Monday, February 20, 2012

Manestique Drive-in Theater

Manestique, Michigan

I knew that this theater had been operating as recently as about ten years ago, but was no longer. The only address information I had was "on Rt. 2" which wasn't enough for me to find a view on Google Maps or MapQuest so I didn't know what to look for. As I neared the town the theater was easy to spot. The field is overgrown, but the screen is in terrific shape and the center house looks tight and in good repair, though I don't know if there's any equipment in it. If there is, it would be easy to start it up again, but the current owners of the property don't seem to have any interest in running a drive-in.

Manestique, Michigan

The flat land and broad sky—at least to someone who lives in southern New England—struck me as very mid-western looking, and also the light had a look I associate with being near a lot of water. The town is right on the lake and the light reminds me of the light on Cape Cod. These lakes are big. The sandy soil also reminded me of The Cape or the Jersey Shore. This is another theater that shows up well on GoogleMaps, once you find it. Here's a view of the lake shore just a few minutes down the road from the theater. To someone like me, not used to big lakes, it would be easy to pass this off as an ocean view.

Manestique, Michigan

2 comments:

Colin Griffiths said...

"the light had a look I associate with being near a lot of water"

Sorry if I'm asking about the obvious, but why DO you make that association? Perhaps here in the UK we are always near water so it's not something that I'd ever be aware of.

Carl said...

Colin, don't know if I can describe it all that specifically. I'm used to living in very hilly terrain, never a view of a flat horizon. There's a different feel to the light where the land is flat and views go off into much greater distances, like the American midwest or great plains. There's another, different sense of the light when the view is expansive and there's a wide horizon because you're at the edge of the sea, or a body of water the size of lake Michigan. Or on Cape Cod, surrounded by water nearly 360°. I think it may have to do with reflectance of skylight back up from the water, which makes a more enveloping sense of light. Humidity may factor in as well, changing the way light is transmitted through the air. I don't know exactly what it is, only that I see it and sometimes get it into a photograph.