Denniston Drive-In - Michigandriveins.com

Michigandriveins.com

New Images All Drive-Ins by City All Drive-Ins by Name Mid-Michigan West Michigan
The Thumb Southeast Mich Metro Detroit Up North Upper Peninsula
Contact Outdoor Moovies Graveyards Open Drive-Ins Facebook


Denniston Drive-In Theater
Monroe Michigan
Michigan Drive-In Theaters - Michigandriveins.com
Name: Denniston Drive-In
Address: 6501 N. Monroe St. Monroe, MI 48162
GPS: 41.972198,-83.376812
County: Monroe
Open Date: 4/5/56
Close Date: 1985
Status: Graveyard, snack bar remains
Car Capacity: 1,000
Screen Count: 1
Owners: Denniston Theatre Co. - Butterfield Theatres
Submit: Info On This Drive-In
Notes: n/a
Denniston Drive-In

Denniston Drive-In Theater
History & Comments

Status: Closed, screen gone, snack bar still up. (Whit Whitworth 1/99)

Update: Snack bar still up, hardtop theater, the Denniston Cinemas is now on site. (Michigandriveins.com 8/8/99)

Update: The Denniston closed in 1985. (Michigandriveins.com 9/29/02)

Update: We had the Bel-Aire Drive-In at 6231 N.Monroe St. and the Denniston Drive-In located 1/8 mile down the road at 6501. When you parked over at screen 2 of the Bel-Aire, in the far corner, you could actually see the one screen at the Denniston through the trees. Denniston closed in 1985, and the Bel-Aire in 1987. (Excerpt from the now-defunct Drive-In Theatre Fan Club Update Volume 5 May/June)

Update: It looks like people used the vandalized restroom as a paintball area. (Becca 3/9/05)

News Article: Denniston Cinema ending its 35-year run by Charles Slat Denniston Cinema, an area moviehouse thatís been in business for 35 years, will show its last films on Thursday. Owner Joe Sterling, whose grandfather Joseph R. Denniston was a pioneer in the cinema business in Monroe, said itís becoming tougher to book films to compete against the larger multi-screen theater complexes, such as Phoenix Theatres at Frenchtown Square mall. The Denniston Cinema has been for sale for about three years. "We have three screens and it really is a nice theater óclean and well-designed and everything ó but we canít compete for film because they have eight screens at the mall and the film companies are more interested in that venue," Mr. Sterling said. "We havenít been able to compete really successfully even since Regal was in there." Regal Cinemas closed but then Phoenix renovated and revived the cinemas at the mall and most recently added 3-D projection capability. "It is difficult when you donít have any screens because when they open new movies at the mall they can give the film two screens or maybe three, which tends to increase the gross and make it exciting for more people. "We had a lot of compliments, not only for the theater, but for the reasonable prices," he said. "People like our theater but the fact of life is we just canít compete for film. We get good movies but we donít get enough and we have to play them too long." The last movies to be shown are the ones playing currently ó "Hannah Montana," "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past" and "State of Play." He said the moviehouse will close with little fanfare after Thursdayís evening showings. The only significance of the timing, he said, was that Thursday is the end of a booking week. Most new movies open on Fridays. He said the current state of the economy didnít have much to do with the timing of the closing either. Movie theater business in general has fallen steadily over the years. Part of it has to do with rising ticket prices, but competing media also is a big factor, analysts suggest. Generally, people are busier raising families, home theater has beome more common, video rental and pay-per-view is commonplace and movie releases on the Internet are growing. The cinema, at 6495 N. Monroe St., opened in 1974 two auditoriums, each capable of seating 285 people. A third larger auditorium seating 310 people was added in 1987. Mr. Sterling said the cinema will continue to be for sale. "Weíve had several people look at it, but mostly they were curious," he said. Mr. Sterling got involved in the family business in 1950 when he was finishing high school and began working at the old Monroe Theatre, which stood at 114 S. Monroe St. It was one of several area cinemas started by his grandfather. Among them was the Family Theater, which began in 1917. After attending college and a stint in the Army, Mr. Sterling returned to Monroe to work full-time at the theaters just about the time his grandfather was building drive-in theaters just north of where the Denniston now sits. Movies were shown at the drive-in operation until the 1980s and the outdoor screens were demolished in the 1990s. He also worked for Butterfield Theaters as operations manager and oversaw construction of many Butterfield Theaters around Michigan. "I have been doing this for a long time," he said. (Monroenews.com 5/20/09)

Update: New aerial images of the three drive-in theatre's that were in Monroe's "drive-in alley" have finally been uncovered and posted, including this 1961 Hi-Res Image. More aerial shots from 1949, 1957, 1961, and 1981 are posted on the Custer (Bel-Aire), Denniston, and Dixie Drive-In pages. (Michigandriveins.com 5/22/05)

Update: Twenty nine years after closing, the heavily wooded lot at the Denniston Drive-In has been cleared and the snack bar is in the process of being demolished. The ticket office building and the indoor cinema remain for now. Coincidentally, the Denniston was also open for twenty nine years. (Michigandriveins.com 4/13/14)


Denniston Drive-In Theater Gallery
Click Thumbnails For Large Images
Michigandriveins Image
Denniston Opening Ad 5/5/56
Michigandriveins Image
Denniston Article June 1959
Michigandriveins Image
Denniston Ticket Booth 2003
Michigandriveins Image
Denniston Ticket Booth 2003
Michigandriveins Image
Denniston Ticket Booth 2003
Michigandriveins Image
Denniston Ticket Booth 2003
Michigandriveins Image
Denniston Snack Bar 2003
Michigandriveins Image
Denniston Snack Bar 2003
Michigandriveins Image
Denniston Snack Bar 2003
Michigandriveins Image
Denniston Snack Bar 2003
Michigandriveins Image
Restroon 2003
Michigandriveins Image
Snackbar 2003
Michigandriveins Image
Screen Foundation
2003
Michigandriveins Image
Indoor Theatre
2003
Michigandriveins Image
Denniston Snackbar 2006
Waterwinterwonderland Image
Michigandriveins Image
Denniston Snackbar 2006
Waterwinterwonderland Image
Michigandriveins Image
Dixie/Denniston/Custer
Aerial 4/21/57
Michigandriveins Image
Dixie/Denniston/Custer
Aerial 1967
Michigandriveins Image
Dixie/Denniston Aerial
1975
Michigandriveins Image
Denniston/Custer
Aerial 10/24/81
Michigandriveins Image
Denniston
Aerial 1993
Michigandriveins Image
Monroe Drive-Ins
Aerial 1993
Michigandriveins Image
Denniston
Aerial 2014
Michigandriveins Image
Denniston/Custer
Aerial 2014
Michigandriveins Image
Snackbar Demo 4/13/14
Michigandriveins Image
Snackbar Demo 4/13/14
Michigandriveins Image
Snackbar Demo 4/13/14
Michigandriveins Image
Snackbar Demo 4/13/14
Michigandriveins Image
Snackbar Demo 4/13/14
Michigandriveins Image
Snackbar Demo 4/13/14
Michigandriveins Image
Snackbar Demo 4/13/14
Michigandriveins Image
Snackbar Demo 4/13/14
Michigandriveins Image
Ticket office 4/13/14
Michigandriveins Image
Ticket office 4/13/14
Michigandriveins Image
Ticket office 4/13/14
Michigandriveins Image
Closed indoor 4/13/14


Michigandriveins.com



...

©1998-2013 MichiganDriveIns.com. All rights reserved.

HTML Hit Counter
HTML Hit Counter
Page views since 12/03/07