Travel from charming hamlet to quaint village on a five-day film odyssey around the shore. See the sights, try a new restaurant, and experience great theaters—it’s a scenic Northern Michigan adventure that will drive home just what makes this region the most glorious place on earth for film lovers.
Best of all, get five films under your belt before the festival even begins, and ease your schedule gridlock!
Important Ticketing Info: Tickets for Movies Around the Bay will go on sale to Friends of the Film Festival on Sunday, July 12 and to the public on Wednesday, July 15 at 12 noon at the main festival box office (201 E. Front St.) and online, only. Remaining tickets will then be made available for purchase at the door on the day of each individual event. Cash only please.
Monday, July 20 | Dusk
Cherry Bowl Drive-In Theatre
When Marnie Was There
Enchanting film lovers since 1953, the Cherry Bowl is a true classic, and a summer tradition for locals and visitors alike. With its original car window-mounted speakers, old-fasioned concessions stand, vintage signs and cartoons, the Cherry Bowl’s sparkling retro charm is pure moviegoing goodness. Tickets for the Cherry Bowl are $10 and children under 12 are FREE!
Tuesday, July 21 | 7 pm
Elk Rapids Cinema
Digging for Fire
Conveniently located just steps from the scenic shores of East Grand Traverse Bay, Elk Rapids Cinema features unique elements to accommodate every type of moviegoer. The theater seats 300 patrons, and full rocking chairs with hinge-up armrests comprise its center section.Along with this great theater comes its rich history. Originally named Elk Rapids State Theater, Elk Rapids Cinema first opened its doors in September 1940. Preserved relics from the theater’s opening days still stand, including the lobby’s original lights and drinking fountain. Perhaps the theater’s most famous historical element is its breathtaking ceiling, the world’s largest blacklight mural. The bright, swirling mural is the perfect complement to the theater’s vintage appeal, making it an experience you will not want to miss.Outside the cinema, Elk Rapids itself is a great example of the beauty northern Michigan has to offer. It is also home to Harbor Days, a fun summer running from August 5th through 8th.
Wednesday, July 22 | 7 pm
The Garden Theater
The Garden Theater in Frankfort has comfortable seating, fantastic popcorn, and quite an illustrious history. Originally built in 1923, it eventually fell into a state of disrepair until a group of community members restored it to its former glory in 2009. The renovations included the installation of a new heating and cooling system, upgraded Dolby digital sound, Art Deco tile, and brand-new seating. Nowadays the Garden Theater features a variety of first-run, independent, and foreign films. In addition to the latest and greatest in cinema, it also screens classic films during its popular Garden Greats series. The Garden Theater is located along the picturesque Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore—a geographic marvel recently deemed “Good Morning America’s” Most Beautiful Place in America. Don’t miss the opportunity to see a film at this iconic Northern Michigan theater.
Thursday, July 23 | 7 pm
The Bay Theatre
Clouds of Sils Maria
Nestled on the quaint streets of historic Suttons Bay, the Bay Theatre has been entertaining locals since 1946. Dedicated to showing quality films from both Hollywood and around the world, this historical venue will to appeal to any avid moviegoer.Seating 271, the cinema has a cozy feel that is sure to charm. To complement its great films, the Bay Theatre is renowned for its unique concessions options, including local cherry soda.To this day, the Bay Theatre retains a turn-of-the-century appeal, proudly displaying its original seats and hardwood floors. In the midst of the theater’s evident history, a new digital projector and state-of-the-art sound system bring a hint of modernism, providing the best viewing experience possible.With quality creative programming showing 365 days a year, the historic Bay Theatre blends the beauty of the past with the perks of the present, making it a gem of the Sutton’s Bay area.
Friday, July 24 | 7 pm
The Historic Vogue Theatre of Manistee
Monty Python: The Meaning of Live
The Historic Vogue Theatre – on River Street in beautiful downtown Manistee – was reborn in December 2013 after three years of grassroots efforts. This long-shuttered 1938 art-deco cinema house is owned & operated by the Vogue nonprofit , a 501c3 organization, and aided by the Traverse City Film Festival. Over $2.5 Million was invested to help create a cinema experience highlighted by historically-themed amenities, fully-optimized design and cutting-edge digital technology. Overseen by a small yet hearty staff, the daily operation of the Vogue is possible without the hundreds of dedicated, passionate volunteers who generously give their time and efforts to provide a first-rate movie-going experience.Featuring two screens – one seating 190 and the other 45 – the Vogue brings an appealing mix of programming to Manistee including first-run blockbusters, independent films, classics and low-priced family films.