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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Roseville in Macomb County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Watching the Big Show

at the Gratiot Drive-In Theater

 
 
Watching the Big Show Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, July 21, 2018
1. Watching the Big Show Marker
Inscription.
The outdoor theater was a delightful landmark in Roseville
and in the memories of people who enjoyed the Gratiot Drive-In for 36 years. It first opened in 1948 and offered entertainment until it closed in September 1984. People fondly remember the pink neon glow of its huge sign and the playground with pony rides and a merry-go-round for children. Everyone looked forward to Fourth of July fireworks blasting overhead. Known for its high waterfall, the Gratiot Drive-In was once stricken by pranksters who poured detergent into the water and filled the scene with soapsuds.

You Auto Know
A three-foot tall model of the Gratiot Drive-In is displayed in the lobby of the Roseville City Hall.
 
Erected 2014 by MotorCities National Heritage Area, National Park Service.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the MotorCities National Heritage Area marker series.
 
Location. 42° 30.963′ N, 82° 55.617′ W. Marker is in Roseville, Michigan, in Macomb County. Marker is at the intersection of VFW Memorial Drive and PFC Wetzel Drive, on the right when traveling east on VFW Memorial Drive. Touch for map. Marker is in front of Roseville City Hall. Marker is at or near this postal address: 29777 Gratiot Avenue, Roseville MI 48066, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers.
Far Left Images image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, July 21, 2018
2. Far Left Images
Top: Cars fill the parking spaces in the late 1940s, soon after the theater opened. Photo courtesy of Roseville Public Library. Bottom: The huge outdoor theater had parking spaces for up to 1,000 cars. Photo courtesy of Roseville Public Library.
At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Packard Field in Roseville (here, next to this marker); Frenchy's Auto Parts (here, next to this marker); Rapid Railway Company (a few steps from this marker); A Plank Road History (a few steps from this marker); Erin United Presbyterian Church (approx. ¼ mile away); Sacred Heart Church (approx. 0.9 miles away); The Baumgartner House 1875 (approx. 1.1 miles away); Baumgartner House (approx. 1.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Roseville.
 
Also see . . .  Reader memories of Gratiot Drive-In fuel Macomb Daily Facebook frenzy. (Submitted on July 23, 2018, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.)
 
Additional comments.
1. Gratiot Drive-In Location
The Gratitot Drive-In was located about 1.2 miles north of the marker — at the southeast corner of Gratiot Avenue (State Highway 3) and Masonic Boulevard.
    — Submitted July 23, 2018, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.

 
Categories. EntertainmentRoads & Vehicles
 
Middle Left Image image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, July 21, 2018
3. Middle Left Image
The theater's waterfall faced the entrance near the intersection of Gratiot Avenue and Masonic Boulevard. Photo courtesy of Roseville Public Library.
Middle Right Images image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, July 21, 2018
4. Middle Right Images
Top: Services offered by theater attendants included cleaning windshields to make it easier to see the movie screen. Photo courtesy of Roseville Public Library. Bottom: When to you think admission tickets to the Gratiot Drive-In cost $3.50? Tickets courtesy of Roseville Public Library.
Far Right Upper Image image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, July 21, 2018
5. Far Right Upper Image
The theater opened on April 8, 1948 with the movie "Yellow Sky" starring Gregory Peck and Anne Baxter. Photo courtesy of Gene Chowynk.
Far Right Middle Image image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, July 21, 2018
6. Far Right Middle Image
A playful short film counted down the minutes until showtime so people could get back to their cars from the concession stand. Image courtesy of Roseville Public Library.
Watching the Big Show Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, June 23, 2018
7. Watching the Big Show Marker
This marker is the second one from the right out of the five here.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 24, 2018. This page originally submitted on July 23, 2018, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page has been viewed 45 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on July 23, 2018, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.
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