Cherry Bowl Drive-In Theatre - Honor MI

Address: 9812 Honor Hwy
City: Honor
State: MI
Zip: 49640
County: Benzie
Owner History:
Theater Type: N/A
Number of visits to this page: 34877

Please note that location entries may feature older photos or post card views that may not represent the current appearance, features, addresses, phone numbers, or contact names of the attraction. This site is intended to be a historical as well as current record of various attractions but it is not always possible to have up-to-date information due to the vast number of locations featured here. We ask you consult the propietor for current information.

General Information:

The Cherry Bowl Drive-In, so named for its location in Michigan’s northwestern cherry growing region (in fact, the theater is still surrounded by cherry orchards today), opened on July 4, 1953 with James Stewart in “The Greatest Show on Earth” & Barbara Payton in “Bride of the Gorilla”.

In the late-1950’s, its single screen was enlarged to accomodate CinemaScope features. The screen tower is emblazoned with the drive-in’s name, and three bright red cherries on a blue background. The screen is said to be the largest in the northern part of the state.

Keeping with the Cherry Bowl’s classic 1950’s theme, not only is a double feature screened, but vintage cartoons and features, as well. The theater’s season is May through September, and in keeping with its wholesome atmosphere, doesn’t show films with a rating higher than PG-13.

The Cherry Bowl Drive-In is more than a movie experience, however, with a 1950’s-themed minature golf course, volleyball courts, batting cages and kiddie playground on its property–even a 1950’s-style diner is located at the drive-in!

In 2003, the Cherry Bowl Drive-In celebrated a half-century in business, continuing to live up to its motto of “Fine Film, Food, Fun and Family Entertainment.” [Cinema Treasures] Contributed by Bryan Krefft

The owners of this theater also ran the Crystal at Beulah, the Saukee at Lake City and the Wexford at Manton.

Click the following links for locations of interest nearby:
Info Updates:
4/3/2012 - Mrs. Thompson
HONOR — The Cherry Bowl Drive-In Theatre will open this year, but it likely will be without Harry Clark's familiar voice announcing birthdays and first-time patrons over the car-window and post speakers. Clark, who with his family owns the landmark drive-in on U. S. 31 outside Honor in Benzie County, is recovering from serious injuries he received March 10 in a winter storm-related accident. The drive-in was expected to open April 27 for its 59th season. But that probably will be delayed, perhaps until summer, said Andrew Clark, who has helped operate the drive-in with his parents since they bought the Cherry Bowl in 1997. I'm going to be going over there in the next few weeks and doing some work and getting speakers hung, he said. At least I'm going to get things ready. As far as we're concerned, we're going to go on with the drive-in. Andrew Clark, 35, of Frankfort, said he was helping clear storm damage on his parents' Benzonia property when a tree they were cutting fell and struck his father's head. Andrew Clark used the family's tractor to carry his father through deep snow to the end of the driveway, where North Flight EMS waited. Harry Clark was airlifted to Munson Medical Center, where he remains in serious condition. He said he couldn't feel anything, said Andrew Miller, owner of A. Papano's Pizza in Beulah and a reserve deputy with the Benzie County Sheriff's Office. That's where the rumor started that he might be paralyzed. It's coming into more fact now that he probably is paralyzed. The Clarks are the second owners of the Cherry Bowl since it opened in 1953. Harry Clark, 63, and his wife, Laura, took on the theater — a favorite destination for area vacationers and locals alike — after dropping out of the Detroit corporate world and moving north to raise their family. Their daughter, Arika Clark, 30, also will help run the theater business this season, Andrew Clark said. The iconic drive-in is a familiar sight to motorists who travel the highway between Beulah and Honor. Signs hanging along a fence proclaim See you in the spring, and classic cars and funky sculptures decorate the venue. The screen's blue backside features a cluster of cherries. The Cherry Bowl is known for a family-friendly 1950s atmosphere that includes a mini-golf course, a playground, a beach volleyball court, hula hoop contests and lucky numbers drawings. Patrons are encouraged to honk their car horns for birthdays and first-timers. Double feature films traditionally begin at dusk daily between Memorial and Labor Days and on weekends about a month before and after. None are rated higher than PG-13. If he has a real good movie, the cars will be backed way up to Platte Road, said Sue Sheffield, who sees lots of visitors at her nearby Lone Pine Party Store. The theater is a hometown treasure and community tradition for many in Benzie County and beyond. For those visitors who come every year, the Cherry Bowl is one of those things they want to do, said Chris Theobald, who owns the Honor Motel and knows Clark. People come from all over the state to visit this drive-in theater. And it's very original as you know, and he prides himself on that. Movie-goers sometimes spend the night at the pale yellow, roadside hotel after catching a late-night double feature. Theobald also attends when possible, in what has become a summer rite for some families. Clark and his family have been in the thoughts of many in the small town. He's (a) wonderful, super nice fellow, Theobald said. Elaine Newbold, of Frankfort, takes her family to the Cherry Bowl in the summers. She appreciates the family-orientated venue and how Clark always thanks and honors service members before movies start. He's super patriotic, she said. Her children would have been devastated if the drive-in had closed, and others in town also are grateful to know movies will screen under the stars once again. I'm thrilled to hear that they are going to be reopening. I was concerned about that, Theobald said. It's good news for our entire area. We pride ourselves on the Cherry Bowl, and it just would have been a tremendous loss if it had not reopened because of that. (This article appeared in the Traverse City Record Eagle).
3/22/2011 - Dennis Prestia
We have a vacation home near Crystal Mountian since 1970 I was 20 years old. We would always grab a few bags of cherrys and sit on lawn chairs and enjoy the show with Mom and Dad. Than in the 90's I would take my 3 daughters there in my pick-up and park in the back row and pull in with the bed of my truck facing the screen, we would get out the blankets and bundle up in the bed and watch the show. I sure miss those times. Now the girls are all grown up and we don't go anymore. I wish I could have kept them between 5 and 8 years old forever, but like they say nothing is forever but memorys.
7/3/2008 - cCWinnieWiWnnieW
In 1982 I moved from the Detroit area to Sanford Lake. I noticed your Drive-in and decided to take it in one night. So I packed my Mom and my dog Sassy in the car along with a nephew. When we went through the line the gal taking our money handed me a package and inside the package was a few dog bones. My nephew, who was 5 at the time, asked where his goodies were and I told him if he liked dog bones he was welcomed to one. Needless to say I had to go to the canteen and get something for him. From that day on when I wanted to go to the show you had my business. Thank you for being so kind to animals. You have my permission to post my comment. It is well deserved!
1/7/2003 - WaterWinterWonderland
The Cherry Bowl has a definite 1950s feel. There is a putt-putt course, batting cages and a diner with great broasted chicken. There are also numerous special events throughout the season. Very clean and well-maintained.
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