Drive-In Movie Theaters

Ann Arbor once had three nearby drive-in movie theaters, the University, Scio, and Ypsi-Ann.

University Drive-In
Photo by Ben Thompson

University Drive-In marquee 1984
Photo by Frank Uhle

The University was torn down and there is now a big multi-screen indoor theater on the site at the corner of Ellsworth and Carpenter.

Sign from the Scio Drive-In

The Scio on Jackson Road sat abandoned for many years. All that is left now is the sign, which sits in a back yard on the Old West Side.

The Ypsi-Ann was on Washtenaw between Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor. It was the first drive-in in the county. It opened in 1948 and closed in 1978.

The Willow Drive-In on Michigan Ave east of Ypsilanti, across from the Orange Lantern, was torn down and replaced with a trailer park. The Wayne, on Michigan Ave in Wayne next to the Ford truck plant, was torn down in about 1990 for an addition to the plant. Drive-Ins in Adrian and Brighton both closed in the late 80s or early 90s.

Ford Wyoming Drive-In

The nearest drive-in now is the Ford Wyoming in Detroit, the biggest in the world with nine screens. It is open all year.

Odorama card from Polyester.

Jim Rees