While seeing a flick inside is probably off the table for a while, drive-ins are doable if you wear a mask. Here are our favorite drive-in movie theaters in and around New York for your summer 2020 viewing pleasure.MoreLess
Created by Newark-based filmmaker, Ayana Stafford-Morris and real estate developer, Siree Morris, this New Jersey drive-in is located in downtown Newark, on the site of the former Newark Bears baseball stadium. Masks are required, and no outside food or drink is allowed. Dedicated to highlighting films by African-American filmmakers and featuring Black actors, the Newark Moonlight Cinema will run through October 14.
The drive-ins just keep on coming this summer! Rooftop Films, in cooperation with the New York City Economic Development Corporation, The Museum of the Moving Image and the New York Hall of Science, will host a drive-in in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Screenings featuring many of the best new independent and foreign films from 2020 will begin in August and run through October. Movies will be shown nightly, Wednesday through Sunday.
Rooftop Films is also producing a drive-in on the pier of The Brooklyn Army Terminal in Sunset Park. The films skew indie and more mature here, so your six-year-old may not be so into it, but if you've got a baby who sleeps, this could be an evening out. Masks are required outside of your car, and staff will be wearing masks as well. Tickets are $35/car, with contactless check-in. No food or drink is for sale. No alcohol is allowed and you must wear a mask if you leave your car.
If you like a side of brisket with your cinema, head to Staten Island's Jucy Lucy BBQ. The popular Ocean Breeze restaurant makes use of its three-acre lot to show kid-friendly movies with a nostalgic bent. (Star Wars: A New Hope, Grease and Raiders of the Lost Ark are examples of titles coming to the Staten Island LED screen. (If brisket isn't your thing, don't worry, Juicy Lucy has an extensive menu of salads, burgers and sandwiches, as well as milkshakes to satisfy your sweet tooth.
The Gateway Performing Arts Center of Suffolk County is screening feel-good films this summer. Films include Jurassic Park, Big Night, E.T., Little Shop of Horrors and others, to be determined. Tickets are $35 per car.
The Hi-Way Drive-In in the Catskills near Hudson, NY, offers a whopping four screens, which it uses to show a good time mix of action, thriller, comedy and family movies. (Hello double feature of Back to the Future and Back to the Future II.) Movies are shown seven nights a week through Labor Day, and then weekends after that. Masks are required outside of cars, at restrooms and concessions.
Be forewarned: One look at Four Brother’s Drive-In in Amenia, New York, and you’ll want to hop in the car and go there. Right about now, it’s hard to imagine a more idyllic scene. Four Brother’s has been doing this drive-in thing for a while, so they are ready for you, complete with new rules in light of COVID-19. Not only is the atmosphere enchanting at Four Brother’s, the food options are great, too. Choose from an extensive menu of burgers, sandwiches, pizza and sides.
This northern Catskills drive-in was founded in 1959 and updated by new owners in 2015. Expect a feel-good mix of fun classics like E.T. and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Beetlejuice, Monty Python flicks and Penguins of Madagascar. Food and drink from local vendors is for sale, and you can even have a homemade chocolate chip cookie delivered to your car mid-way through the show. There's also a biergarten on-site.
This family-friendly drive-in theater in the Hudson Valley shows movies on three big screens. Open nightly, it’s about a hour-and-a-half from NYC and features a park-like, grassy setting on 11 acres of farmland. Movies currently screening include Onward, Call of the Wild and Jumanji the Next Level. The Warwick Drive-in has clear COVID-19 rules and protocols regarding the use of masks and maintaining six-feet of social distance at all times.
This Poughkeepsie-area drive-in has been family-owned since 1955, and is known for having the biggest outdoor screen in the tri-state area. (It’s six-stories high!) The Overlook Drive-In clearly states “No Mask No Entry”, and other rules (one party at a time in the restroom, social distancing while waiting to order from the snack bar) are in effect. The drive-in is playing films like Despicable Me and Mama Mia! The drive-in was converted to digital a few years ago and is dog-friendly.
The Delsea Drive-in is the only game in town (i.e., the state) in New Jersey, and its got two screens showing movies. Located in Vineland, NJ, the drive-in is very clear on social distancing rules and regulations. This drive-in wins the prize for most extensive and accommodating menu, with healthy options, gluten-free and Atkins-friendly- items, as well as kid-friendly choices like PB & J, baby carrots and much more.
The Mansfield Drive-in in Mansfield Center, Connecticut has been screening since 1954. It also happens to host the largest flea market in the eastern part of the state. Ticketing is exclusively online, and films skew retro, kid-friendly and fun here; Jurassic Park, entries in the Harry Potter catalog, Goonies and Pineapple Express are some examples. The snack bar is basic, but solid, and food ordering is by phone due to COVID-19 safety measures.