Mikado Drive-In

Mikado, MI 47845

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Mikado Drive-In

The Mikado Drive-In was opened by 1951 and operated by Jim Ellis in the 1950’s. It was closed in the mid-1960’s.

Contributed by Ken McIntyre

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

kencmcintyre on January 29, 2008 at 10:48 pm

Here is a site with some photos of what occupies the space now. I understood there was some remaining artifacts, but that is not the case. Status should be closed/demolished:

TenPoundHammer on April 22, 2011 at 11:07 am

According to a friend who lived in Mikado in the 1950s, this was a portable drive-in. The movies were shown in one field one year, in a parking lot the next, etc. It never had a single, permanent location.

TenPoundHammer on April 22, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Still listed in Motion Picture Almanac in 1964.

MichaelKilgore on November 17, 2022 at 12:31 pm

1) WaterWinterWonderland wrote earlier this year that Ron Gross of MichiganDrive-Ins.com found a newspaper article about the Mikado’s grand opening. The article said it was near the old Mikado school building on what was then M-171, now F-41. I wish that WWW had mentioned the date of that article. Maybe someone could find it and post it here?

2) The 1951 Film Daily Year Book included the Mikado in its drive-in list. The 1952 Theatre Catalog listed it as Closed (capacity 125, owner J. Ellis.)

3) The Motion Picture Almanac drive-in theater list was often lame. I suspect that they only edited it when someone wrote or called to point out a change. In this case, the MPA carried the Mikado (capacity 125) through its 1967 edition. The drive-in’s omission from the 1968 list was one of the very infrequent updates during the MPA’s 1967-76 quiet decade. It’s likely that the Mikado closed earlier than 1967.

4) Seriously, what is a drive-in theater? My take is that it requires a permanent location. (That’s reflected here by CinemaTreasures' style of listing two drive-ins when one moves to a second location, even within the same city. See the Holiday in Boulder CO: here and here. But I digress.) If the Mikado never had a permanent screen or viewing field, how is it different than somebody showing movies in his back yard? Since the Mikado is listed in enough places, I guess it’s appropriate for CT to maintain an entry here, whether that was a “real” drive-in or not.

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