Coming to Drive-In theaters and exclusive venues beginning in June, a first-of-its-kind curated program of movies, music and more will provide families with a safe, comfortable entertainment experience.
Tribeca Enterprises announced a partnership with IMAX and AT&T to unveil “Tribeca Drive-In,” an all-new drive-in entertainment series that will take place this summer at drive-in theatres and other exclusive venues nationwide. The limited engagement series will provide families with a safe, comfortable entertainment experience in cities and towns across the country, as the nation takes steps to emerge from Coronavirus lockdowns. Will this contribute to the ressurgence of drive-ins?
Back in 2019 drive-in cinemas were still going strong and, according to data from the United Drive-In Theater Owners Association, the industry seems to be on an upswing. No one expected it to reach the numbers from its heydays, in the 1950s (industry resources list the high figure for drive-ins as 4063 in 1958), but the downward trend from the 1980, with over 1000 screen closings, seemed to be gone. In fact, in the 1990s, new drive-ins were being built and re-openings were becoming more common. As of October 2019 the UDITOA registers 305 theater locations in the USA with 549 total screens.
With most cinemas closed due to the pandemic, and no evident sign that social gatherings of large groups of people are safe, drive-ins, which are an iconic element of American culture, represent a viable option to bring people to the theaters, and may well play an important part in the survival of what was once a key element in daily life and may now, and for some time, become the only way to watch movies outside your home.
Even a country like Iran, where drive-in theaters were banned since its 1979 Islamic Revolution, opened this May its first drive-in in over 40 years, at a parking lot, due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to Associated Press. Other countries around the world have announced they will have drive-ins during the Summer months. as weather allows. Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, for example, has repurposed its airport to create a drive-through cinema, an experience planned in conjunction with the Vilnius International Film Festival.
The “Tribeca Drive-In” will kick off on Thursday, June 25. The series will roll out to markets across the country throughout the summer, and will feature a curated selection of new, classic and independent films, as well as special music and sports events. The full programming line-up and ticket information will be announced in the coming weeks.
IMAX will bring its unique expertise as the world’s most immersive movie experience to serve as lead technology partner for “Tribeca Drive-In.” IMAX will utilize its exclusive Digital Re-Mastering (IMAX DMR) process to enhance the image and sound of all “Tribeca Drive-In” presentations, provide technological support and equipment to optimize its venues and screens, and collaborate with Tribeca Enterprises to curate the program, drawing from its rich library of IMAX content.
“It’s in our DNA to bring people together through the arts, showing strength and resiliency when the world needs it the most,” said Tribeca Enterprises and Tribeca Film Festival Co-Founder and CEO Jane Rosenthal. “At a time when people are eager to connect and convene again after months-long social distancing, we’re taking the spirit of Tribeca around the country by creating a safe environment where audiences can come together and enjoy the sense of connection found by going to the movies.”
“We’re excited to give people something to look forward to this summer and reinvent a classic moviegoing experience for communities to enjoy together safely,” added Tribeca Enterprises and Tribeca Film Festival Co-Founder Robert De Niro.
“Communities, artists, and storytellers thrive on their connections to each other,” said Lupa Systems Founder and Tribeca Enterprises Co-Owner James Murdoch. “This is what Tribeca Enterprises was made for, and we couldn’t be more excited to partner with IMAX, AT&T, and civic leaders across the country to kindle those connections, together.”
“Perhaps now more than ever, Americans are craving opportunities to come together, enjoy storytelling and creativity as a community, and recapture the shared cultural experiences that are part of our national identity,” said IMAX CEO Rich Gelfond. “We’re proud to partner with Tribeca Enterprises and AT&T to develop this innovative program, shed a little light in this challenging time, and remind people of the magic of going to the movies as we look forward to reopening theatres around the world.”
“Distanced but not distant, we’ve never craved connection more than now, and AT&T’s continued support of Tribeca is one more way we’re helping keep people connected to each other, the causes and stories they love,” said AT&T Communications Chief Brand Officer Fiona Carter. “Taking these movies, music, and special events to drive-in screens in communities across America is an ingenious solution that we’re proud to support as we stay #ConnectedTogether.”
Tribeca will work with local vendors
“I know many drive-ins really appreciate the opportunity to work with Ms. Rosenthal and the Tribeca Enterprises team to bring content to our screens in this much-needed environment,” said John Vincent, President of United Drive-In Theatre Owners Association.
Tribeca was founded to unify New York City in the aftermath of 9/11, rallying people through the arts to send a signal of resiliency to the world. Now, as America braces itself to emerge from months of social distancing caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Tribeca aims to help people across the country feel the same sense of unity and strength by bringing audiences together for entertainment and fun in a way that’s both healthy and safe.
For each Drive-In event, Tribeca will work with local vendors to support small businesses and make the experience truly unique to each community. Programming will embody Tribeca’s ethos of unity and resiliency, and bring the storytellers and artists who breathe life into the Tribeca Film Festival to audiences everywhere.
The “Tribeca Drive-In” series will run throughout the summer in cities across the country. Additional locations and programming details will be announced in the coming weeks. For the latest updates, visit Tribeca’s website.