Seeing a movie at home: kind of routine, not special. Seeing a movie at a movie theater: depends on your comfort level and whether studios start releasing decent new films again. But seeing a classic movie on a giant drive-in theater screen: pretty sweet (assuming you have a car). The popularity of drive-in movie theaters in the city during the pandemic, and it looks like they’re sticking around—and this summer, you’ll have the chance to see at least six free screenings at the Queens Drive-In.
The Queens Drive-In, located at Flushing Meadows Corona Park, was one of the most popular of the new drive-ins to pop up last summer; it resumed showing films, including a lot of well-curated double features with clever themes, this past March. On Friday, they announced six “Free Movie Nights at the Queens Drive-In” including: Star Wars on May 4th (coinciding with May The 4th Be With You Day); Inside Out on May 19th; Moonlight on May 26th; Coming To America on June 16th; Monsoon Wedding on June 24th (this will include a live musical performance by Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Falu); and Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse on a date TBD.
Space is limited, with a capacity of approximately 200 vehicles for each showing. You have to register ahead of time to be able to attend, and pre-registration opens up two weeks prior to each showing here—as of now, Star Wars is the only one available of these six.
The drive-in is showing a bunch of other films throughout May and June, including a double-showing of Godzilla and King Kong; a double-showing of Fist of Fury and Lady Snowblood; and individual showings of Jaws, Mamma Mia!, Carrie, Batman, Groundhog Day and more. There is also a free showing of 28 Days Later (plus The Polio Crusade) on May 13th.
You can check out the full film lineup here. All tickets for single movies cost $35 per vehicle; tickets for double features cost $45. Cars can have up to five people inside.
The Queens Drive-In is a collaboration between Rooftop Films, the Museum of the Moving Image (MoMI), and the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI), and is located on the grounds of the New York Hall of Science in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. There are similar safety precautions as previously: you buy tickets beforehand, you have to stay inside your car while watching the film (although concessions and bathrooms are available onsite), and you have to wear your mask any time you exit your vehicle.
Organizers previously told Gothamist that they are “in conversation with the City and State agencies to determine whether in the future it will be safe and legal to adapt the event spaces to accommodate socially distanced walk-up attendees.”