Ford Drive-In

10400 Ford Road,
Dearborn, MI 48126

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Ford Drive-In

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened May 19, 1950 with Glenn Ford in “The Man From Colorado”. The Ford-Wyoming Drive-In was a single-screener, with a colossal, late Art Deco style screen. The Ford-Wyoming Drive-In could originally accomodate 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.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 24 comments)

lexmarks567
lexmarks567 on May 30, 2010 at 6:44 pm

pictures of the screen demo

View link

Silicon Sam
Silicon Sam on June 30, 2010 at 2:28 pm

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…

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on June 30, 2010 at 3:36 pm

Maybe I need to get a job at this drive-in they stay open late or is it early?

lexmarks567
lexmarks567 on July 12, 2010 at 2:14 am

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

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on March 28, 2011 at 7:30 pm

Owned by Mutual theatres in the Late Fifties, Bryan.

rivest266
rivest266 on November 7, 2015 at 7:15 am

May 19th, 1950 grand opening ad in photo section.

NeonMichael
NeonMichael on August 13, 2017 at 3:18 pm

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.

NeonMichael
NeonMichael on August 13, 2017 at 4:08 pm

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”

NeonMichael
NeonMichael on August 13, 2017 at 4:21 pm

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.

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