Image via Passport
Many native New Yorkers know too well the endless benefits and shortfalls of living without personal cars. From now until October 20, though, Big Apple residents will get a brief chance to enjoy an experience typically reserved for car owners—the old-fashioned suburban drive-in. Filmmaker Todd Chandler and curator Jeff Stark, in collaboration with the New York Hall of Science, have transformed 60 salvaged vehicles into a nostalgia-inducing drive-in for car-lacking Cinephiles. The recycled cars, plucked from a Brooklyn junkyard, are wired for sound and scattered throughout the New York Hall of Science parking lot. The pop-up theater, named Empire Drive-In, also boasts a 40-foot screen, a charming concession booth, a beaming marquee, and a motley calendar of classic, animated, and B-list film fare. Chandler and Stark have successfully installed similar pop-ups in the past, including one in Manchester, England last year and one in San Jose, California in 2010.
The drive-in also functions as an exhibit of sorts, as the duo worked to preserve the old-timey aesthetic of the junkyard cars—dented station wagons, Buick’s with inverted hoods, vintage BMW’s and stain-laden mini vans, some littered with trinkets from their former owners. “Wherever we can cram in more layers to the experience, we want to,” Chandler told the Wall Street Journal. According to the project’s website, the installation is meant to inspire dialogue about car culture, creative reuse, and the history of cinema as a shared experience.
For more information and film listings click here.