After 50 years of dating, one couple looks back on the drive-in movies through the years

By Scott Atkinson |

Jerry and Janet Coryciak sit in front of their 1962 Corvette at the Back to the Bricks kickoff party at the U.S. 23 Drive-in. The couple, married eight years, started dating 50 years ago, and some of those first dates were at the drive-in.

MUNDY TOWNSHIP, MICHIGAN–Fifty years ago, Jerry and Janet Coryciak were on one of their first dates at a drive-in theater in Genesee County.

“We’re celebrating our 50th year of dating,” Janet Corysiak said, sitting with her husband of eight years in some lawn chairs in front of their 1962 Corvette.

They were at the U.S. 23 Drive-In theater for the Back to the Bricks kickoff party with more than a thousand other people, the same place where they had one of their first dates.

Well, that might have been the theater.

“You don’t remember taking me to the drive-in?” said Janet, turning to her husband as he tried to remember some of their earlier dates.

“The first thing to go is your memory,” laughed Jerry Coryciak, but he quickly recovered. “We were 16 and 17 at the time. It was here, wasn’t it?”

One thing is for sure, though, the couple knows drive-ins, and what makes them special. Sitting  in the shade while oldies songs played over the theater’s speakers, the couple recounted what it was like to go to the drive-ins when they were the place to be.

“It was laid back. It was cool. You didn’t have kids in the front row hootin’ and hollerin’,” said Jerry Coryciak–a Buick retiree who still carries his General Motors ID card and is proud that his initials are G.M.C.

But it wasn’t just for dates, Janet Coryciak said.

Back to the Bricks Kicks Off

Janet Coryciak was wearing a pink poodle skirt she made herself at the kickoff party. She said she was too young to wear them in the ’50s when they were popular, but when Back to the Bricks rolls around, she pulls them out of the closet.

Like attending the drive-ins, it’s a way of looking back on those years when the classic cars that surrounded them at the theater were cruising all over the place, before an event like Back the Bricks was needed to unite the gearheads.

“As far as the Bricks goes, I started making these about three years ago, and when the Bricks rolls around, I live in the poodle skirt,” she said. “Some people don’t know me without my skirt.”

The kickoff party is just the beginning to the five-day car event. It continues to Aug. 15 and 16 with the rolling cruise, where classic cars can be seen all up and down Saginaw Street from downtown Flint to downtown Grand Blanc.

The car show begins Aug. 17 at 6 p.m. and will continue Aug. 18 at 8 a.m. and continue all day long.

For more information, check out our complete Back to the Bricks guide, or see more of our coverage at the Back to the Bricks page.

Scott Atkinson is an entertainment reporter for the Flint Journal and can be reached at (810) 262-0216 or at You can also follow Scott on Facebook or Twitter.

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