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My boyfriend and I stumbled across your page while on our quest for old theaters.

We visited the Gaylord Theater and made it a mission to try and find which building was the Old Star Theater. We were pretty confident we had located the building based on the exterior structures. We went in and talked to the owner of the current building but she wasn’t aware of it ever being a theater and only of it at one point being an insurance agency. The building still has the original hardwood floors, as well as the original wall.

After leaving there we began our internet search and were able to find an old postcard on the county historical site advertising a running of the movie “The Mark of Zorro”. Based on the info from that I knew the theater was open for sure in 1924. Then was able to google Gaylord businesses in the 1920’s and stumbled across the information I needed to know it was open in the 20’s and 30’s, and with photos from the historical society we can conclude it was closed by the 40’s. The address of where the theater once was is 240 W Main Street, Gaylord.

We are going to email all the photos we have to you. Thanks for such a great site. We’ve been visiting old theaters from Calumet down the UP and wish we would have discovered this site before then. We have some other photos and information on other theaters if you are interested in them.

Such a shame that the drive in was replaced by a shopping center that didn't even last long. The place is almost completely vacant now except the current cinema somehow is still active. The target, toys r us and everything else closed.
This cinema is still open and it's actually pretty cool.

When they demolished the Universal Mall they left about 50 percent of the wing leading up to the theater standing and now is part of the main lobby to the cinema. Some of the mall storefronts are now part of the cinemas main lobby. If you compare photos of the old universal mall with current photos of the cinema you can see the hallway in question. The two side entrances of the cinema are also holdovers from the now gone enclosed mall.

I live in nearby Belleville and can confirm the cinema and mall has been demolished entirely with the exception of the sears building and a small mall hallway which used to contain a restaurant and Joannes fabrics. Walmart, Kohl's and a couple strip malls now sit where the mall was.
Celebration Cinema had been running it as second run theater. They decided not to renew the lease and not reopen after COVID. It was announced Phoenix theaters will reopen the location in fall 2021 as first run theater.
I currently live in Belleville and find it really weird that unlike most other Michigan cities of this size where we have everything fast food and supercenters like Meijer, we for some reason don't have a movie theater at all. You have to go over to Canton or Ypsilanti for the closest cinema. It's weird.
This theater went through a full renovation a few years ago and changed to AMC cinemas and is no longer called plaza cinemas. It permanently closed last year and is not going to reopen. The site is for sale.
Does anyone know what going on with the drag strip i see it for sale a while back but now its off the market
Bowtie Challenge provides amazing finish(From NMD Email Shoutout)photo:  Dru Williams of Manton was quick and consistent with his Chevy Nova, celebrating his second championship of the season in Grand Rapids Machine Repair Top Doorslammer.

 His three winning run elapsed times were 4.51, 4.52 and 4.51 at 159 miles per hour.

The 2021 Bowtie Challenge brought a multitude of storylines.  In this 11th-annual competition, the Chevy racers compete head-to-head with competitive makes, and a point is given to the "Bowtie/Chevy" team for every time they win a match-up, and vice-versa for the competition, aka "The World."   The Northern Michigan Dragway event began Thursday evening, with the Chevy racers falling behind early by a score of 27-18 in preliminary Eriksen Towing & Recovery Street Trophy competition.   A Harley-Davidson racer, Dan Marcinkowski from Kaleva, was the Thursday night winner.

Friday's racing found a new track record in Grand Rapids Machine Repair Top Doorslammer, as Sean "Showtime" Nagy of Houghton Lake had his newest Ford Mustang race car in qualifying.   He blasted through the 1/8-mile with an elapsed time of 4.17 seconds for a new record E., matching his previous-best speed of 168 miles-per-hour.  Nagy claimed the top qualifier position in the "Quick 8" field.Racing action was outstanding in all classes.   Bowtie racers collected a victory in SK Customs Pro Trophy as Brian Boeve of Nunica won with his Chevy S-10.

 The World, however, took wins in three classes.  Mark Daniels of South Boardman topped Pro Systems Bracket I with his Pontiac Firebird.  Chad Brintnell of McBain drove his Ford Fairmont to the Hlavka Heating and Cooling Bracket II victory.  Each racer collected $2,000 for his efforts.

  The Street Trophy victory was captured by Manistee's Kevin Wood in a Ford Mustang, earning himself $600.Despite allowing the World racers to take three of four class wins, the Bowtie racers managed enough late-round finishes to bring the score back to a tie by the end of Friday competition.Heading into the final day, the stage was set for another classic finish Saturday evening.  However, the Bowtie faithful found their hopes becoming dashed by the end of round 2 competition.

 At one point, they trailed by 19 points.  Every race match-up was crucial for the Bowties to mount a comeback in round three of each class.Manton's Dru WIlliams' Chevy Nova was able to hold off Nagy's Mustang in round 2 of Top Doorslammer.  Williams then defeated Stanton's Brad Rentsman in an all-Chevy final round, claiming the $2,000 prize.

 This may have been the spark the Chevy racers were needing.In Bracket I, Jared Ledford of Greenville picked up crucial Bowtie points, as he was the last stock-bodied vehicle in competition with his Chevy Camaro, as he was eventually ousted in a 6th-round semi-final by Fountain's Madisyn McCormick with her dragster.  Madisyn then advanced to a very special event, a $3,000 final against her father, Jeremy McCormick.  Jeremy was the beneficiary of a final-round foul start by his daughter, and claimed the championship with his dragster.

Pro Trophy and Bracket II divisions found several Bowtie racers with outstanding finishes, to help set the stage for a remarkable comeback.  Against the odds, the Bowtie racers clawed their way back to striking distance by the end of round 6.  The Pro Trophy class had three of them winning their way into a 7th-round semi-final, racking up wins for Bowtie each round.  David Evans of Benzonia bowed out in the semi-final against the superb teenage sensation from Bailey, Cody Marlatt.

 The youngster earned a trip to his first final-round appearance in his Chevy Vega.  Jim Bacon of Luther took the solo pass "bye-run" into the final with his Chevy Nova.  Bacon claimed the Pro Trophy championship with his win in the 8th-round final.    Due to head-to-head Bowtie Challenge match-ups becoming increasingly scarce, Bracket II found all the pressure and the fate of the Bowties on the steering wheel of one racer.

  A crucial 6th-round quarter-final matchup was to be had by North Branch racer George McConnell in a Chevy Malibu "The Aggravator."  The lead had been trimmed to 1 point.  His opponent was a super-tough Mopar competitor in Kaleva's Al McChesney with his Plymouth Belvedere.With the NMD loudspeakers playing the Electric Light Orchestra classic song "Don't Bring me Down" the tension was as high as ever.

 The race was quickly decided with a foul start by Mopar.  The Bowtie faithful celebrated the satisfaction of coming back to a tie score, where they had started the day's racing.  A pair of Chevy racers then squared off as Kaleva's Travis Mardlin drove his S-10 to a win over Jonesville's Derek Shaw in a Camaro.  The last Mopar racer, Tommy Aretakis of Ray advanced to round 7 with his bye-run in a Plymouth Barracuda.

Three cars remained in the $7,500-to-win race.  Mardlin earned the bye-run to the final due to his best reaction time in his 6th round win.   The stage was set, yet again, with all the pressure on McConnell in his Malibu, as he faced yet another dominant Mopar racer in Aretakis.  Both drivers left with nearly-identical reaction time, and the win light came on for the Malibu.

 It was announced that McConnell was the "hero of the day" for the Bowtie fans.  In the 8th-round final, Travis Mardlin grabbed the win for the largest payout of his young racing career, and re-established himself atop the 2021 NMD points standings for Bracket II.In junior classes held Thursday and Friday, Tyler Thompson of Grawn won both nights in ModuGo Mini-Juniors.   Thirlby Advanced Juniors also ran the first two nights.

Carley Guerne of Bear Lake picked up the Thursday win, while Leah Helsel of Manton won Saturday.NMD management was pleased to see another participation record set for the event, as the total number of race entries surpassed 684 for the weekend.  The previous record turnout (2020) was 636 entries.Racing action continues the next two weekends.

 This coming weekend features Street Nights, sponsored by Thirlby Automotive on Friday starting at 5 pm.   Saturday resumes the NMD 2021 points series with a full race program in all bracket classes, with time trials slated for 1 pm and eliminations beginning at 4 pm.The following weekend, the 24th Annual Mopars Against the World, sponsored by Allstar Performance and Pertronix, will take place, starting Thursday, July 22nd.  NMD is located 3 miles north of Kaleva on Potter Road.

  For further information, visit the social media page, see NorthernMichiganDragway.com, or call (231)218-2657Brian & Rebecca LedfordNorthernMichiganDragway.comTrack Manager & Promotions(231)218-2657 (231)429-4411.
I am looking for any pictures of the Sunset Speedway back in the early fifties.

If anyone has any pictures of the car number " 3+1", the driver is Fred MacDuff, he is my father and my family has been looking through all of his pictures and all of my father's pictures of him and his car are gone out of the albums, but I have pictures of many car's and there drivers. None of my father, if anyone can please help. that would be most appreciative. I will get through the rest of these pictures and in the next few day's, I will post pictures of the track and the drivers that I have.

Thank You in advance.
6/27/2021FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEKaleva-Race fans had a big letdown this past weekend as the 11th Annual Bowtie Challenge was forced to be postponed due to the weather.

. Northern Michigan Dragway's entire race weekend was rescheduled two weeks down the calendar; July 8-10. Next up on NMD's 2021 schedule is this coming weekend's God Bless America Race Saturday, July 3rd. The Hlavka Heating and Cooling sponsored race will be the 6th event of 18 TNT Specialized Transport points series annual events.

Travis Mardlin of Kaleva is off to a hot start this season, leading both Bracket I and II divisions, seeking his first championship. David Evans of Benzonia is leading the pack and looking for his fifth-straight championship in Pro Trophy. John Root of Manton, back-to-back champ, is again leading in Advanced Juniors, while Jesse Persinger of Free Soil is leading in Mini Juniors. NMD's Rider class has an exciting new sponsor, Authentic 231, and a 6-race series debuts Saturday.

The class features motorcycles and snowmobile riders, and is sure to bring even more excitement to the events they're running. Time trials are set to begin at 1 pm on Saturday, with eliminations starting at approximately 4 pm. NMD is located 3 miles north of Kaleva on Potter Road.

For further information, visit the social media page, see NorthernMichiganDragway.com, or call (231)218-2657.
The Lee Theater actually stood in the small parking lot to the south of the Coney building. The theater and restaurant portion were actually attached to each other. The restaurant survived the fire and the bowling alley was later added on.
Orlin Teegardin, Gene Simcox and Earl Fortney all raced here. Loved watching the old races when I was a kid.
Wish they would bring that all back
My grandfather, Jacob Stocker, was the owner of the Myrtle.

My father, Seymour Stocker, inherited from Jacob when he died. My father owned the theater until it closed in 1950. As a young boy I would go to work with my dad and help him in the projection booth. Fun memories of father-son times.

Don W .

. . Thanks for the post in 2020 with the name of Billy Salvetta and the Screamin Dago car. I'm attempting to get a pic .

. anyone have any ideas? I'd love to get any video in the archives of a TV station? Anyone have a connection or recall who broadcast the weekend recaps they use to provide on Sunday evenings? .
As of June 12, 2021, the Main Art Theatre is closed. https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/oakland/2021/06/12/main-art-theatre-royal-oak-closing/7667560002/
The building has NOT been torn down.

Popeyes Chicken is next door. As of 6-10-21 there is an article on MLive about the new owner planning on restoration.Link to article: https://www.mlive.

I remember going there as a a kid 8-13.

I raced motocross, but we loved watching are friends race flat track. I remember a night a guy flew over the fence and landed on the third row of cars. I think he was killed. Bob Larsen owned the Yamaha shop.

He jumped some cars during halftime and his front tire collapsed like a pancake. It was great racing. Us kids would bring are bicycles and ride the pits. I had a Yamaha bicycle.

Great reports. My dad knew ken and Jerry the owners. It’s cool that flat track is making a huge come back. Use to go to Illinois and watch jay Springsteen and the camel race series.

There was also a racer from mill burg track that was also a contender. .
The Crescent Theater opened on Christmas Eve, 1928. It closed on October 3, 1939.
The January 16, 1939, issue of The Film Daily reported that a new theater being built at Fremont, Michigan, for Harold Hedler would be completed about March 1.

The architect was Joseph Krenek, who was also the contractor. The 468-seat house opened as the Oz Theatre, and was listed under that name in the Film Daily Yearbook at least as late as 1970. Sometime between then and 1982, when this photo was taken, it was renamed the Fremont Theatre. Its site is now partly occupied by a pedestrian passage to the parking lot behind the shops along the block.

[Joe Vogel].

The Dowagiac Theatre was gutted by a $100,000 fire on November 22, 1977.

The News-Palladium, which published a photo of the fire, noted that it was constructed in the mid-1940’s after being destroyed by fire during World War II.

Sanborn Maps show a theatre was built at this location between 1931 and 1933, nearly across the street from the Century Theatre.

According to Motion Picture Herald, August 14, 1946, Paul Caruso had opened the 400-seat Caruso Theater featuring a crying room. In 1963 it was still called the Caruso Theatre.

In 1971 it was operated by Donald White, who opened the new Southtown Twin in St. Joseph in July. On November 23, 1977 the Dowagiac Theatre was gutted by a fire.

Contributed by Ron Pierce


Joe Vogel on May 27, 2018 at 4:56 pm

The November 10, 1945, issue of Motion Picture Herald had this brief notice: “The Larkin theatre company has announced plans for construction of a modern theatre in Dowagiac, Mich.

, to be known as the Chief.”

The Larkin Theatre Company was formed in 1921 and built the Century Theatre that year. L. Larkin had been in the theater business at Dowagiac since at least the early 1910s, having managed the Beckwith Theatre and a house called the Orpheum, which might have later been renamed the Larkin Theatre.

In the 1914-15 American Motion Picture Directory Dowagiac had four theaters listed: the Beckwith, the Orpheum, the Park, and the Pastime. The Film Daily Yearbook lists only the Beckwith and the Century at Beckwith from 1926 through 1946, and the Beckwith is unlisted many of those years, and most often listed as closed when it is listed.

The Chief was operating in 1946, though it didn’t appear in the FDY until 1947, the same year the Caruso first appeared.

The Palace Theatre opened on July 1, 1916, and was originally operated under a lease by Charles Galster, with Norman J. Feldman as manager. The Palace Theatre was still operating in 1950. The building is still standing, and now houses a retail store.
The Temple Theatre was opened in 1911. In 1923 it was taken over by the Soo Amusement Company. They operated it for its entire life until it was destroyed by fire December 13, 1973.
This theater pre-dated the more known Center Theater but was destroyed by fire. It opened in 1925 and lasted about 10 years or so from what I can gather.
This small independent theater was opened in 1972 but ran into trouble in 2020. There was a grass roots effort to keep it going as a non-profit but apparently that did not pan out, perhaps due to the COVID epidemic. This was a personal favorite of your loyal webmaster, I am saddened.
This theater experimented with a drive-in concept as the screen on the side of the building indicates.
I decided to create a separate entry for this theater as it is a brand new building and complete replacement for the old Showcase Westland.
Recent site inspection reveals the lot sits empty and undeveloped. Some signage and parking lots remain. One is reminded by seeing the enormity of the main parking lot and overflow lot how busy this place must have been in it's heyday.
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