WARNING: Under no circumstances should you enter these properties. By doing so you risk bodily harm and/or prosecution for trespassing on private property.

Warnings are a real drag, aren’t they? We are a curious and explorative people and we have a strong urge to examine, probe, search, burrow, scout, dig into, analyze, and scrutinize abandoned places like this...it’s part of our lifestyle.

Deserted drive-in movie theaters are a lotta fun to look through...even though there’s usually not much to them – maybe some poles, concession stand, and if you’re lucky, a screen – the drive-ins are like archives that contain the ghosts of couples in steamy cars.

The Game 730 WVFN-AM logo
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The gallery below features two such drive-ins: neither one exist anymore and the old sites are hidden among trees and underbrush.

1) The Saginaw Auto Theater at 5151 Dixie Highway in Saginaw. It opened in 1948, releasing a floodgate of people, still weary a few years after the end of World War II. Home televisions were just becoming a ‘thing,’ but millions of people still did not have one...so to the movie theaters they came. The Saginaw had enough room to fit four hundred automobiles and many nights the lot was filled to capacity. In the 70s & 80s, with the onslaught of video games, young people’s attention turned away from the drive-ins and toward the arcades. I still can’t understand that.....why give up a possible evening of romance in the privacy of your car at a drive-in and choose to stand in a stuffy arcade playing space invaders or Pac-Man with strangers with B.O. hovering closeby? Made no sense to me...gimme the drive-in anytime.

The Saginaw Auto Theatre closed in 1986. The lot has become all overgrown with trees.

2) The Burnside Drive-in, located at 5950 Van Dyke Road, was 4½ miles west of Brown City. It opened in June of 1951 and could fit up to 300 automobiles. There is no date given as to when it permanently closed, but as with the Saginaw Drive-in, the former parking spaces are now overgrown with brush and trees. No date given for closing.

Apologies in advance for the fuzzy quality of the images in the gallery – these are the best “legal” ones I could use.

Two Non-Existent Drive-In Theaters: Burnside & Saginaw

MORE MICHIGANIA:

Deserted Brook Lodge: Augusta

Deserted Lone Star Steakhouse, Jackson

Deserted Skyline Ski Club, Grayling