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Free Drive-In Movie Nights to Kick off in Queens This Month

Photo Courtesy of Rooftop Films

May 3, 2021 By Christina Santucci

The Queens Drive-In will return for its second act at Flushing Meadows Corona Park this summer – starting with the sold-out screening of “Star Wars” Tuesday.

Movie-goers will be able to watch the films on a 62-foot screen built on the grounds of the New York Hall of Science while sitting in their own cars.

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, who is sponsoring the series, announced the lineup for the six showings – including the 1988 classic “Coming to America,” Oscar winner “Moonlight” and animated flick “Inside Out.”

The June 24 screening of “Monsoon Wedding” will also feature a live musical performance by Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Falu.

“We’re not out of the woods when it comes to COVID-19 just yet, but that doesn’t mean we can’t safely enjoy evenings in Flushing Meadows Corona Park with our family, friends and neighbors,” Richards said in a statement. “From kids flicks to cinematic classics, there is something for every family to enjoy on the big screen this spring.”

Pre-registration is required for each screening and they open up two weeks before each showing. Organizers said social distancing will be strictly enforced, and only attendees in vehicles who have pre-registered will be admitted. Each showing can fit about 200 cars.

Attendees will also be able to purchase food and beverages on site through vendors that have previously participated in the seasonal Queens Night Market.

The “Free Movie Nights at the Queens Drive-In” screenings are listed below, and dates are subject to change:

  • Tuesday, May 4: “Star Wars” (1977) – SOLD OUT
  • Wednesday, May 19: “Inside Out” (2015)
  • Wednesday, May 26: “Moonlight” (2016)*
  • Wednesday, June 16: “Coming to America” (1988)*
  • Thursday, June 24: “Monsoon Wedding” (2001)*
  • Date TBA: “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” (2018)

*Film includes sexual content and/or violence

Movie-goers can drive into the lot approximately one hour before each film begins. For “Coming to America” and “Monsoon Wedding,” the movie is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m., and the other screenings are slated to start at 8:30 p.m. However, the exact timing is subject to change.

The film screenings, which are held rain or shine, except in the event of severe weather, are part of an ongoing film festival, the Queens Drive-In, which launched last summer through a partnership between Rooftop Films, the Museum of the Moving Image and the New York Hall of Science.

“When we conceived of the Queens Drive-In last year, our goal was to create an accessible space where the people of the city could come together safely to experience the communal joy of cinema,” Rooftop Films President Dan Nuxoll said in a statement.

The drive-in held more than 80 screenings between the summer and fall last year, and tickets to showings of other movies this summer are available for purchase, starting at $35 per car.

The Flushing Meadows Corona Park Improvement Fund, a nonprofit jointly overseen by the borough president, NYC Parks and the city comptroller, provided funding for the free screenings on Wednesdays.

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