Elk Rapids Cinema - Elk Rapids MI

Address: 205 River St
City: Elk Rapids
State: MI
Zip: 49629
County: Antrim
Owner History:
Theater Type: Small Town Movie Palace
Number of visits to this page: 12917

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:

From the website:

The Elk Rapids Cinema opened in September 1940 as the Elk Rapids State Theatre. The theatre was built and operated by Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Loomis

The Elk Rapids Cinema is located in downtown Elk Rapids at 205 River Street. The theatre has been recently renovated with new plush seats, an upgraded sound system and a state-of-the-art digital projector. We have also restored the mural that covers the entire ceiling of the theatre...the world's largest black light ceiling mural.

If you use a hearing aid or have a friend that does, you may be interested in our hearing assisted sound system. It is called a t-coil system and many hearing aids have a "t" switch on them. If your hearing aid does not have this switch, we also can provide a pair of personal headphones free of charge. The system only works within the auditorium while a film is running.

The theatre still has the original cry room intact and in working condition for those with small children. Just ask to use - no charge! We are often asked what movie will be showing next. Please know that we select Friday's movie on the previous Monday, five days before it starts. While we typically have an idea in mind as to what we would like to play, it is not finalized until this day. Exceptions to this happen when Monday is a legal holiday (many film distributors are closed), then we contract for the film on Tuesday.

Because we are a one-screen theatre, we do not typically play movies the day they come out nationally. If we were to play a film on opening day, we would usually have to keep it for two to six weeks depending on the company and the contract. Therefore, to get the most variety of films, we wait about three to five weeks before playing new releases.

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Info Updates:
1/19/2023 - Chuck Cook
Joe Yuchasz has passed away at age 82. May he rest well. https://upnorthlive.com/news/local/community-mourning-elk-rapids-icon-movie-theatre-joe
9/4/2013 - UpNorthLive
ELK RAPIDS - Small town theaters are feeling the pressure when it comes to the move to digital. At the end of the year, filmmakers are switching to digital, making film obsolete. The Elk Rapids Cinema made the switch recently. The digital system has been up and running for about a week, but the owner said it has been a long time coming. For forty years, Joe Yuchasz has called the Elk Rapids Cinema his own. The one-screen theater dates back to 1940. Many changes have taken place at the theater over the years, like installing new seats and carpet. The last round of improvements took place in 2008 and 2009. “We just about finished paying for that, so I guess we're ready for the next step and another bill,” said Joe Yuchasz, owner of Elk Rapids Cinema. “We're in good enough shape to borrow the money. ” The media change, from film to digital, is one that affects theaters nationwide and carries a hefty price tag. The new projector for Elk Rapids Cinema cost over $60,000. When you factor in a new sound system, ventilation, and training, the total is closer to $80,000. The movies are now delivered on hard drives which are much more durable than film. “The hard drive doesn't scratch, and it doesn't get water marks on it, and it doesn't get dirt on it,” said Yuchasz. “It’s easier to show a film. You don’t have to thread the projector anymore. You just push a button and say do it again. ” Yuchasz decided to keep the film equipment around. It stands silently next to the new projector. “We may or may not use the film equipment again, I don't know,” explained Yuchasz. “Obviously, if the digital goes down tomorrow and has to be removed and sent to the factory, there's 35mm copies we can call up and say send me a 35. ” Yuchasz said he does not plan on increasing prices to help offset the loan. “The local audience is very supportive, so if that continues, we'll probably be ok. ” The digital switch saves theaters money when it comes to shipping and handling. The new hard drives weigh around two and a half pounds. The film reels typically come in 50 or 60 pound boxes. The movie theater owner said he loves his job. “Almost everyone is coming here to have a good time. Very few people feel forced to see a film. ” You can find Yuchasz behind the candy counter, talking to people about movies and selling candy bars.
12/17/2004 - King Chuck
I did my research and yep, the pic of the cinema was indeed from 1940 since it was the date "I Love Adventure" was released. As you can tell, the exterior has almost never changed. Also of note, Joe Yuchasz told me that when the theatre opened in 1940, they didnt have their State sign til shortly after it opened. Of course it was dismantled when it became the Elk Rapids Cinema in 1960. From 1960 to 1973, they had their Technicolor "Cinema" sign on the light fixture. However, when Yuchasz bought the theatre in 1973, he took it down because it had a plethora of dead bugs trapped underneath.
12/12/2004 - King Chuck
The infamous "black light ceiling mural" still exists and is a big reason why the cinemas popular, though time hadnt been friendly to it. Years of a leaky roof did take some toll on it with some water damage. However, owner Joe Yuchasz recently slapped on a new roof and is in the process of restoring the mural. Its the main reason why visitors of the theatre are greeted by a platform as they enter the auditorium.
12/3/2003 - King Chuck
The State Cinema in Elk Rapids is indeed the current-day Elk Rapids Cinema. It was the State from its inception in 1940 to 1960. Joe Yuchasz, the theaters owner (and Elk Rapids mayor) is the theaters 3rd owner. Hes owned it since 1973.
12/3/2003 - Box Office Magazine
July 4 1960 Issue - Mr. and Mrs. Howard Coddington of Traverse City, who used to run a circuit of free shows, were in town to visit exchanges and announced the aquisition of the State Theatre at Elk Rapids, formerly operated by Ed C. Loomis.
Elk Rapids Cinema - Old Postcard Photo Of The State
Old Postcard Photo Of The State
Elk Rapids Cinema - Old State Photo From Paul
Old State Photo From Paul
Elk Rapids Cinema - November 2006
November 2006
Elk Rapids Cinema - Summer 2012
Summer 2012
Elk Rapids Cinema - Old Shot As The State
Old Shot As The State
Elk Rapids Cinema - Summer 2002 Pic
Summer 2002 Pic
Elk Rapids Cinema - Projector From King Chuck
Projector From King Chuck
Elk Rapids Cinema - Concession From King Chuck
Concession From King Chuck
Elk Rapids Cinema - Screen
Elk Rapids Cinema - Old Post Card View
Old Post Card View
Elk Rapids Cinema - Interior Shot From King Chuck
Interior Shot From King Chuck
Elk Rapids Cinema - Interior Shot From King Chuck
Interior Shot From King Chuck
Elk Rapids Cinema - Interior Shot From King Chuck
Interior Shot From King Chuck
Elk Rapids Cinema - Interior Shot From King Chuck
Interior Shot From King Chuck
Elk Rapids Cinema - 1940 Post Card
1940 Post Card
Elk Rapids Cinema - Fall 2007 From Kara Tillotson
Fall 2007 From Kara Tillotson
Elk Rapids Cinema - Fall 2007 From Kara Tillotson
Fall 2007 From Kara Tillotson
Elk Rapids Cinema - Fall 2007 From Kara Tillotson
Fall 2007 From Kara Tillotson
Elk Rapids Cinema - Fall 2007 From Kara Tillotson
Fall 2007 From Kara Tillotson
Elk Rapids Cinema - Fri Jul 18 1969 Ad
Fri Jul 18 1969 Ad
Elk Rapids Cinema - Old Poster
Old Poster
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