Loew's Route 35 Drive-In, Hazlet, N.J., summer 1991.
When I was a kid growing up near Hazlet, N.J., where the state’s last drive-in movie theater once stood, one of the biggest goals of the summer was getting my parents to take me to a late-night double feature. When they were kids, going to the drive-in wasn’t such a big deal.
The 1991 season was the last for the Loews Route 35 Drive-In. The last double feature: “Drop Dead Fred” and “Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead.” Since it would be the last opportunity to go, my parents took me. It’s one of my favorite summer memories.
Drive-in movie theater circa 1950s
For kids today, a drive-in movie is even more of an anomaly. In 1958, there were over 4,000 drive-in movie theaters in the United States. Now, there are less than 500. In many instances, the next best outdoor viewing option is often projecting films onto the side of a building, especially in urban communities. But that won’t be the case for movie buffs in lower Manhattan this summer.
Tribeca Film is partnering with an annual arts festival to host viewings of three of the distributor’s latest films at the Elevated Acre on Monday nights this summer. Located at 55 Water Street, the Elevated Acre offers views of the East River, Ellis Island, Brooklyn Bridge, South Street Seaport and Brooklyn Heights.
The Elevated Acre at 55 Water Street, NYC.
Tribeca Enterprises has long been a proponent of the outdoor viewing experience, screening “drive-in” movies at the Tribeca Film Festival for years. Classics “Jaws” and “The Goonies” screened this year at the World Financial Center Plaza downtown. This year, the organization will extend the practice into the summer as part of the River to River Festival.
As part of the festival, Tribeca Film will present three screenings for free on a big outdoor screen on Monday nights (June 18, June 25 and July 9), giving young movie enthusiasts a chance to have a viewing experience similar to the one previous generations enjoyed at drive-in theaters. For more information about the films being shown, go here. Seating is first-come, first-served. Doors open at 6 p.m. and screenings begin at sunset or 8 p.m.