“Star Wars” and “Moonlight” Among Six Screenings Beginning May 4

(April 29, 2021 at 3:15pm)

QUEENS, NY – Following last year’s wildly successful inaugural series of free film screenings at the Queens Drive-In sponsored by the Queens Borough President’s Office, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. announced today that “Free Movie Nights at the Queens Drive-In” will return to the grounds of the New York Hall of Science for a second consecutive year.

“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. To that end, it is our honor to bring ‘Free Movie Nights at the Queens Drive-In’ back for a second year,” said Borough President RICHARDS. “From kids flicks to cinematic classics, there is something for every family to enjoy on the big screen this spring.”

Borough President Richards’ series of six free screenings begins with a special showing of “Star Wars” on Tuesday, May 4 — Star Wars Day 2021— also known as “May the Fourth Be With You” to fans worldwide. The first installment of the legendary sci-fi franchise was originally released in 1977 and stars Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and the late Carrie Fisher as their iconic characters of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia, respectively.

In addition to “Star Wars,” the full “Free Movie Nights at the Queens Drive-In” series includes a dynamic slate of dramas, comedies and kid-friendly animated films — including an Academy Award winner for Best Picture — for all borough families to enjoy. The series is presented in proud partnership with Rooftop Films, the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI), Museum of the Moving Image, the Queens Night Market, NYC Parks and the New York City Comptroller.

Social distancing will be strictly enforced, and neither guests arriving on foot nor those who have not pre-registered will be admitted. Space is limited with a capacity of approximately 200 vehicles. Pre-registration is required for each screening and opens up two weeks prior to each showing via www.queensdrivein.com. Upon registration, guests will receive a confirmation, which must be presented via printed copy or mobile device upon arrival.

The full “Free Movie Nights at the Queens Drive-In” series is as follows. Dates are subject to change:

·         Tuesday, May 4: “Star Wars” (1977)

·         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

The June 24 screening of “Monsoon Wedding” will be hosted in partnership with Capital One City Parks Foundation SummerStage and feature a live musical performance by acclaimed Indian-born, Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Falu.

The series of six films comes one month after Borough President Richards sponsored the April 13 showing of critically acclaimed feature “Minari” — a semi-autobiographical film based on the upbringing of the film’s director, Lee Isaac Chung. The film was nominated for six honors at last week’s Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director (Chung) and Best Actor (Steven Yeun), with Youn Yuh-jung winning for Best Supporting Actress —the first South Korean artist to win an Academy Award for acting.

“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,” said Rooftop Films President DAN NUXOLL. “With the support of the Office of the Queens Borough President, we have presented more than 2 dozen free screenings over the last few months, including memorable NY premieres of many of the films that were recently celebrated at the Academy Awards. We couldn’t have made this all happen without a great deal of teamwork, and we look forward to working with the Borough President to create many more special moments in the coming months.”

“The Queens Drive-In continues to offer a unique communal movie-going experience that was only made possible by our partnership with Rooftop Films, NYSCI, the Queens Borough President’s Office, the Comptroller’s office, and NYC Parks,” said Museum of the Moving Image Executive Director CARL GOODMAN. “The return of this popular series of free community screenings and the Queens Night Market in Corona, just after MoMI’s official reopening on May 1, marks a new stage in the cultural life of Queens!”

“Having the Borough President’s support for the second season of the Queens Drive-In, not only brings joy to the people of Queens, but the free screenings that his support makes possible ensure that many more families will be able to enjoy their favorite movies,” said New York Hall of Science President and CEO MARGARET HONEY. “We are so very grateful to Borough President Donovan Richards!”

Part of a larger, ongoing film festival at the Queens Drive-In, the first three dates of the free film series — featuring a 62-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. For the showings of “Coming to America” and “Monsoon Wedding,” gates will open at 8PM with the film beginning at 9PM. Exact timing is subject to change, and the film screenings are held rain or shine, except in the event of severe weather.

Food and beverages will be available for contactless purchase through featured vendors that have previously participated in the seasonal Queens Night Market, normally held annually at the NYSCI parking lot in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Concessions can be purchased via contactless ordering during pre-show programming or via stadium-style vendors walking the premises before the main feature.

Providing financial support for “Free Wednesday Movie Nights at the Queens Drive-In” is the non-profit Flushing Meadows Corona Park Improvement Fund, which is jointly overseen by Borough President Richards, NYC Parks and the New York City Comptroller.

“Flushing Meadows Corona Park is a treasured community greenspace that serves as an incredible resource for New Yorkers,” said NYC Parks Commissioner MITCHELL J. SILVER, FAICP. “We’re proud to join forces with Borough President Richards to bring this exciting film series back to this historic park. We’re also grateful to our partners for prioritizing safety and providing opportunities for Queens residents to enjoy the great outdoors.”

The 2021 “Free Movie Nights at the Queens Drive-In” series follows last year’s inaugural slate of eight free movies, as well as a live airing of the 2020 U.S. Vice Presidential Debate, from August to October 2020, sponsored by then-Acting Queens Borough President Sharon Lee.

Follow the Office of the Queens Borough President via @QnsBPRichards on Twitter and @QueensBPRichards on Facebook and Instagram