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October 02, 1997 - Image 15

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-10-02

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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The 4Michigan Daily Weekend M

A weekly guide to who's
where, what's happening and
whyyou ned to be there ...

Drive-ins ceate classic, unusual cinematic


Follow Me Home (1996) A poignant film
that follows four artists on their trip across
America, and explores the nature of race
and identity in the process. Director Peter
Bratt will be on hand afterward to discuss
the film. Mich. 6:30 p.m. Free.
Love Serenade (1997) Winner of the Best
First Film prize at this year's Cannes film
festival, this comedy explores the adven-
tures of two Australian sisters. Mich. 9:30
Dar Williams Folk hero plays in support of
her latest CD, "End of the Summer." The
Ark. 7 and 9:30 p.m. $16.
Cowboy Mouth Perhaps you've heard the
group's "modern rock" single, "Jenny Says."
Blind Pig. 9:30 p.m. $10 in advance.
Southern Culture On The Skids The Exotics
open. St. Andrew's Hall, Detroit. 8 p.m.
(313) 961-MELT.
The Schugars First you get dee schugar,
"den you get dee power, den you get dee
women. Tower Records. 7 p.m. Free.
Cris Mazza The author of "Dog People"
and "Former Virgin" will be readirig as part
of the University Visiting Writers series.
Rackham. 5 p.m. Free.
Sharon Gedan Speaking about her book,
"The Loving Lesbian." Common Language
Bookstore. 7:30 p.m. Free.
High and Low (1963) Akira Kurosawa 's
chilling Japanese detective story. Nat Sci. 7
p.m. Free.
Love Serenade See Thursday. Mich. 7 p.m.
Contact (1997) One of this year's finest
films, Jodie Foster stars as a naive scientist
who struggles with business and bureaucrat-
ic powers after she discovers intelligent life
elsewhere in the universe. Mich. 9:15 p.m.
Odd Obsession (1959) Japanese satire on
power and sadism. Nat Sci. 9:30 p.m. Free.

The Drifters The Coasters and The Platters
will open, and will add even more Motown
hits. Pease Auditorium, EMU. 8 p.m. $16.



Ann Arbor quartet plays eclectic
Blind Pig. Call 996-8555.

Velour 100 Ypsi indie rockers play material
from new CD. Tower Records. 6 p.m. Free.
Monkey Chunk Enchanted Iris opens. Theo's,
705 Cross St., Ypsilanti. 10:30 p.m. $4.
Phil Rogers With a slide show, "Shaman's
Journey through Peru and Beyond." Crazy
Wisdom. 8 p.m. $3.
Fleetwood Mac Don't stop thinking about
tomorrow. The Palace at Auburn Hills. 8
p.m. (810) 377-0100.
Holy Cows Supporting sophomore Big Pop
CD, "Blueberrie." Blind Pig. (313) 961-
U of M "Bandorama" The U of M Marching,
Symphony and Concert Bands perform
Sousa, Grainger, Shostakovitch and
Daugherty. Hill Auditorium. 7:30 p.m. $8.
Venus (un) Veiled Presented by the School
of Music. This concert features songs from
17th Centry Spain, dances from Africa and
Mexico and opera from Peru. University
Reformed Church, 1001 E. Huron. 8 p.m.
$15 students. 645-6666
Susan Werner Opera-trained folk
singer/songwriter. The Ark. 8 p.m. $12.50.
Sixth Annual Pow Wow Celebration of Native
American heritage. EMU Bowen Field House.
11 a.m.-7 p.m. $5.
Doris Sloan Memorial Lecture "George
Bellows: From Back Alley to Front Yard," pre-
sented by E. Bruce Robertson. Angell Aud A.
3 p.m. Free.

Easter Parade (1948) Fred Astaire and
Judy Garland star in a tale of a dancer who
tries to forget his ex-partner after he rises
to fame without her. Mich. 5 p.m.
Contact See Friday. Mich. 7:15 p.m.
The Jayhawks Lauded "alt-country" group
plays with the Freddy Jones Band. Clutch
Cargo's, Pontiac. 7 p.m. (810) 333-2362.
The Nixons This year's Silverchair. Radish
opens. St. Andrew's Hall, Detroit. 8 p.m.
(313) 961-MELT.
Mindset Testosterock. The Mosquito Club,
Westland. (313) 513-8688.
University Chamber Orchestra Newly formed
orchestra conducted by Kenneth Kiesler will
perform Bach's Third Brandenburg Concerto
and Mozart's Symphony No. 31 in D major.
Rackham Auditorium. 7 p.m. Free.
Sixth Annual Pow Wow See Saturday.
Rhythm Writers Composers Carter Penn
and Michael Timpson, as well as an open
mic. Pierpont Commons. 2-4 p.m. Free.

By Stephanie Jo Klein
Daily Arts Writer
DEARBORN - You've waited for
tonight. It's dark. It's cozy. You're sitting
right next to each other and whispering
in each other's ears as the movie starts.
And then, you make "the move" - giv-
ing a gentle yawn and stretching your
right arm over her tank-topped shoul-
der. But as you do, your left elbow
grazes the wheel and you commit the
ultimate first-date faux pas.
You've accidentally honked the horn.
If the mile-long lines of Porsches
and pickup trucks were any indication
last Saturday night at Dearborn's Ford-
Wyoming Drive-In, the days of the
drive-in are far from over. The inno-
cent air of the 1950s sock hop may be
long gone, but in the industrial heart of
Detroit, the familiar atmosphere of the

into the dumps.
"My dad took his life savings for that
theater, after making $8 a day," Schafer
remembered. "Admission was 10 cents
and no candy bar cost more than a nick-
Later on, he said, the family built
more indoor theaters in the suburbs of
the metro area, but it wasn't until May,
1949, that the brothers started with
drive-ins, erecting the second drive-in
Detroit had ever seen. Within a few
short years, Schafer said, he and his
brother had landscaped the pavement
for outdoor theaters in Wayne,
Westland, Taylor, Dearborn Heights,
Dearborn and even Ypsilanti - a small
empire of 24 screens.
"When we first started, it took 20
acres to build a drive-in and you could-
n't buy it in the metro area because it

Saturday night
date still
The 30-acre
site of the Ford-
Drive-In is one
of only a hand-
ful left in the
state and the
only one within
easy driving
distance from
Ann Arbor.
Owner Charles
Schafer said
that drive-ins
are nowhere
near as popular
as in their mid-

"I sold (theaters)
because of all the
competition and the
muiplexes ... A six-
screen theater is
nothing compared to
a 30& or 4Onscreen

was too
Schafer said.
With land
selling at
$50,000 per
acre in town
and only
outside, the
moved out to
the boon-
docks to set
up shop. The
farm lands
were illumi-
nated nightly
with visions
of Deborah
looming large

Owner of the F

- Charles Schafer
Ford-Wyoming Drive-In


'50s heyday, but his business still
"We've got 3,000-car capacity, nine
screens and 18 pictures a night. They
come in all night," Schafer said proud-
ly, adding that once the features start
just after sunset, "we don't stop until the
sun comes up." Like the postal service,
neither rain, nor sleet, nor threat of
snow can stop the screenings, shown
every night of the year with the help of
a 50-person staff.
For Schafer, 75, the childlike awe of
the concrete cinema is still there. A
movie theater veteran, he and his broth-
er started out in the business just help-
ing their father, who was the general
manager of Detroit's Fox Theatre when
it opened in 1925.
After a few years of management
practice, the senior Schafer bought an
indoor theater in Wayne, in 1930, just
after the stock market crash sent others

Kerr and Cary Grant

Except for the Ford-Wyoming, all are
now gone.
Schafer and his current business part-
ner, William Clark, still own the Ford-
Wyoming because Schafer doesn't want
to retire. Otherwise, he might have sold
it, like the approximately 50 theaters,
indoor and out, that he owned.
He sold the lots not because of any
lost love for the cinema, but because the
land became so valuable. One became a
shopping center, another a McDonald's.
Ypsilanti's Willow Drive-In, located on
Michigan Avenue, was sold in 1985 to
become a trailer park. And Showcase
Cinemas bought out Schafer's indoor
theaters in Detroit.
"I sold because of all the competition
and the multiplexes," Schafer said. "A
six-screen theater is nothing compared
to a 30- or 40-screen complex." Even

Cars throng the parking lot of the Ford-Wyoming drive-in theater In Dearborn

Ann Arbor's quaint movie house scene
will be hit with more competition soon,
when Showcase adds 12 more screens
to its current 14, he added.
In the old days, just as today, families
went to the drive-in in droves; parents
were eager to have their own semi-pri-
vate date with the kids sleeping in the
back seat. No babysitter is needed and
at the mid-Detroit landmark, children
under 12 get in free.
Traci Robinson, a 1995 LSA alumna,
went to the Ford-Wyoming last week-
end to see "Soul Food" with her
boyfriend of two years. Though it was
their first time at the drive-in together,
Robinson remembered many a family

trip to the Benton Harbor I
some years back.
"You'd come in your pajamas
in the back seat, bug your parer
tie, and you'd always have to
friend," she said as she munc
nachos purchased at the con
stand. Years later, the 24-year-c
the in-car flick is a lot more r<
than she'd remembered.
Schafer said the cozy atmosl
part of the lure of the drive-in.
come dressed in pajamas, 1
bathing suits from the beach,
from the prom," he said. "The
care. They're in their car. The
dress code in your own car."

Weekend Magazine Editors: Kristin Long

Jb£The~ w Dcaig
Wk eked1

Weekend Magazine Photo Editor: Margaret Myers.
Writers: Jessica Eaton, Sam England, Chris Farah, Geordy Gantsoudes, S
Lambert, Sarah Mangla, Jennifer Petlinski, Aaron Rennie, Joshua Rich,
Photographers: Louis Brown, Seder Burns, Daniel Castle, Paul Talanian.
Cover photograph by Daniel Castle: An entryway to the Law Quad courtya
Arts Editors: Bryan Lark and Jennifer Petdinski.

The Jayhawks will join the Freddy Jones Band on Sunday at Clutch
Cargo's to perform mellow rock classics.

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