This Halloween, the Queens Drive-In — a partnership between Museum of the Moving Image, Rooftop Films and New York Hall of Science — will present a series of scary movies, including a selection of double features as part of its fall season, which concludes at the end of November.
The Queens Drive-In has promoted a safe communal moviegoing experience in New York City during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, while sustaining jobs and supporting New York and the larger filmmaking community.
Since August, it has been presenting an exciting mix of new and classic movies on a 62-foot-wide screen featuring bright 4K projection in Flushing Meadows Corona Park on the grounds of the New York Hall of Science, located at 47-01 111th St. in Corona. A portion of the ticket sales are donated to nonprofit organizations that serve the hardest-hit communities in the borough.
The Queens Drive-In has also served as a venue for major film festivals, allowing for in-person events for the New York Film Festival and NewFest.
Scheduled programs for October and November include the following:
“Wall-E,” Wednesday, Oct. 14, 7 p.m.
Recommended for ages 5+ (Rated G)
With its wide-set E.T.-like eyes and tiny, motorized R2D2 body, trash compactor Wall-E is one of Pixar’s most poignant creations. This tiny robot becomes humanity’s greatest hope in an adventure that takes him to space and back to Earth again. The film is part of the Wednesday Night Movie series of free screenings presented by Queens Borough President Sharon Lee. More info.
“Moonstruck” + “Love is Short (Films),” Thursday, Oct. 15, 7 p.m.
Recommended for ages 10+ (Rated PG)
“Moonstruck” stars a revelatory Cher in her Oscar-winning role as Loretta Castorini, a young Brooklyn widow who is supposed to marry Johnny Cammareri (Danny Aiello) but falls for his brother Ronny (Nicholas Cage) instead. Fueled by an Academy Award-winning screenplay by John Patrict Shanley, “Moonstruck” endures a quintessential New York love story.
Preceded by the short film program “Love Is Short (Films),” stories of wayward loves and unexpected romantic entanglements: “Waiting For Sun,” an ode to art and music of El Barrio; and “Who Can Predict What Will Move You?” More info.
(Double Feature Presentation)
Kirsten Johnson: “Dick Johnson is Dead” + “Cameraperson,” Saturday, Oct. 17, 6:30 p.m.
The darkly and funny wildly imaginative film is a love letter from a daughter to a father, blending fact and fiction to create a celebratory exploration of how movies give us the tools to grapple with life’s sadnesses and challenges. Followed by Johnson’s groundbreaking “Cameraperson,” a moving glimpse into one filmmaker’s personal journey and a thoughtful examination of what it means to train a camera on the world. The event is courtesy free of Netflix. Free with RSVP.
“Black Panther,” Sunday, Oct. 18, 6 p.m.
The late Chadwick Boseman portrayed the King of Wakanda — and Marvel hero Black Panther — with fierce dignity and sly charisma, in this acclaimed, groundbreaking action movie. Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira and Letitia Wright co-star as the strong, brilliant women who provide support, while Michael B. Jordan embodies his nemesis, Erik Kilmonger. This film is part of a free screening series presented by Councilman Francisco Moya. Free with RSVP.
“Bad Hair,” Wednesday, Oct. 21, 7 p.m.
Set in 1989, “Bad Hair” follows an ambitious young Black woman who gets a weave in order to succeed in the image-obsessed world of music television. However, her flourishing career comes at a great cost when she realizes that her new hair may have a mind of its own. This film is preceded by a program of short horror films. More info.
“Be Water,” Thursday, Oct. 22, 7 p.m.
“Be Water” chronicles actor and martial artist Bruce Lee’s deadliest days as the son of a Chinese opera star and his steady childhood in Hong Kong. His ambition ever rising, Lee eventually made his way to Los Angeles, where he strove to break into American film and television. “Be Water” is told by the family, friends and collaborators who knew Lee best, with an extraordinary trove of archive film providing an evocative, immersive visual tapestry that captures Lee’s charisma, his passion, philosophy and the eternal beauty and wonder of his art. Courtesy of ESPN. Free with RSVP.
(Double Feature Presentation)
Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” + “The Birds,” Saturday, Oct. 24, 6:30 p.m.
Recommended for ages 12+
Hitchcock’s horror game-changer “Psycho” is a film of square intensity, at once austere and baroque in style, and so shockingly perverse in its implications that it cracked cinema wide open forever. Followed by “The Birds,” Hitchcock’s masterpiece of avian horror, in which Tippi Hedren’s mod socialite Melanie Daniels finds herself fleeing for her life from swarms of seagulls, jays, hawks and sparrows gone curiously amok in Bodega Boy, California. More info.
“Nosferatu” (with live music) + “Young Frankenstein,” Sunday, Oct. 25, 6:30 p.m.
This silent classic film is an unnerving — and unofficial — adaptation of Bram Stoker’s novel “Dracula.” Elegant expressionist visuals make this a work of poetic horror, but it’s Max Schreck’s terrifying makeup and performance that make the film truly unforgettable. Followed by Mel Brooks’s “Young Frankenstein,” nominated for two Oscars, this film features Dr. Frederick Frankenstein, American grandson of the infamous scientist, who’s hell-bent on proving himself. Chaos, hilarity, and syncopated soft-shoe jazz performances ensue. More info.
“Get Out” + “Badadook,” Thursday, Oct. 29, 6:30 p.m.
“Get Out” is about Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya), a young black photographer who spends the weekend with his white girlfriend (Allison Williams) and her affluent family. His unease turns to horror once he finds out about the Sunken Place, and must fight to get out. The film is a brutally honest take on racism in American society. “The Badadook” is a film about a single mother and her unruly 6-year-old son contend with a storybook ghoul that terrorizes their home. More info.
“Halloween” + “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” Friday, Oct. 31, 6:30 p.m.
“Halloween” is about a masked maniac (Michael Myers) stalking babysitters in suburban Illinois. The film is followed by “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” where a group of young people are unwittingly plunged into a nightmare as they find themselves hunted down by a cannibalistic clan of maniacs. More info.
“Little Shop of Horrors” + “Beetlejuice,” Saturday, Oct. 31, 6:30 p.m.
In “Little Shop of Horrors,” a flower shop assistant becomes a sensation when he discovers a carnivorous plant. The film is an irreverent marvel, featuring toe-tapping songs by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, who would go on to write the music for “The Little Mermaid” and “Beauty and the Beast.” In Tim Burton’s ghost classic, “Beetlejuice,” a family is terrorized by their new home’s deceased former owners and a rogue poltergeist they’ve hired to scare them off, is played with frenetic energy by Michael Keaton. More info.
“Coco,” Sunday, Nov. 1, 6 p.m.
In this animated film, young Miguel desperately wants to be a musician, but music is forbidden in his family because of events that took place many generations ago. When Miguel stumbles into the Land of the Dead and meets the ancestors who forever banned music, he may get the chance to become a great musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz. The Oscar-winning film is one of Pixar’s very best, a joyous and poignant celebration of family, love, and following your dreams, as well as reminder of the importance of respecting one’s ancestors. This film is part of a free screening series presented by Councilman Francisco Moya. Free with RSVP.
“The Nightmare Before Christmas,” Sunday, Nov. 1, 6 p.m.
Recommended for ages 7+ (Rated PG)
Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloweentown, longs for something more in life, and he thinks he has found it when he stumbles upon the brilliant twinkling lights of Christmastown. He then becomes determined to have it all for himself. This film is also part of a free screening series presented by Councilman Francisco Moya. Free with RSVP.
Tickets: Free; $35 (single feature) or $45 (double feature); members of the presenting organizations receive a 15 percent discount. For tickets, visit rooftopfilms.com/drivein/queens. To sign up for email updates visit QueensDriveIn.com.