HomeDrive-In TheatersMeredith Drive-In Theatre - Meredith, MI

Meredith Drive-In Theatre

Address: 9555 N. M-18
City: Meredith
State: MI
Zip: 48624
County: Gladwin
Open: 1956 (6-21-56)
Closed: N/A
Capacity: 350 (1957-1965) 400 (1977)
Owner History: Cassidy & Weiss (1957) Carl Ludwick (1965) G. Muma (1977) M.Hargrave (1985)
Number of visits to this page: 10014
Info Updates:
8/1/2013 - The Fergusons
My family has been in Meredith since the 1930's and we are still their. We used to sneak in the back of the fence with our transistor radios and watch the show. Was a great time and place to grow up in. Hope some day the drive in can be restored to working order! Meredith has a interesting history and is the only village that borders two counties in Michigan.
9/18/2012 - Unknown
Right now the current owners live downstate I think but they usually come up for holidays.
6/5/2012 - Gene and Lori Sand
My wife and I have had a place in Meredith since 1989. We always talked about buying the drive-in and opening it again. Would be great for the area and the kids. Would like any information, if any, about the present owners and intentions. Thanks Gene.
2/21/2011 - Tanille Cavanaugh
I live in Meredith with my father and Mother. My Aunts and Grandmother still live here in Meredith. They have told me stories about the theatre when it was open and after it had closed. They told me stories about how the original concession stand was pretty much destroyed by local children and some immature young adults. The screen is still there but the new concession stand has been turned into a house. I wasn't given the privilege of going to the theatre when it was open or any drive in actually. I would love to have been able to see it when it was open and in business.
7/5/2010 - Dave Duncan
I live in Meredith from 1959 to 1980. I have very fond memories of the drive-in, saw a lot of cheesy horror movies, motorcycle gang movies, etc. My Mom worked in the concession stand when Wayne (?last name?) was the owner. And my brother and I would pick up trash in the mornings for 50cents a day! The screen was almost directly viewable from my front yard......and when "Last Tango in Paris" was shone there was a lot of talk about how kids were gonna see parts of the film and be corrupted! I''ll come back here to add more memories as they come to me.
11/21/2009 - Larry Costantini
Took a peek over the south fence of the property last weekend
Everything still looks like the pictures except there are a few travel trailers on the property now.
I have owned a cabin directly south of the drive in since 1998 and can see the screen from my back yard.
Wish someone would reopen it and generate some revenue to Meredith.
7/15/2009 - Ted
I act. saw Top Gun for the first time at this drive in. Grew up in the area every weekend in the mid and late 80''s and early 90''s
5/9/2009 - Brad Phillips
I used to vacation in the area from about 1987- 2000. The drive-in has never been operating during that time. I drove back there about a month ago. Looks pretty desolate, but the land is well kept. Louie at the Meredith Inn says people use the land is a weekend home. I had heard there have been offers made to buy the land and reopen the theatre, but the owners refuse to sell. I asked Louie if he knew anything about this. He seemed to think that even suggesting the possibility was absurd. I did not ask any further questions.

My dad and his brothers used to see movies there in the 60s and I have heard stories about it since I was a kid. I hope someday it is reopened. It would be fantastic for the local economy! How great it would be to see Meredith jumpin'' again.
2/9/2009 - Mark Hetzer
This drive-In was open in the 80''s and maybe early 90''s. I grew up in Mid-Michigan, near Flint. My parents bought a piece of property on M-18 just south of Meredith. We hunted deer there nearly every winter from 1980 to present. We spent weekends in the summers up at Houghton Lake or at the Meredith Drive-In. They used to charge $5.00 a car load. What a deal!!! Many fond memories of an old logging town from the turn of the centry, in Northern Michigan. It was once known as the "Meanest Town in Michigan".
3/29/2008 - Jessie Metz
My post does not really relate to the history of the drive-in but anyways...

I lived in the town of Meredith growing up as a kid from 1989 untill I joined the Navy in 1997. I never actually got to see any movies at the drive-in but my dad used to tell me stories of when it was open. Growing up, us kids used the field to play football and often times we would climb to the top of the projection screen. I just never figured that our little town of Meredith would have any kind of spot light on the web. Kind of cool. I think it would be great to see it refurbished and operating again, it does have potential!
5/9/2006 - Pat Weaver
The original wooden tower buit in 1952 was doubled in size in 1957. That screen collapsed in 1973 and was replaced with the metal tower that still stands today.
4/29/2005 - Andrew Wilson AKA The Librarian
The Meredith Drive-In actually had its first Grand Opening in 1952. The second owner, Lawrence Weiss loved to buy large ads stating "Grand Opening" every year, plus he knew how to promote the DI in the local papers. Here are some articles: New Drive-In Opens South of Prudenville Ogemaw County Herald - Thursday June 5, 1952 A new drive-in theatre, the Meredith Drive-In, was recently opened on M-18, 12 miles south of Prudenville and is owned and operated by Hank and Kay Gardner. Mr. Gardner stated that he will only show first run features and said that his drive-in has the latest sound and projection equipment. The new theatre will be open seven days a week, rain or shine. It is the policy that all children under 12 years of age will be admitted free. Opens New Drive-In Theatre Roscommon Herald News - Thursday June 5, 1952 - Page 1 The Meredith Drive-In Theatre located 12 miles south of Prudenville on M-18 opened May 23. A double feature show starts at dark with the main feature about 10 oclock. There will be a showing 7 nights a week, rain or shine, of first run pictures. Hank and Kay Gardner, managers state that they have the latest sound and projection equipment to assure you of an enjoyable . Children under 12 years of age are admitted free when accompanied by their parents. Meredith Theater Near Prudenville To Open On Friday, May 9 Ogemaw County Herald - Thursday May 8, 1958 - Page 1, 12 Announcement is being made this week by Lawrence Weiss, owner, that the Meredith Drive-In Theatre will hold its grand opening for the summer season on Friday and Saturday, May 9-10. The Meredith will be open on Fridays and Saturdays during the month of May and four nights each week during June, after which a full-time schedule of pictures will be in effect. A twin bill will feature the opening with "Run of the Arrow" and "Escapade in Japan" being billed. Treats for the kiddies, free popcorn will be given opening nights and free passes will be given to the lucky ticket holders each night during the season.
9/11/2004 - Pat Weaver
I worked there for four different managements 1970-86. G.Muma never owned the place, never operated it. He almost did. A long story. I think it ran till 1988, with Al & Sharon Puhar owning it. It is right now (6/30/04) in very nice shape and very restorable, but I do think the concession stand is a summer cabin right now. I think it could be a money maker HANDLED RIGHT! for a change. It would be the only central Michigan outdoor theater.
9/11/2004 - Pat Weaver
The last people to operate Meredith Drive In were the Puhars, who also owned a restaurant in Meredith. ..a new septic system was installed there in 1980. I helped put it in. Very well kept, the drive in concession is used as a residence. Just wish we could see a picture on the screen.
12/18/2003 - Box Office Magazine
May 1959 - Lawrence Weiss, owner of the Meredith Drive-In at Meredith, died recently. The theatre is being operated by his widow, with buying and booking of film handled by General Theatre Services.
12/18/2003 - Box Office Magazine
May 1960 - Fred Bennet, who has been in the insurance business, is taking over the Meredith Drive-In, formerly operated by Wilbur B. Cassidy and the late Lawrence C. Weiss.
10/16/2003 - Lee Burgess - Hwy 18 Outdoor Theatre
Being from Michigan (Detroit area, and having grandparents in the Marlette/thumb area), I have many fond memories of Michigan Drive Ins of the 50s and 60s. When I was back in Michigan a few years ago visiting my brother, I visited the old Meredith Drive In site and met the owner, a crabby woman who refused to sell the property and groused of the movie business being dominated by the mafia.. Now that is a theatre that could be restored. I noticed on your site that someone turned it into a house. What a waste.
10/16/2003 - MichiganDriveIns.com
The Meredith Drive-In remains intact, screen and snack bar are still standing. See photos. The owner of the Meredith Drive-In also owns a local restaurant, indicated she closed the drive-in about 15 years ago due to the introduction of the VCR. A calendar found in the heavily vandalized snack bar indicate the drive-in was still open in July of 1988. Some of the movies listed were Rambo, The Presidio, Hamburger Hill, Red Heat, and the Great Outdoors. Also found in the snack bar was a notice from the Central Michigan District Health Dept. The notice dated 9-1-77, effectively closed the drive-in for various health violations, including the requirement for a new sewage disposal system, based on a 322 car capacity. (7-7-01)
1/6/2003 - Cactus Bob (Bobby Peacock)
Screen is still up, snack bar is being used as living quarters.
Meredith Drive-In Theatre - SCREEN SHOT
Meredith Drive-In Theatre - CONCESSION AND SCREEN
Meredith Drive-In Theatre - PROJECTION AND SCREEN
Meredith Drive-In Theatre - SCREEN
Meredith Drive-In Theatre - REAR OF SCREEN
Meredith Drive-In Theatre - PROJECTION BOOTH
Meredith Drive-In Theatre - POLES
Meredith Drive-In Theatre - MEREDITH CONCESSION
Meredith Drive-In Theatre - MEREDITH CONCESSION
Meredith Drive-In Theatre - MEREDITH CONCESSION
Meredith Drive-In Theatre - MEREDITH CONCESSION
Meredith Drive-In Theatre - MEREDITH CONCESSION
Meredith Drive-In Theatre - PROJECTOR 1970 FROM PATRICK WEAVER
Meredith Drive-In Theatre - OLD FLYER
Meredith Drive-In Theatre - OLD FLYER
Meredith Drive-In Theatre - AERIAL
Meredith Drive-In Theatre - 17 FEBRUARY 1987 ACCIDENT
Meredith Drive-In Theatre - 5 APRIL 1973 AD
5 APRIL 1973 AD
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