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Oscar campaigners flock to Queens Drive-In as in-person screenings resume across town ahead of poll fidgetcube – Deadline

EXCLUSIVE: As New York City gradually emerges from the worst of the coronavirus pandemic, a cinematic sign of life is a series of Oscar-nominated films hitting the city’s big screens.

Megaplexes and Arthouses have been in reopening mode for the past month. In-person screenings for Zoomed-out Academy members and the press are now possible for the first time since February 2020. As the April 20 fidgetcube for Oscar ballots approaches, reservations are pending. hike, even at a newer spot in the rewards mix: the Queens Drive-In.

“Anything that reminds people of the community experience, we all agree,” an Oscar consultant told Deadline. “We’ve all been stuck inside, so now, while we have to get creative and deal with the security restrictions, it’s definitely worth trying to break through and make a connection.”

New York theaters, hampered by a 25% capacity cap, need 50% on Remembrance Day, 75% by July 4, or “We just can’t do it.”

The Paris Theater on 58th Street, which was rescued by Netflix just before Covid-19 hit, had a soft opening last month with a new round of twin screenings. In support of Mank, the company showed the film with Citizen Kane. Because of The Chicago 7 trial the esteem of director Aaron Sorkin for Doggy afternoon, he screened his film alongside the classic Sidney Lumet.

Projector Nomadland, nominated for six Oscars including Cinematography, Director and Best Picture, will light up the Imax auditorium at AMC Kips Bay 15 on Monday. Security protocols will limit participation to only 15 people. However distant they will be, those few viewers tend to have different takeouts than the movie on Hulu or other streaming media.

The Queens Drive-In, which hit the radar of many moviegoers last fall as a movie hub during the New York Film Festival, has piqued the interest of many distributors. With a capacity of 200 cars, the space is programmed by Rooftop Films and the Museum of the Moving Image, with the support of the New York Hall of Science, where the drive-in is located.

Tonight, the drive-in will screen a program of Oscar-nominated animated short films, paired with a screening of your name. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, the suitors Minari, Sound of metal and My octopus teacher will play. Featured Previews and Special Screenings Last Year Borat Next movie, Freaky, One Night in Miami, Mangrove, Dick Johnson is dead and The 40-year-old version, among other titles.

More bookings in the coming days are on hold and the venue has generated a lot of interest for Emmy screenings as the initial phase of those nominations kicks off.

LA, during its most recent theatrical revival, also began hosting some Oscar screenings. And he created drive-in spaces like the one at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena where Nomadland had a replacement for its premiere at the Telluride Film Festival, which was dropped due to Covid.

New York, compared to Los Angeles and other cities where drive-ins have made a comeback, is not known for such venues. As such, the Queens site was built from the ground up in 2020. It sits on a New York plot of land steeped in history, if not in the cinema-centric way the film by Manhattan haunts. Next door is the Billie Jean King Tennis Center, home of the annual US Open, in a corner of Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

Two world exhibitions were held in the park, including a 1964 edition that featured iconic structures designed by famous architect Philip Johnson. The television medium had its first public demonstration by RCA at the 1939-1940 World’s Fair. Netflix viewers may also recognize the neighboring Queens Museum as a recurring location in the Martin Scorsese-Fran Lebowitz series. Pretend it’s a town.

Regardless of its heritage, and despite the constant traffic of the Grand Central Parkway, the main draw is that it is a large, open space with a 62-foot screen.

“The greatest thing about creating this theatrical experience that is so integral to awards season is that the movies are meant to be seen on the big screen. But they’re also meant to be seen with people, ”Rooftop Films president Dan Nuxoll told Deadline in an interview. “There is a difference between sitting in a theater with 500 people side by side and sitting in a theater with 500 people in their cars. But I think we’ve come as close as possible given the circumstances.

Instead of laughter or sniffling, the emotion generated by the projections usually manifests itself in the car horns, Nuxoll acknowledges. Still, he says, “I think there’s more of a community experience probably sitting with 500 people in cars than sitting with 24 people in a small movie theater.”

The Moving Image Museum’s film curator Eric Hynes said he and Nuxoll “recognized he’s missing this year” and started talking months after the pandemic began about potential solutions.

The traditional standards of cinema have necessarily been relaxed during the pandemic, as it is a compromise for films to continue to be released to the world. The drive-in uses projection equipment brought in from the nearby Astoria Museum, which can render images in 4K. The sound, however, is stereo and not surround. Nuxoll and Hynes agree that this is the “biggest difference” between exterior and interior projections.

The weather is another variable. There have also been a few cancellations, and high winds and thunderstorms are still a threat. And the spring opening of the room on March 5 with Amazon Prime Video Coming 2 America saw temperatures dip into the 1920s. “We were lucky the worst weather didn’t hit our biggest projections,” Nuxoll said.

Pete Hammond contributed to this report.

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