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According to http://burtonview.mihomepaper.com/news/2011-05-19/News/NCG_Movies_to_reopen_Courtland_Cinemas_this_Friday.html this cinema was expanded and renovated in 1998 by the Silver Cinemas chain and renamed Silver Cinemas which added four additional screens and renovated the two existing screens with stadium seating, reclining seats and cupholders. National Amusements bought it just months later and renamed the theater back to Courtland Cinemas.
The drive-in site is now a golf driving range. The screen tower is still standing with green siding on all sides.
Actually, it is the rear facade facing Brush Alley that is still standing. Most of the building was torn down when it was converted to retail use. It is now a thriving restaurant called Blackstone’s Pub and Grill utilizing the old sign when it was Blackstone’s clothing store.
Actually, the Rialto was the second name the theater had. It was renamed the Royal in the early 1960s which showed art house films which evolved into grindhouse films and finally porn.
A photo showing wrecked cars in the foreground and the North Flint Drive-in in the background is at http://abclocal.go.com/wjrt/gallery?section=weather/photos&id=7472259&photo=8
After this cinema closed, NCG moved equipment from this cinema to the recently reopened Courtland Cinemas in Burton.
NCG did a nice job in getting this cinema going again. All screens are digital with stadium seating and they moved equipment from the Clio Cinemas which they recently closed into this cinema.
To be competitive, this cinema needs a major overhaul. It may be cheaper to tear it down and start over. NCG chose to reopen the nearby 6-screen Courtland Cinemas because it was the right size and didn’t need much work before reopening.
Another news story about the reopening of the Courtland Cinemas is at View link
Before the Roxy closed, it was open weekends only.
It was torn down and is now a parking lot for the adjacent restaurant.
The former theater is on North Saginaw. I believe a tire shop was once located in the converted theater in the 1960s.
This theater was a converted truck repair shop.
This drive-in theater survived the 1953 Beecher Tornado with only minor damage confined to walls and fencing and the attraction board. The screen and refreshment building survived intact so the drive-in reopened as soon as the curfew was lifted.
The Flint Cinema was always a single screen theater. It was never twinned. The first movie shown was “Divorce, American Style” and the final film shown was “FX.” It did close in 1986 but remained vacant for several years. It was opened by Butterfield Theaters. GKC Theatres closed it and National Amusements inherited the property when it bought GKC’s Flint area operations. National Amusements tore it down to make the property more salable as a vacant lot.
Willie Mitchell’s Royal Studios' official web site at http://www.williemitchell.com/index.php indicates that the theater was built in 1915 and converted into a recording studio in 1957.
I hope the owner can rebuild. I wonder how a prefab two-sided screen tower can be constructed?
The Eastown is almost gone as much of it was destroyed by fire yesterday. Pictures of the aftermath are at http://www.detroitfunk.com/?p=4634 Expect the entire building to be torn down.
No arrest has been made yet regarding the arsonist. In the meantime, the theater is being rebuilt.
The rebuilding “ground breaking” (or should that be “first brick laying”?) ceremony is on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXSfao9Huv0
There is also a touching newly produced video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpFPB1VLRhY
Become a US 23 Drive-in Facebook friend. Their Facebook page is at View link
According to the updated Rave web site, they still do not have any theaters in New York even after including the former NA theaters.
It has been confirmed that National Amusements has sold its two remaining theaters in Michigan, the Showcase Flint West and the Showcase Ann Arbor to Rave.
Both sides of the drive-in’s roadside sign are now completely boarded up with the boards whitewashed. The large expressway sign still looks the same as does the rest of the drive-in.
One more update, the drive-in will be open two more nights, Friday, November 6 and Saturday, November 7. Admission will be $10 per car. The drive-in will then close for the season. Details on their Facebook page at View link