For many people, drive-in theaters recall warm nights sitting under the stars while watching a bit of Hollywood magic. There’s good reason why people fall in love, get engaged, and bring their budding families there.
Of the approximately 130 drive-in theaters that once operated in Michigan, eight remain—a sign of the state’s devotion to automobiles, car culture, and the simple pleasures of being outside when the weather allows. These ozoners (another name for drive-ins) have every modern convenience: digital projectors, snack bars, modern restrooms, and, best of all, wide open spaces to run, play, and stroll until the sun sets and film begins. There’s also plenty of time for canoodling between double features.
These drive-in theaters generally show first-run movies. Only the Cherry Bowl in Honor limits its film selections to PG-13 and under; it seeks to be family-friendly by eliminating R-rated movies from its operations. You can bring pets to most of these theaters, but you may want to keep them on a leash as the crowds and noise can upset some sensitive dogs, cats, snakes, and racoons (yes, someone brought a racoon once to the Ford-Wyoming).
Here are Michigan’s eight official drive-in theaters, plus a highlight about each of them. The ultimate road trip would be to check out each one in a single summer—talk about bragging rights among movie aficionados.
Note: Theaters are arranged from north to south.Read More