The Big Boy entry on Wikipedia says that Elias Brothers Big Boy franchise was founded by Fred, John and Louis Elias and covered Michigan, Northeastern Ohio, Ontario, Canada from 1952–2000:
In 1938 the brothers opened Fred’s Chili Bowl in Detroit and later the Dixie Drive-In in Hazel Park, which would become the first Elias Brothers Big Boy. Considered the “first official franchisee” because they were the first to formally apply to Bob Wian. They worked with Wian, Schoenbaum and Manfred Bernhard to create the iconic 1956 Big Boy character design and launch the comic book. Owned the Big Boy parent from 1987 through 2000. Many units continue operations but none use Elias Brothers name. Fred Elias became an original member of the Big Boy Board of Directors.
One of the all-time most popular posts on Michigan in Pictures is the Big Boy Graveyard, so you might want to check that out too.
Check Mark’s photo out bigger and see more in his slideshow. Mark also operates the awesome website 360Michigan that features panoramic photos of Michigan. He’s got the Belle Isle Aquarium on the front page and a whole lot more in his Michigan section.