Honor, MI - This Northern Michigan drive-in movie theater is a nostalgia trip

posted by ThrHistoricalSociety on July 11, 2017 at 4:43 pm


From MLive.com: Nostalgists, take note: Northern Michigan is home to a moviegoing experience that’s part of a not-quite-bygone era. The Cherry Bowl Drive-In Theatre near Honor – about a 40-minute drive from Traverse City – throws back harder and farther than most in this throwback business. The Cherry Bowl is a place for a classic family outing, offering a double-feature, activities for kids and all the nostalgic touches of a summer night out in the ’50s. Here are five things you need to know about this historic place.

In business since 1953 The Cherry Bowl has been operating for more than six decades, and features mini-golf, a playground and a diner-style concession stand. Classic cars and a landmark chicken statue decorate the grounds. Entrepreneurs Harry and Laura Clark purchased the theater in 1997. Prior to his death in 2012, Harry’s voice was a mainstay of a Cherry Bowl visit – he used to announce birthdays and welcome first-time visitors over the speakers.

Old-school sound Unlike most drive-ins still in business, the Cherry Bowl didn’t ditch the metal vacuum tube speakers you hang on your car window, the ultimate in authentic, mono-throwback audio. However, those who prefer modern stereo sound also can tune in with your FM radio.

Everybody sing: “Let’s all go to the lobby…” Remember the animated dancing popcorn and soda? Sure you do. And you can squint at those vintage intermission bumpers and cartoons on YouTube, or see them how they’re supposed to be seen at the Cherry Bowl.

Family friendly movies only Want to see the latest foulmouthed comedy or gory horror flick? You’ll have to go somewhere else – the Cherry Bowl caps its programming at PG-13 films.

It went digital in 2013 One bit of modern technology has been forced upon the Cherry Bowl, though. Movie distributors have done away with 35mm film prints and gone full digital, requiring theaters to undergo expensive upgrades. In 2013, the Cherry Bowl was among five drive-ins nationwide to rally enough votes to win a digital projection system from Honda, which staged a promotion to “save” drive-in theaters; 122 theaters participated.

Story link, more photos: http://www.mlive.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2017/07/this_northern_michigan_drive-i.html

ABOUT THEATRE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA: Founded by Ben Hall in 1969, the Theatre Historical Society of America (THS) celebrates, documents and promotes the architectural, cultural and social relevance of America’s historic theatres. Through its preservation of the collections in the American Theatre Architecture Archive, its signature publication Marquee™ and Conclave Theatre Tour, THS increases awareness, appreciation and scholarly study of America’s theatres.

Learn more about historic theatres in the THS American Theatre Architecture Archives and on our website at historictheatres.org



Comments (1)

dianekeaton on March 16, 2019 at 8:50 pm

the Cherry Bowl was among five drive-ins nationwide to rally enough votes to win a digital projection system from Honda. https://scottmannshow.com

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