This drive-in theater was built and opened in 1953 by J. L. LeDuc who also operated the Cedar and Oak Theaters in Manistique, Michigan. The drive in opened as the US-2 Drive-In and changed to Cinema Two in 1972 when LeDuc sold it to David Vaughan who operated it along with a new hard top, Cinema One. Vaughan sold both theaters to William Giles in 1995. Closing in 2001, the Cinema Two Drive-In Theater was the last drive-in throughout the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The drive-in sat mostly dormant for the next 15 years until the founding members of the Upper Peninsula Film Union began talks of re-opening the drive-in for select showings in the summer of 2016. With permission from the property owner, the first movie was shown on the big screen in over 15 years on July 15th, 2016. There were three events during the first season culminating in the now community favorite, Fright Night, the weekend before Halloween. The next season brought two more events, and the third season, the summer of 2018, afforded four events for the people of the Upper Peninsula to enjoy! In 2018, the first annual Hwy 2 Labor Day Weekend event was held boasting a car theme to coincide with the annual Manistique Car Show. In October 2018, the Upper Peninsula Film Union acquired the property and changed the name to the Hwy 2 Community Drive-In Theater. This change was designed to reflect the new model being used by the Film Union. The drive-in property had now become a true community space for all to use. All drive-in movie events were free to the public due to generous sponsors and the concession stand was run by a different non-profit organization during each event to be used as a fundraiser. The Film Union now owns and operates the drive-in for select showings throughout the summer and fall seasons. The 2020 season brought change to the Hwy 2 Community Drive-In Theater in the form of the global pandemic. A plethora of events occurred in 2020 affording a safe venue for people to gather. The Manistique High School graduation ceremony, the local Girl Scouts Bridging Ceremony, a local private elementary school "drive-through meet and greet" with teachers, socially distanced pictures with Santa Claus, a Covid-safe Kiddie Parade for Independence Day, and drive-in concerts of nationally renowned artists such as Garth Brooks, Blake Shelton and Metallica were all events held at the Hwy 2 Community Drive-In Theater. A record SIX drive-in movie events were planned by the U.P. Film Union for the 2021 season! Another drive-in concert showcasing Jon Bon Jovi occurred in late May of 2021. While four events were originally scheduled for the 2022 season, a special event was added midway through the season. On November 5th, 2022, the U.P. Film Union hosted a special Grumpy Old Men Double Feature screening. The 2023 season brought more improvements to the building including an updated projector affording a far superior viewing experience for everyone! We are currently working on the 2024 season. When everything is finalized check out the "Upcoming Events" page to see the 2024 season at-a-glance!
Drive in Theaters Were Once the Rage in Michigan