While New Jersey’s indoor movie theaters were allowed to reopen earlier this month (hence this weekend’s screening of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, limited to an audience of 150), it’s still crickets inside of New York City’s cinemas, much to the chagrin of theater owners and even some local lawmakers who are calling for an alternative to #Netflixandchill.
Luckily, New York City has unexpectedly become a drive-in movie mecca. Even prestige programmers have gotten in on the action: When Steve McQueen’s Lovers Rock opens the New York Film Festival tomorrow, Sept. 17, it’ll play not at Alice Tully Hall, as usual, but rather at the Queens Drive-In that Rooftop Films helped set up at the New York Hall of Science. (Despite the Great Gotham Vroom Boom of 2020, there are still tickets available.) And there’ll be an encore showing at a pop-up drive-in at the Bronx Zoo on Sept. 23. Even weirder, the festival’s poster designer, filth elder John Waters, is screening a couple of films in the Bronx, including Pasolini’s depraved classic, Salo: 120 Days of Sodom.
You can view the New York Film Festival’s program here, and, while you’re at it, check out the Hamptons International Film Festival, which opens Oct. 8 and will also take advantage of inflatable outdoor screens.
The latest to make the drive-in scene is the New York LGBTQ Film Festival. The 32nd iteration of the festival, produced by LGBTQ film and media organization NewFest, will open Oct. 16 with a screening of Francis Lee’s Ammonite at the Queens Drive-In. Lee, a British actor-turned-director who previously helmed Sundance winner God’s Own Country, will be given an award by Kate Winslet, who stars in the new film with Saoirse Ronan. Set in 1840s coastal England, Ammonite is a “delicate, textured, and humanistic portrait of two women discovering their passion and authentic selves,” according to Nick McCarthy, the festival’s director of programming.
The festival’s full lineup won’t be announced until Sept. 23, when tickets go on sale. In the meantime, you can get all-access passes to over 100 virtual and drive-in screenings over at NewFest’s website.