Sanctuary Cinema, Alpena, MI

Our Story

Sanctuary Cinema is a luxury three-screen movie theater located on the corner of W Chisholm St and 2nd Ave, in the heart of downtown Alpena. The theater features state-of-the-art movie projectors and sound systems that can’t be found anywhere else in northeast Michigan. 

The cinema’s name pays tribute to Alpena’s Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, an underwater preserve on Lake Huron's Thunder Bay that protects a collection of over 100 historic shipwrecks.

JC Penney Building 1930

The Sanctuary Cinema building was built in the mid-1920s and became the first national department store in Alpena when J.C. Penney Company moved in in 1929. Years later, the store closed and was eventually converted into the former Royal Knight Cinema.

In 2020, the building was purchased by Alpena natives Jeff and Tina Konczak who oversaw extensive renovation of the property. Every detail of Sanctuary Cinema has been hand-selected to ensure a superior customer experience.

Tight rows and small seats have been replaced with cushioned recliners that offer ample legroom and a more comfortable viewing experience. The old J.C. Penney store front windows have been restored to let in sunlight and provide a view of downtown Alpena from the lobby. 

Reserve your seat today.

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