HomeDrive-In TheatersNight-Sky Drive-In Theatre - Benzonia, MI

Night-Sky Drive-In Theatre - Benzonia MI

Address: 2904 Benzie Hwy
City: Benzonia
State: MI
Zip: 49616
County: Benzie
Open: 1953 (5-16-53)
Closed: (1954)
Capacity: 170
Owner History:
Number of visits to this page: 11589
Disclaimer:

Please note that location entries may feature older photos or post card views that may not represent the current appearance or features of the attraction. This site is intended to be a historical as well as current record of various attractions but it is not always possible to have up-to-date information due to the vast number of locations featured here. We ask you consult the propietor for current information.

General Information:

Update July 2022: The location was actually where Holton's Tri-Gas is now at 2904 Benzie Hwy, Benzonia, MI 49616. The 1954 aerial overlaid with the current version confirms this. You can see the comparison below.

Click the following links for locations of interest nearby:
B&L Speedway  |  
Info Updates:
7/27/2016 - Aaron Wissner
From the 1955 satellite image, it looks to me like the Night-Sky was located on the west of US-31 where Amerigas now stands. Look at the satellite image, and you'll see the tell-tale curved rows moving back away from US-31. You can also see that the rows are smaller in the front, and get larger away from the screen, but are limited by the size of the property. Behind that now is a campground, which seems like it makes sense, being behind the site of a closed drive-in. The property number is: Property Number: 02-103-032-00.
3/2/2014 - corlis smeltzer mccormack
I remember the Night Sky. I was very young, but it stood empty for awhile. The corner of M-115 and US31 was called DogPatch and if you go North approx. a quarter mile it would have been on the West side of the hwy. Past the Shell station Past the Quaker State Oil. Small houses on the left it would have been there. Thank you for the memories. The aerial pic is of the B&L Bar and old race track.
12/12/2003 - Andrew Wilson AKA The Librarian
Drive-In Theatre Opens Thursday Benzie Banner - Thursday June 10, 1954 - Page 1 After an intensive renovation program carried on the past two weeks, the Night-Sky Drive-In Theatre south of Benzonia on US-31 will open for the summer season Thursday Evening (tonight) Arnold Cohn and Duke Kaufman of Miami will manage the drive-in this year for the United Theatre Corporation.
12/12/2003 - Andrew Wilson AKA The Librarian
Benzie Banner - Thursday May 21, 1953 - Page 1 Captions to Photographs (2 Photos) No article. FIRST BENZIE DRIVE-IN OPENS -- This 32 foot tower at the Night Sky Drive-in Theatre, which opened last Saturday night will be raised 8 feet according to the owners. A faulty sound amplifier was replaced the next day. Mr. and Mrs. Fernette were well pleased with the reception their new received. LAST MINUTE PREPERATION -- Eugene Fernette is shown completing the wiring of the speaker stands last Saturday prior to their opening that night. Dorothy Fernette (inset, right) was busy getting the snack bar in shape.
12/12/2003 - Andrew Wilson AKA The Librarian
New Drive-in Theatre To Open Saturday Night Benzie Banner - Thursday May 14, 1953 - Page 1, 14 At dusk on Saturday evening the first motion pictures will be thrown on a giant 32-foot outdoor screen at the new Night Sky Drive-In theatre on US-31, south of Benzonia. Under construction since January, the new enterprise is still not fully completed, but has been rushed to a early opening to provide residents of the area with this new-type of outdoor entertainment. Two gigantic Holmes motion picture machines, equipped with powerful, high intensity lighting will provide clear, sharp pictures and sound reproduction of remarkable clarity. The projectors are equipped to show new third dimension movies, when they are ready. Eugene Fernette, the owner and who has had 14 years experience in the motion picture business, said that he tailored his enterprise to fit the community and that it would be expanded in size as the need was shown. To start off with, 200 in-car speakers have been provided. Lighted speaker stands will provide illumination for each parking space and eliminate confusion. The speakers themselves are of cast aluminum and have a volume control. A 8-foot cord permits the speaker to be placed anywhere inside the car. Three pieces of playground equipment have been ordered, but there is little possibility that they will arrive by the opening date. In commenting on his policy, Fernette stressed that "the primary attraction of outdoor theatres is that they cater to children. My wife Jean and I both like kids and were going to do everything possible to see that their visits here are pleasant and entertaining." Rest rooms have been provided in the rear of the projection booth. A snack bar will sell ice cream bars, pop corn, soft drinks, coffee and candy. Congratulatory messages, the opening program, admission prices and other information are all contained on a full page advertisement on page three of this issue of the Benzie Record-Banner.
12/12/2003 - Andrew Wilson AKA The Librarian
The Night Sky opened on May 16 1953 and apparently closed on August 25, 1954 (The last ad I could find was in the August 19th issue of the Benzie Banner). The Cherry Bowl opened six weeks later, which might have had something to to with the demise of the Night Sky.
11/24/2003 - MichiganDriveIns.com
The NIGHT-SKY Drive-In did indeed exist, as proven with newly found 1954 newspaper ads. The June 24th 1954 issue of the Benzie Co. paper lists its location as "SOUTH JUNCTION M-115 and US-31", which is in Joyfield Township. Its exact location it yet to be found, as it doesnt show up on a topo map of this intersection
10/16/2003 - MichiganDriveIns.com
Whether or not this drive-in ever actually existed seems to be in doubt. The only solid evidence so far is the 1953-54 Theatre Catalog. It lists two drive-in theatres located in Beulah, MI. The first is the Cherry Bowl, which is actually closer to Honor. The owner is listed as L.O. Griffin, and it shows a 300-car capacity. It also notes the Cherry Bowl is under construction. The second Beulah drive-in listed is the Nite Sky. The owner is E.H. Fernette, it is on the Waxman Circuit, and the capacity is 170 cars. The location of the Nite Sky remains a mystery, as it does not appear on any of the topo maps, or aerial images of the area.
 Photos:10
Night-Sky Drive-In Theatre - LAST MINUTE PREP
LAST MINUTE PREP
Night-Sky Drive-In Theatre - OLD ARTICLE FROM RON GROSS
OLD ARTICLE FROM RON GROSS
Night-Sky Drive-In Theatre - SCREEN
SCREEN
Night-Sky Drive-In Theatre - NIGHT-SKY AD JUNE 24 1954
NIGHT-SKY AD JUNE 24 1954
Night-Sky Drive-In Theatre - NIGHT-SKY AD JULY 1 1954
NIGHT-SKY AD JULY 1 1954
Night-Sky Drive-In Theatre - OLD ARTICLE FROM RON GROSS
OLD ARTICLE FROM RON GROSS
Night-Sky Drive-In Theatre - OLD ARTICLE FROM RON GROSS
OLD ARTICLE FROM RON GROSS
Night-Sky Drive-In Theatre - OLD ARTICLE FROM RON GROSS
OLD ARTICLE FROM RON GROSS
Night-Sky Drive-In Theatre - 1954 AERIAL PHOTO
1954 AERIAL PHOTO
Night-Sky Drive-In Theatre - THEN VS NOW
THEN VS NOW
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