Benzie Chamber’s Cherry Bowl Jubilee kicks off Drive-in season

Benzie Chamber’s Cherry Bowl Jubilee kicks off Drive-in season

Drive-in theatre goes digital in 2014

From staff reports

The Benzie County Chamber of Commerce will hold a Cherry Bowl Jubilee at the popular Cherry Bowl Drive-in theatre on the evening of Thursday, May 1. The Cherry Bowl, which officially opens its season the following day, boasts a new digital projection system this year, which it won from American Honda Motor Co. in an online voting contest last fall.

The Jubilee, which benefits the Benzie Chamber, runs from at 6:30-11 p.m. (gates open at 6) and will feature family-fun activities including putt-putt golf, a cake walk, a dunk tank, music and face painting. The popular movie E.T. the Extra Terrestrial, selected through an online poll, will be the evening’s feature film and begin at dusk, approximately 8:50 p.m. Tickets for the event cost $10 in advance for ages 6 and up, $13 at the gate, and children under age 6 get in free. Your ticket price includes the movie, small popcorn, small soda, games and activities. Purchase your ticket at the Benzie County Chamber of Commerce in Benzonia or online at

“The Chamber fundraising committee was brainstorming ideas last winter for an event that not only would facilitate a way to raise funds for the Chamber’s building improvement and repair needs but would offer benefit to our members and be fun for families in the entire Northern Michigan region,” says Chamber president Mary Carroll. “The idea of holding an event at the Cherry Bowl Drive-in Theatre came up, which opened up lots of possibilities for activities to add to this event.”

The Cherry Bowl Drive-in celebrates 62 years of family fun in Northern Michigan this season. The outdoor theater offers an authentic throwback experience to the 1950s, including a sound system with the original vacuum tube motiograph amplifiers that still power the speaker. The speaker posts light up with a warm red glow for an exceptional visual experience during the show. The Cherry Bowl also offers FM Radio sound, so you can hear the movie’s entire soundtrack through your car stereo system.

The Cherry Bowl was one of 122 drive-in theatres to participate in the Japanese carmaker’s “Project Drive-in” social media campaign. According to, the campaign was an attempt to save as many drive-ins as possible through increased awareness, community involvement and fundraising. Michigan has at least 10 drive-in theatres. But as many as 150 others have already closed in the state in recent decades.

Check out this video promoting Honda’s “Project Drive-in” , and support the Benzie Chamber and the Cherry Bowl Drive-in on May 1.

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Jacob Wheeler

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