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Courtyard Cinemas

June 5, 2022

  • 248 S. Huron Street
  • Mackinaw City, MI 49701
  • (231) 436-7890
  • Website

Another year, another work trip to Northern Michigan.

It was time for the annual spring conference we go to every year on Mackinac Island. I decided to make the drive up on Memorial Day to avoid an early morning drive on Tuesday to get to the Grand Hotel when the conference opened at noon.

I checked in to my hotel around 4:30, had dinner at Keyhole Bar & Grill, and picked up fudge for the family at Joann’s Fudge.

It was still early and I knew there was a movie theater in town. When I was here in the fall, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Seven Rings was in theaters and I strongly considered going to see it before taking nap. This time, Bob’s Burgers had just hit theaters and I haven’t seen it yet.

I decided seeing a movie was better than sitting in my hotel room all night. I think I made the right choice.

Courtyard Cinema is in the Mackinaw Crossings shopping complex near downtown Mackinaw City. The address is Huron Street but you’ll never find it if you’re looking for it on Huron. The parking lot is on Mackinaw Crossings Drive. You can also enter the shopping center from Central Avenue and just park along the street.

You will walk past Sharky’s Mackinaw Outfitters if you’re coming from the parking lot to get to…well, the courtyard of the shopping center. That’s where you’ll find the theater.

The theater is part of the small Northern Michigan Cinemas chain of theaters. There are also theaters in Bellaire, Gaylord, Kingston, and Petoskey.

The Mackinaw City theater has five screens. The ticket counter and concession stand are right inside the door. I was a little surprised to see a line waiting to get in when I opened the door. A large group was just getting their to see Top Gun: Maverick. They were all paying separately and all paying cash which slowed things down. A couple of people came in with pre-purchased tickets online but they had to wait in the same line for concessions so it didn’t really make a difference if you pre-purchased tickets or not.

When it got to be my turn, I threw the cashier off asking for a ticket to Bob’s Burgers and a #1 Combo which is a large popcorn and large Pepsi. He was surprised anyone was there to see anything other than Top Gun.

The cost for my ticket and snacks was a little over $21.

The theater is pretty simple. There are two auditoriums right near the concession stand while the other two are down a very unremarkable hallway. I found my theater and opened the door to find it completely empty and the screen dark.

The auditoriums are kind of throw backs to the 80’s and 90’s. The seats are all on a slight incline starting at the front of the house and raising towards the back. The chairs are a little narrow and only slightly recline. I was the only one in the auditorium so I could kind of spread out using the seats around me to hold my popcorn and drink.

I was about to think they forgot that they had actually sold a ticket to this show when the screen was still dark at 7:00. I waited a few minutes then all of a sudden, a loud noise and pictures. They ran about five minutes of commercials then only one trailer…just a trailer for Thor: Love and Thunder. After that, the movie started.

Courtyard Cinema is a simple theater. Movies have gotten so expensive and have become such an experience. Theaters like Courtyard Cinema always bring me back to my college days when I was at the theater almost every night. Stadium seating with recliners can be nice occasionally, but these older theaters offer a simple moving going experience that doesn’t break the bank.

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