Drive-in movie theaters are making a comeback all around New York City. With movie theaters closed because of the coronavirus pandemic, drive-in theaters are opening and reopening, with a broad range of experiences. Some are offering snacks, others are putting together double features of new releases and classic films. All drive-ins offer the chance to catch a film on a large screen under the stars. New Yorkers have plenty of choices, too: here are the best drive-in theater options in the New York City metro area.
2020 Drive-In Movies: Greenpoint Film Festival
Photo courtesy of Sicily Publicity.
Starting this Saturday, August 1st, you can take part in a great festival that honors independent filmmakers and documentarians. Some of the films that will be on display include Chuck Berry, about one of the founders of rock-and-roll, before/during/after, written and starring Orange Is the New Black star Finnerty Steeves, and the short film American Marriage from Oscar-winning writer James Ivory (Call Me by Your Name). The festival also features local stories like Microplastic Madness, which centers around Brooklyn fifth-graders from P.S. 15 in Red Hook, researching plastic pollution in NYC. The drive-ins will take place in two locations, The Foundry (42-38 9th St., Long Island City) and The Lot (211 Meserole Ave., Brooklyn). The festival continues through August 9th. greenpointfilmfestival.org.
2020 Drive-In Movies: Rooftop Films Summer Series
Showcasing films in both Brooklyn and Queens, the Rooftop Film Summer Series is providing viewers with a chance to watch new releases on the largest possible screen under the stars. Check out new independent hits like the thriller Relic, the American Civil Liberties Union documentary The Fight, and the dive bar doc Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets. rooftopfilms.com
2020 Drive-In Movies | Rooftop Films: Brooklyn Drive-In
Throughout the summer, the Brooklyn Drive-In will be providing New York film-lovers with opportunities to engage with new independent cinema and classic films. The setting is a one-of-a-kind urban drive-in experience at the end of the scenic pier at Brooklyn Army Terminal (there are gorgeous views of the water and Lower Manhattan as well). The audio is quality FM stereo sound tuned directly through cars' FM radios. rooftopfilms.com
2020 Drive-In Movies: Skyline Drive-In
The Skyline Drive-In provides the rare experience of seeing two gorgeous sights at once: a beautiful film on a giant screen and the New York skyline. This is an awesome opportunity to sit down and watch a movie where iconic films, shows, and photographs are made each year. Some of the films on tap in the near future include Mamma Mia!, Chicago, Us, The Greatest Showman, Beverly Hills Cop, and The Avengers. There are food trucks, too, should you want some sustenance. 1 Oak St., Greenpoint, 347-462-0353, skylinedriveinnyc.com
2020 Drive-In Movies: Tribeca Drive-In
Want to watch classic and contemporary films under the stars along the shore? The Tribeca Film Institute has you covered, with screenings for films like Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, John Wick, The Fast and the Furious, Selena, and Casino Royale coming within the next week. Orchard Beach, 212-274-8080 (Tribeca Film Institute General Information Number), tribecafilm.com/drive-in/OrchardNY
2020 Drive-In Movies | Juicy Lucy BBQ: A Flick & A Feast
Dinner and a show…that’s what you’re getting at Juicy Lucy BBQ’s newest feature. The Staten Island restaurant is now offering citizens the chance to have a delicious barbeque dinner while watching a classic film with the family. Some of the classic fare being shown includes The Goonies, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, American Graffiti, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, and The Shining. 809 Father Capodanno Blvd., 718-979-1888, uuicylucybbq.com
2020 Drive-In Movies: Bounce Playground’s Movies in Your Car—York College Performing Arts Center
If you’re looking for a classic drive-in experience with a variety of interesting films, look no further than Movies in Your Car. The new drive-in at York College gives Queens and NYC natives the chance to see a film under the stars. You can even order snacks, like popcorn, candy, or even a full meal, to make the drive-in experience feel more complete. The first showing is Thursday, July 30th, with a screening of Girls Trip. Other films on the docket include family-fun flicks like Minions , crime dramas like Training Day and Harlem Nights, and family-friendly action films like Sonic. 94-45 Guy R. Brewer Blvd, Jamaica, [email protected], moviesinyourcar.com
2020 Drive-In Movies | Rooftop Films: Queens Drive-In
Queens Drive-In, mock-up/courtesy of Rooftop Films.
Kicking off its operations this summer, this special theater calls itself a drive-in “with a purpose,” seeking to inform Queens residents about film history (part of the theater’s sales will also be donated to non-profit organizations). The Drive-In opens in August and will be a part of the Rooftop Films Summer Series film festival. New York Hall of Science in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Facebook, queensdrivein.com
2020 Drive-In Movies: North Hempstead Drive-In
Want to catch a free film with the family? The town of North Hempstead has the screen for you! All you have to do is register in advance and you can catch a fantastic flick. This weekend, right before the NBA tips-off again, you can catch Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny team up to defeat the Monstars in Space Jam. There will be more great films to check out over weekends throughout the summer. Once again, tickets are free but guests are encouraged to donate non-perishable or canned food items for the town’s drive-in drop-off food drive. North Hempstead Beach Park, North Lot, 516-869-6311, northhempsteadny.gov/drive-in
2020 Drive-In Movies: Tribeca Drive-In, Nickerson Beach
To watch classic and contemporary films under the stars along the shore, the Tribeca Film Institute has you covered with its second beachfront location in NYC. The drive-in has screenings for films like Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, Beetlejuice, Crazy Rich Asians, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, The Bodyguard, and Dr. No coming within the next week. Orchard Beach, 212-274-8080 (Tribeca Film Institute General Information Number), tribecafilm.com
2020 Drive-In Movies: Tilles Center Concert Series
The B Street Band, Bruce Springsteen tribute performing on Sunday, August 2nd.
New this summer, the Tilles Center at LIU Post University is sponsoring a concert series. Just purchase a ticket in advance, drive-in, connect to an FM Radio station provided on the date of the concert, and enjoy the music. Listen to great acts like Bruce Springsteen, Journey, and Grateful Dead tribute bands, a Long Island’s Got Talent student concert benefiting the Tilles Center’s art education programs, in addition to elaborate concerts from the Long Island Concert Orchestra and top Long Island jazz musicians. 720 Northern Blvd., 516-299-3100 (box office), tillescenter.org
2020 Drive-In Movies: MOVIE LOT Drive-In, Smith Haven Mall
The Smith Haven Mall is giving you the chance to watch classic films outside on a giant, 52-foot screen. If you can book your tickets quickly, you may be able to find a spot for one of the lot’s "Christmas in July" screenings: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Elf, and Home Alone. Get your tickets and spend a night with the family enjoying a flick under the stars. 313 Smith Haven Mall, Lake Grove, message on Facebook, movielotdrivein.com
Rockland, Orange, Westchester, and Dutchess Counties
2020 Drive-In Movies: Fair Oaks Drive-In
Fair Oaks provides cinema buffs, growing film lovers, and casual thrill-seekers the chance to experience a classic drive-in theater. Some of the recent showings include a Jim Henson double-feature (The Muppet Movie and The Dark Crystal) and an action film double-header (Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and Iron Man). 365 Bloomingburg Rd., Middletown, 845-316-2266, fairoaksdriveintheatre.com
2020 Drive-In Movies: Story Screen Drive-In
Classic films for families and adults. A giant screen under the stars. This is what Story Screen is offering its viewers! Throughout the rest of the summer, Story Screen is putting up fantastic classics like The Muppet Movie, The Goonies, The Big Lebowski, and Mad Max: Fury Road for all to see on the big screen. You can even purchase concessions! All tickets must be purchased in advance. 724 Wolcott Ave., Beacon, 845-440-7706 or [email protected], toryscreendrivein.square.site
2020 Drive-In Movies: Warwick Drive-In
The drive-in is here to showcase new releases and classics of all kinds. Some films on display include the new indie hit Relic and Elizabeth Moss and Leigh Whannell’s horror hit The Invisible Man. 5 Warwick Turnpike, Warwick, 845-986-4440, warwickdrivein.com