D-I - The original Wayne Drive-In, Wayne, Mich., celebrated the opening of its new 1,000-car "twin" on Christmas Day (1971). Built on 33 acres, the complex-boasts a new centrally located concessions building, 150x125 feet, which serves patrons from both the East and West twin units. All-weather tables and chairs allow over 100 persons to be seated on the large patio adjacent to the concessions building-equipped with electric-eye doors to permit easy exit for tray-carrying patrons. The new 51x120-foot screen is by D & D Theatre Screens, while Drive-In Theatre Mfg. Co. provided the car counter system, speakers with automatic cut-offs and Circle R Heaters. Four spacious double boxoffices allow easy patron access from Michigan Avenue. The large projection room is equipped with Century 35mm projectors with R-4 soundheads, as well as Cine Focus, a film stabilizing unit (later to be connected to single-lens concept with automation system and remote controls in each projection booth). The lamphouse is Optical Radiation Corp's 6,000-watt xenon system. Electro Sound's drive-in theatre sound system with Altec power amplifiers complete the first-class installation. The twin project, constructed by the Wayne Amusement Co., Inc., with Ringold Theatre Equipment as supply dealer, is owned by the Shafer Theatre family whose Quo Vadis quadruple indoor theatres in Westland offer four first-run features nightly as well as the "Over 21" restaurant and cocktail lounge." (Boxoffice Magazine 2/14/72)

Status: WAYNE -- Michigan Ave near Newburgh Rd, Detroit -- Opened 1949 as a single screen theater, second theater was added in the early '70s. Original capacity was about 1000 cars. The second theater was built next to the original theater. The Wayne Drive In closed in 1991 or 1992 (I think). It sat for a time before being torn down by Ford Motor Company for a new paint plant. Interesting marquee, it was above the entrance gates. (Evil Sams Drive-In Theatre Guide/Fredrick R. 1996)

Update: Gone, site is now a Ford paint plant, all 4 screens are now in use at the Ford-Wyoming Drive-In. Built in 1947 on the site of the old Stellwagen Farm."(Whit Whitworth 12/98)

Update: The Algiers DI was NOT the first drive in built by Wayne Amusement. That honor goes to the Wayne DI which opened in 1949. At that time the Wayne Amusement Co. consisted of the Wayne Theater, State Wayne, Shafer Garden City (later the La Parisien)and the new Wayne DI. Also, it is possible that the second screen from the Algiers may be at the Ford Wyoming, it is not possible for the original screen to be in use. The original screen had its supports cut and was pulled down by a bulldozer. One of the local newspapers ran photos of the screen coming down." (Fredrick R. 9/4/03)

Update: While it might be possible that 2 of the screens from the Wayne DI might be at the Ford Wyoming DI, it is not possible for all 4 screens to be there. The original screen tower was a balloon frame with steel supports and was sheathed with asbestos panels. It would have been considered hazardous waste when the Wayne DI was being razed. Secondly the screen that was added in 1971 was built of different material and in a different manner than the screens in use at the Ford Wyoming DI." (Fredrick R. 9/7/03)

Update: I just want to say that I know for a fact that screens 1, 3 and 4 are in use today at the Ford Wyoming Drive-In. I was the Projectionist and my girlfriend was the "one armed bandit" for those of you that remember the last season at the Wayne Drive-In when it closed and still have the notice of closing that was written on a piece of hand towel by Bill Ryan when it close. Screen 2 was the original screen and was taken down and scrapped, all Speakers poles and Projection went to the Ford Wyoming. "Ladies and gents this concludes our show for this evening Please hang your speakers back on the poles and thank you for coming to the Wayne Drive-in Goodnite and Good Morning" (Jerry Smith 8/11/04)

Update: First off I would like to complement you on your web page it is just fabulous. My family grew up in the sixties and early seventies frequinting the Wayne Drive-in. My father had passed away in 1997 and I have been trying to locate the intermission clip that he knew by heart and used to entertain us with. It is the one with the sheriff and he says me lickum likeum ice cream or something to that effect. I sure hope someone can help me for I have been searching high and low for this short clip to honor my father, Marshall Brothers a life long resident of Wayne, MI 48184. (Kelly Brothers 8/17/06)


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