Queens Drive-In returns to Flushing Meadows Corona Park

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Queens Drive-in returns for a second season at the New York Hall of Science in Corona. (Courtesy of Rooftop Films)

Following last year’s successful inaugural series of free film screenings at the Queens Drive-In at the New York Hall of Science, organizers announced it is returning for a second season.

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards’s series of six free screenings will begin with a special showing of Star Wars on Tuesday, May 4, in honor of Star Wars Day, known as “May the Fourth Be With You” to fans worldwide. The first installment of the sci-fi franchise was originally released in 1977 starring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and the late Carrie Fisher.

Queens Drive-In launched last summer to provide family entertainment during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, as a collaborative effort by the Borough President’s office, Rooftop Films, the Museum of the Moving Image, the Hall of Science and the city’s Economic Development Corporation.

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

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 families across the borough to enjoy.

“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,” Rooftop Films President Dan Nuxoll said. “With 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 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 series is presented in partnership with the wildly popular Queens Night Market which will return to the New York Hall of Science this spring after last year’s season was lost to COVID restrictions. Food and beverages will be available for contactless purchase through featured vendors that have previously participated in the Queens Night Market.

“The Queens Drive-in continues to offer a unique communal movie-going experience,” Museum of Moving Image Executive Carl Goodman said. “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.”

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 the Queens Drive-in website here.

Upcoming screenings include Inside Out, Moonlight, the original Coming to America, Monsoon Wedding and Spider Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

“Flushing Meadows Corona Park is a treasured community greenspace that serves as an incredible resource for New Yorkers,” NYC Park Commissioner Mitchell Silver said. “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.”

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