This coming weekend, the historic Brooklyn Army Terminal will be transformed into a drive-in movie theater to screen two new releases. Organized by Rooftop Films, working in partnership with the New York City Economic Development Corporation, the Brooklyn Drive-In is the first in a series of screenings that will allow New Yorkers to pull their cars onto the Army Terminal’s waterfront pier to enjoy a new movie. Screenings are currently scheduled for this coming Friday and Saturday as well as multiple dates later this summer.

Screening of John LewisAt the screening of John Lewis: Good Trouble Friday night

Rooftop Films is a Brooklyn based nonprofit that travels throughout the city presenting films on rooftops, in parks, and at other scenic locations throughout NYC. Previous venues used for screenings include the beach at Coney Island, Fort Greene Park, and Greenwood Cemetery. However, the COVID-19 Pandemic has forced Rooftop Films to reconsider how it can present screenings while ensuring viewers can maintain a safe social distance. The Brooklyn Drive-In series of screenings emerged as a solution to this problem and forms a trend with similar drive-in movie experiences that have been popping up in and around the city.

Brooklyn Drive-In Movie Graphic

The Brooklyn Drive-In Festival plans to run through the summer and fall, with more screenings and locations to be announced in the coming weeks. The opening night tonight will feature a screening of the new film John Lewis: Good Trouble by Dawn Porter, a chronicle of the life and career of the legendary civil rights advocate, Congressman John Lewis. The event will also include an introduction by the film’s director Dawn Porter and a pre-recorded Q&A discussion between Congressman Lewis and Oprah Winfrey that will be shown following the film. The Saturday night event will feature the New York premiere of IFC Film’s The Rental directed by Dave Franco and starring Alison Brie and Dan Stevens. A pre-recorded introduction and Q&A with Dave Franco will also be screened. Upcoming screenings will be of The Fight (July 23rd), Bloody Knows, Empty Pockets (July 24th), Relic (July 30th), Palm Springs (July 31st), and The Outside Story (August 1st).

For both events, doors will open at 7:30 pm and the screening will begin at 8:30 pm. To enter the Brooklyn Army Terminal, drive southbound down 1st Avenue to the corner of 58th Street. The entrance is located at 80 58th St. and from there signs and Rooftop Films staff members will direct visitors to the drive-in. Tickets are $45 per car and the staff will organize parking as to put shorter vehicles closer to the screen. A list of FAQ’s is available on Rooftop Film’s website with additional information.

The Brooklyn Drive-In is yet another example of how the city is adapting traditional summertime staples for the COVID-19 pandemic. With the fate of indoor dining still uncertain, outdoor dining has become common practice throughout the city, with entire streets being closed to allow for the practice. In the Belmont section of the Bronx, an entire outdoor dining plaza was even constructed.

Next, check out 15 More Drive-In Movie Theaters in New York State.

3 thoughts on “Drive-In Movie Theater Coming to Brooklyn Army Terminal Starting Tonight

  1. Hey Michelle, unfortunately this isn’t the case, at least in the morning when people were arriving around 7am for morning shifts. Last Wed-Friday, I’d say they easily barricaded away at least 80+ percent of the spots. By that point, the spots are full and people coming to start their shift are out of luck, especially people trying to catch the 7:30 am ferry. I was not there on the weekend so I can only speak for those three days, but based on the schedule, I expect the same tomorrow and through October I believe. It’s essentially a giant middle finger to the people that need this lot, especially the healthcare workers that use it.

  2. Just so you know, the pier they are using is also used for parking by the essential hospital workers in both the nearby hospital, and the hospital that runs a ferry to take essential healthcare workers across the river into Manhattan. (This dock is ferry parking) They are closing down the pier all day on Wed, Thurs, Friday and in the weekend for these movies, and leaving all of these healthcare workers without parking (street parking is almost impossible in these areas.) So essentially, to have these movie showings, they are screwing over hundreds upon hundreds of healthcare workers, who just a few months ago were being clapped for and thanked for their service, and are now told to politely GTFO. Good job Rooftop films and NYC for this wonderful backroom deal you put together to screw over the people that actually need these parking spots 🙂

    1. Hello, thanks for your feedback. On our visit Friday, half of the pier was still available for parking. Is that no longer the case?

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