10400 Ford Road,
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Ford Drive-In (Official)
Previously operated by: Wayne Amusements
Functions: Movies (First Run)
Styles: Art Deco
Previous Names: Ford-Wyoming Drive-In
News About This Theater
- May 28, 2010 — Ford-Wyoming Drive-In shrinking
Opened May 19, 1950 with Glenn Ford in “The Man From Colorado” & Bob Hope & Bing Crosby in “Road to Rio”. The Ford-Wyoming Drive-In was a single-screener, with a colossal, late Art Deco style screen. The Ford-Wyoming Drive-In could originally accommodate around 750 cars. It also once advertised a kiddie playground and boat rides for children.
The drive-in was acquired by Wayne Amusements in 1981, and by 1990, and grown to five screens. Another four screens were built during the early-1990’s.
Today, the still-very popular drive-in is the largest in the United States, parking-wise, with space for over 3,000 cars. (The largest drive-in screen-wise is the Thunderbird in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with 13 screens).
The Ford-Wyoming is open year-round, a rarity for drive-ins, and supplies car heaters along with speakers during the winter season.
Screens 6-9 were closed and demolished in May 2010, and in June 2010 it was renamed Ford Drive-In.
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Recent comments (view all 26 comments)
Wow, they start movies at 2:30 am on a Wednesday night? Not like people in MI need to get up and go to work I suppose…
Maybe I need to get a job at this drive-in they stay open late or is it early?
I guess they changed the name due to the failed 6-9 side. Wonder if they will yank the Wyoming letters of the main screen towers and the marquee
Owned by Mutual theatres in the Late Fifties, Bryan.
May 19th, 1950 grand opening ad in photo section.
Not a lot of meat here, but this is the data dump for the Ford Wyoming in my Theatre Catalogs and Motion Picture Almanacs.
1952 TC: Exec: John Wafhen, and Mutual Ths., capacity 750.
1953-63 MPA: Mutual Theatres, 750.
1955-56 TC: C. W. Clark, and Cooperative Ct., 750.
1969-76 MPA: 750.
1982 MPA: H. Clark, 1000.
1984-88 MPA: Schafer.
Screen evolution clues from the Detroit Free Press back issues:
July 1982: apparently still one screen
1983-85: “Ford Wyoming 1-2-3” three screens
July 11, 1986: “The Ford Wyoming started with one screen, now has four, and (manager Ed) Szurek says he wished he had room for five more.”
July 1987: “Ford Wyoming 4” four screens
July 1988-90: 5 screens
July 1991-94: 8 screens; 6-8 listed as “2 blocks N of Ford Road”
July 1995: 9 screens; 6-9 listed as “2 blocks N of Ford Road”
BTW, the Ford can’t hold 3000 cars any more. From the current aerial view on Google Maps, you can see the separate, four-field area (with a chemical plant(?) in between) is now becoming overgrown. The Henry Ford wrote that the Ford-Wyoming could handle 3000 at its peak with all nine screens, prompting those “largest drive-in in the world” claims.
This drive-in tried to reopen at midnight, but was shut down by the Dearborn police.
Also opened on 19th May with “Road to Rio”.