BP LEE ANNOUNCES “FREE WEDNESDAY MOVIE NIGHTS” AT THE 2020 QUEENS DRIVE-IN
Family-Friendly Films in Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Pre-Registration Required, Social Distancing Enforced
August 19 – September 30
(August 13, 2020 at 10:15am)
QUEENS, NY – A Queens native’s box office blockbuster, classic kids flicks and the timely tale of a civil rights icon are just some of the films to be enjoyed by Queens families this socially distant summer at Acting Borough President Sharon Lee’s “Free Wednesday Movie Nights at the 2020 Queens Drive-In” — a series of seven free, drive-in film screenings on the grounds of the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
“It certainly has been an unusual New York summer without concerts and other large-scale events at our beloved city parks, like the ‘Only in Queens Summer Festival’ in prior years,” said Borough President LEE. “Together with key partners, we’re delighted to bring this series of free movie nights at the 2020 Queens Drive-In as a fun throwback for the Borough of Families, while prioritizing safety in the midst of the ongoing pandemic.”
Part of a larger, comprehensive, multi-borough drive-in film festival, the series of free screenings in Queens will run for seven consecutive Wednesdays, beginning August 19 with a screening of “John Lewis: Good Trouble,” a newly-released documentary chronicling the life of The Honorable John Lewis, the civil rights champion and longtime member of Congress who passed away last month.
The free movie nights in Queens are presented in proud partnership with NYC Parks, the New York City Comptroller, Rooftop Films, the New York Hall of Science, Museum of the Moving Image, and the Queens Night Market.
“New Yorkers have worked hard to flatten the curve, and now it’s important to create opportunities for families and friends to enjoy these summer months together from a safe distance,” said New York City Comptroller SCOTT M. STRINGER. “I applaud Queens Borough President Lee for bringing this film series to Corona, and I’m proud to work alongside our partners to bring the community together, offer enriching cultural experiences, and ensure New Yorkers can still enjoy all that our beautiful city has to offer.”
“Flushing Meadows Corona Park is a vibrant community hub that offers a welcoming escape from stress and anxiety,” said NYC Parks Commissioner MITCHELL J. SILVER, FAICP. “We’re proud to host this exciting film series for Queens residents and families to enjoy. Special thanks to our partners for their commitment to prioritizing safety and bringing a new summertime tradition to this historic park.”
The slate of “Free Wednesday Movie Nights at the 2020 Queens Drive-In” includes an eclectic mix of smash hits, new releases, popular children’s movies and fantastical favorites for all Queens families to enjoy. A series of short films, some produced by local filmmakers, will also be shown prior to each main feature.
Social distancing will be strictly enforced, and neither guests arriving on foot nor those who have not registered in advance will be permitted.
Space is limited with a capacity of approximately 200 vehicles. Pre-registration is required for each screening of the “Free Wednesday Movie Nights at the 2020 Queens Drive-In”, and opens two weeks prior to each showing via www.queensdrivein.com. Upon registration, guests will receive a confirmation, which must either be presented via printed copy or mobile device upon arrival.
The full schedule of “Free Wednesday Movie Nights at the 2020 Queens Drive-In” is as follows:
- Wednesday, August 19: “John Lewis: Good Trouble” (2020)
- Wednesday, August 26: “Up” (2009)
- Wednesday, September 2: “The Lunchbox” (2013)
- Wednesday, September 9: “WALL-E” (2008)
- Wednesday, September 16: “The Farewell” (2019)
- Wednesday, September 23: “Iron Man” (2008)
- Wednesday, September 30: “Men in Black” (1997)
The “Free Wednesday Movie Nights at the 2020 Queens Drive-In” — featuring a 60-foot screen constructed in the NYSCI parking lot — will open to pre-registered attendees at 7:30PM, one hour before the film screenings begin at 8:30PM. Exact timing is subject to change, and the film screenings will be held rain or shine.
Food and beverages will be available for contactless purchase through featured vendors that participate in the seasonal Queens Night Market, held annually at the NYSCI parking lot in Flushing Meadows Corona Park but currently postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Food and beverages can be purchased via contactless ordering during pre-show programming or via stadium-style vendors walking the premises before the main feature.
Providing $70,000 in financial support for the “Free Wednesday Movie Nights at the 2020 Queens Drive-In” is the non-profit Flushing Meadows Corona Park Improvement Fund, which is jointly overseen by Borough President Lee, Commissioner Silver and Comptroller Stringer.
“We are proud to be able to continue our mission of providing accessible entertainment for all New Yorkers,” said Rooftop Films Artistic Director DAN NUXOLL. “We are deeply grateful for the support of the office of the Queens Borough President as it enables Rooftop Films, MOMI and NYSCI to offer opportunities for local families to safely come together this summer.”
“The New York Hall of Science, the Museum of the Moving Image, and Rooftop Films are honored to be launching the Queens Drive-In in collaboration with the Queens Borough President, and with the enthusiastic support of so many in the Queens community who work to ensure that arts and culture is available and accessible to everyone,” said New York Hall of Science President and CEO MARGARET HONEY. “It is our hope that the drive-in will be a source of fun and joy for everyone in Queens”
“With the Queens Drive-In, we at MoMI are pleased to do our part in helping to rejuvenate our borough: putting people back to work, bolstering economic activity, celebrating the heroic resilience of this diverse community and providing families with the opportunity to have a safe and enjoyable night out,” said Museum of the Moving Image Executive Director CARL GOODMAN. “Many thanks to the Acting Borough President, our partners, and those cultural organizations throughout the Park and the City for enhancing our lives under these challenging circumstances.”
“We know that an unprecedented number of New York City businesses have closed or will close as a direct result of this pandemic, so we’re always looking for opportunities to help our vendors stay afloat during these challenging times,” said Queens Night Market Founder JOHN WANG. “Our Fuel the Frontlines initiative with Borough President Lee earlier this year was a fantastic success for a really great cause, and we’re delighted to partner again with the Borough President and with our usual host, the New York Hall of Science, for this drive-in movie series. Great food along with great film!”
Brief descriptions of the featured films are below. For more information, go to www.queensbp.org/queensdrivein.
About “The Farewell” (2019)
PG | 1h 40min | Drama/Comedy-drama | Subtitles: English
A comedic and heartfelt narrative starring Queens native Awkwafina as Billi Wang, “The Farewell” dives deep into the importance of family by exploring just how far Billi and her relatives are willing to go to protect and celebrate a cherished loved one.
About “Iron Man” (2008)
PG-13 | 2h 6min | Action/Sci-fi
Directed by famed filmmaker and Queens native Jon Favreau, “Iron Man” follows the eponymous Marvel superhero, played by Robert Downey, Jr. a genius defense contractor and creator of an ultrapowerful suit of armor who must use his newfound abilities to unravel an insidious plot against him.
About “John Lewis: Good Trouble” (2020)
PG | 1h 36min | Documentary
Released last month, this Dawn Porter-directed documentary chronicles the life and legacy of The Honorable John Lewis, one of the most prominent leaders of the Civil Rights Movement and later a longtime member of Congress representing Georgia’s 5th District until his death on July 17. The film explores Lewis’ upbringing and storied career through rare footage and interviews with Lewis, his family, political leaders and other prominent figures.
About “The Lunchbox” (2013)
PG | 1h 45min | Romance/Drama | Subtitles: English
Nimrat Kaur stars as Ila, a married woman who accidentally strikes up a friendship through Mumbai’s famous lunchbox delivery system with a retiring widower, portrayed by Irrfan Khan, in this critically acclaimed 2013 Hindi romance film written and directed by Ritesh Batra.
About “Men In Black” (1997)
PG-13 | 1h 53min | Sci/fi
Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones star as Agent J and Agent K, members of the secretive “Men in Black” government agency tasked with helping police extraterrestrials on Earth. Their mission to save the galaxy culminates at one of Queens’ most iconic settings, which itself hides a shocking secret.
About “Up” (2009)
PG | 1h 36min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy
A Best Picture nominee at the 2010 Academy Awards, this animated adventure follows elderly widower Carl Fredricksen as he sets off for South America by tying thousands of balloons to his home. But with a young Wilderness Explorer named Russell on board as an accidental stowaway, heartwarming hilarity ensues.
About “WALL-E” (2008)
G | 1h 43min | Animation/Family
This beloved animated film explores pressing themes like environmentalism and climate change through the eyes of WALL-E, a solitary trash-compacting robot roaming a post-apocalyptic Earth devoid of human life. But with the discovery of a single plant comes hope for the future of this barren garbage-strewn wasteland.
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