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Popular drive-in theatre ‘hoping, pleading with governor’ to reopen

Owner of The Capri in Coldwater puts up sign stating 'Want to Open, Can't, Call Gov, Thanks.’
Posted at 10:17 PM, Apr 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-29 06:59:01-04

COLDWATER, Mich. — Over the last few weeks, Susan Magocs kept hearing the same questions and comments from people around town.

‘Why aren’t you open? Why aren't you open? We’re in a car,' she recalled.

Susan co-owns The Capri, a family-run drive-in movie theatre on U.S. 12.

Monday afternoon, she put up a sign in front of the theatre that read ‘Want to Open, Cant, Call Gov, Thanks.’

“We can't open. How could you show movies when you can't open? That's our dilemma,” Susan said during an interview with FOX 17 on Monday. “We can really social distance, I mean seriously, in the car. So we can do that. We're just hoping and pleading with the governor to let us get open as soon as possible.”

Susan said they’ve been closed since the Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's stay-at-home order went into effect on March 24.

Since then they’ve opened only once, when they allowed a church association to celebrate Easter at their drive-in movie theatre.

However they’d like to open The Capri again which, according to their website, states that the New York Times and USA Today considered it to be one of the best drive-ins in the country in 2001.

“It's a hot spot not even for people just here in Coldwater but, believe it or not, people travel from almost a 150-mile radius to come here ‘cause we are their drive-in,” Susan added. “When you come here, I think that's what we're going to see again, it's like stepping back in time.”

Susan said the automobile industry is what led to the rise of drive-in movie theatres, especially in Michigan.

Soon one of them will open. FOX 17’s sister station WXYZ in Detroit reported that Canterbury Village in Lake Orion will ‘start drive-in movies’ on Thursday, while practicing social distancing.

FOX 17 reached out to the governor's office for a comment on why certain drive-ins are re-opening and others aren''t and have yet to hear back.

Nevertheless, Susan's son Michael Magocs said when they open, they’ll do the same thing.

“This year, what's huge is actually we have a fan food. It's where we can actually deliver food out to our customers now or they can pick it up,” said Michael, who manages The Capri. “So that's definitely going to help keep everyone safe, from coming to snack bar.”

He said they also discussed hosting graduations there for local seniors who didn't get the chance to walk across their school's stage.

“At least we can acknowledge the seniors, all the hard work, all those years of schooling, at least they can be recognized,” Michael added. “And do a little slide show on the screen for them, do something nice.”

However, before the Magocs do anything that have to wait for the state’s approval, they said.

With the weather getting warmer, they hope it comes soon, Susan said.

“People say ‘well you know they have this stimulus and you can take that,’” Susan said. “I don't want the money. I want to get open. I want to run my business.”