As drive-in theaters continue to make a resurgence in the bounce back from COVID-19, moviegoers will soon have yet another option for getting their cinematic fix.
Located on the grounds of the New York Hall of Science in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, the Queens Drive-In will open next week with an August 13th screening of Michael Almereyda’s “Tesla.”
Starring Ethan Hawke as renowned inventor Nikola Tesla, the film, which won the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, will make its New York premiere at the top of the Queens Drive-In lineup.
“Tesla” is just one of more than 50 showings planned to take place through October as part of a drive-in film festival. The series will be split between two screening locations: the Queens Drive-In and the Brooklyn Drive-In, which launched July 17 at the Brooklyn Army Terminal.
The season-long initiative is hosted in partnership with Rooftop Films as part of an effort to provide a safe space for the city’s diverse communities to come together around arts and culture.
Queens Drive-In will also help sustain jobs and offset losses in the local film exhibition, event production and museum sectors.
“For 24 years, it has been Rooftop’s mission to bring New Yorkers together via the medium of film,” said Rooftop Films artistic director Dan Nuxoll. “With theaters shuttered and most festivals postponed or moving to streaming, we hope that these events will be part of a collaborative healing process for our neighbors, and give us an opportunity to once again spotlight the most daring new films from around the world.”
Astoria’s Museum of the Moving Image collaborated with the Queens Drive-In as well, curating a collection of presentations that includes new releases, repertory films, shorts by local filmmakers and selections that reflect a range of the museum’s programming.
Attendees to the Queens Drive-In can also expect a unique thematic experience tied to the Hall of Science’s brand of hands-on, immersive exhibitions.
The organizations behind the outdoor film festival also intend to utilize drive-in venues as additional resources for some of the neighborhoods hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
A portion of ticket sales from the Queens Drive-In will be donated to Elmcor, a youth and adult social services provider operating in East Elmhurst and Corona.
A schedule of soon-to-be-announced free film screenings, sponsored by the Office of the Queens Borough President, Councilman Francisco Moya and Department of Parks and Recreation, will be held at the Queens Drive-In starting in mid-August.
“In this unusual New York summer without concerts and other large-scale events in the parks,” said Acting Queens Borough President Sharon Lee, “Queens is proud to partner with Rooftop Films and others to present this drive-in movie series as an option for families and friends to enjoy together while still prioritizing safety.”
Tickets are on sale starting at $35 per car, with a limit of four passengers per vehicle and a 15 percent discount offered to members of presenting organizations. Visit rooftopfilms.com/drivein/queens/
to purchase tickets and find more information.