Hi-Way Drive-In

2778 Sanilac Road,
Carsonville, MI 48419

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Kris4077 on July 12, 2017 at 6:12 pm

NeonMichael – I have heard that Years ago it movie studios did not like drive-in theaters. So it was hard for them to get first run films oftentimes they would order their films in cooperation with a local theater and the distribution companies would drop them off their and theater owners would pick them up and take them to the drive-in and visa-versa when returning them. I think because of this the theater catalogs addresses for the drive-in theaters was sometime incorrect. It may have been the address of an indoor theater or another business. Maybe this was a similar situation.

NeonMichael on July 12, 2017 at 5:48 pm

Aha! An ancient video (WMV format, probably shot in 1996) on the Hi Way history page interviews Stanley Fetting, who bought it in 1968 or ‘69. Fetting says Clements was a lumber dealer in Deckerville. That would be why he claimed that town as the Hi Way’s location.

Similarly, the video mentions Sandusky as the Hi Way’s town. Perhaps its home address changed when Fetting took over. Both owners also owned the Sanilac indoor theater in Sandusky.

Fetting notes there are 180 posts for 360 cars. That’s would be a pretty solid capacity number, although the Hi Way also had FM sound.

Also, the screen blew down in April 1996. (Aftermath and rebuilding photos in the WMV video.) It reopened that July 12, showing Twister.

NeonMichael on July 12, 2017 at 4:35 pm

Gotta wonder what went into some of these old references. The Theatre Catalogs placed the Hi Way in Deckerville (7 miles north) rather than the much larger Sandusky (5.5 miles west) or Carsonville (2.5 miles east). It was owned by C. H. Clements; Benjamin’s superb video calls him “Torchy”.

The 1959-63 IMPAs also chose Deckerville. By the 1969 IMPA, they had moved the Hi Way to Sandusky, where it stayed for the remainder of the IMPA lists.

In both publications, capacity was always listed as 400. Just sayin'.

KenLayton on January 21, 2015 at 10:34 pm

The video is excellent! Thanks for posting it. :)

Drive-In 54
Drive-In 54 on January 21, 2015 at 4:12 pm

Here is more pictures and information

Check the youtube video out, it is pretty good.

Benjamin_La_Londe on January 21, 2015 at 12:48 pm

Here is a documentary I made about the Hi-Way in the summer of 2014. Great place and great people that run it! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RzH4r4wRm4