When the sun sets over Honor on Thursday, May 1st, the Cherry Bowl Drive-in Theater’s summer 2014 season will begin with a screening of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. The film’s screening is just a part of the Cherry Bowl Jubilee—an evening of fun for both Northern Michigan kids and adults that celebrates the Cherry Bowl’s rebirth as a Northern Michigan film mecca.
The showing will be the vintage drive-in’s first since having a state-of-the-art digital projector installed to replace the soon-to-be obsolete film projector the theater had previously used. As film studios phase out celluloid film, the Cherry Bowl faced up to $80,000 in upgrading expenses; much of the funds to finance the upgrade to a digital projection system were acquired through Honda’s Project Drive-In, a crowd-sourced fundraising effort to help drive-in theaters to convert to digital.
Located in Honor near the Sleeping Bear Dunes and 20 minutes west of Traverse City, the Cherry Bowl Drive-In is the perfect end to a Northern Michigan beach day. This can’t-miss monster screen on US31 is one of Northern Michigan’s beloved vacation attractions, set as it is in Northern Michigan cherry country and at the foot of the Sleeping Bear Dunes. Since 1953, The Cherry Bowl Drive-In has been showing first-run, fam-friendly flicks. Like a well-restored and loved T-bird, The Cherry Bowl still shines like the golden oldie she is; the sound system is still the original vacuum tube motiograph amplifiers—but you can hear it all on your car’s FM radio as well.
With newly installed digital technology, film fans can count on what they’ve loved every summer night for decades: a double feature every summer evening. But movies aren’t the only reason to visit the Bowl: arrive well before show time to try your hips at Hula Hoops or play mini-golf. Some nights there are special treats, like pony rides or an appearance by Elvis. Snag dinner in the Cherry Bowl diner—broasted chicken, ribs, or make a meal out of popcorn with real butter. When the lights flicker on the screen, beeline it for your car or for a place en plein air in the front row. You’re in for some of the best entertainment under the Northern stars.
For more information, call 231.325.3413 or visit CherryBowlDriveIn.com.