The New NY Drive-In

posted by Michael Zoldessy on October 23, 2007 at 10:50 am

NEW YORK, NY — A new performance space is turning heads by providing an exclusive, upscale drive-in movie theater experience.

The storefront is about as wide as a city bus but not as long. The Falcon’s doors, when opened a crack, touch the walls.

The idea is to suggest, as far as practical in a space so small, a drive-in movie theater.

Patrons can go to 139norfolk.com, rent the Falcon (which seats up to six people snugly), and watch a DVD of a movie projected on a somewhat large screen. It costs $75 for three hours, including popcorn and the DVD. The rest of October is booked. But on Nov. 3 and 4, a special “Films That Destroyed New York” weekend is planned that includes the original “Planet of the Apes” (1968) and “Escape From New York” (1981).

Read more in the New York Times.

Comments (4)

Alton P.
Alton P. on October 24, 2007 at 1:59 pm

Just what we need in NYC…another quirky performance art space, in the “ever-so-trendy” Lower East Side â€" the self-proclaimed center of “hipness” in the universe.

Sounds like yet another attempt to separate silly, impressionable 20-somethings from their money. Great if the cinematic equivalent of watching a movie in your garage appeals to you.

75 dollars for three hours…for a non-film-projected, DVD-video screening…in a room the size of a shoebox? I think I’ll pass on this one.

For cinema enthusiasts (such as myself) who wish to replicate an authentic drive-in movie experience AND would rather watch a show rather than be part of it like a circus side act…

I have a novel idea that [also through adaptive reuse of an existing space] could perhaps take this nostalgic experience and advance it MANY steps further to a place that multitudes of us can enjoy. Perhaps my vivid imagination has run amok, but here it goes…

First, acquire an abandoned or neglected old movie palace that is atmospheric in style (this is a MUST). Remove the orchestra seats (if there is a balcony level, then just the lower orchestra seats). If the floor has a noticeable slope, then “tier” it in small sections or completely level it off. Then obtain a collection of (as many as will fit reasonably in the space) classic-style, soft-top automobiles (1930s-1960s vintage, in restored, drivable condition) and situate them in the now-empty orchestra. Completely restore and renovate the theatre as close to original as possible, so that it replicates an outdoor space. Finally, install a minimum 50-foot-wide screen, and presto, an instant “drive-in” theatre!

The house lights slowly dim like the sunset, the ceiling fades from a warm orange glow to a midnight blue, “stars” shine and “clouds” float above in the dark “sky”, and a panoramic picture stretches out and fills the space before you as you sit “outside” and watch a classic movie. No need to fuss with tinny-sounding little drive-in speakers â€" everyone would enjoy sharing the experience of full-spectrum stereo/surround sound. For those who would prefer viewing their movies the “traditional” way, standard seating would also remain available and intact (for example, in the upper orchestra and balcony levels). Too lazy to get up and go to the concessions stand? No problem – ushers could also double as “carhops” and bring the refreshments to you!

The best part of this adaptive-reuse is that it is flexible and allows the space to become multi-purpose. For conferences, live performances or standard movie screenings, the automobiles could be removed temporarily and portable chairs brought in for extra seating. With most of (or all of) the ground floor leveled-off, it could also be used as a ballroom for dances, banquets, meetings and other special events.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on October 24, 2007 at 2:25 pm

Alto – sounds like fun; you have a great imagination !

efriedmann
efriedmann on October 25, 2007 at 3:07 pm

Alto, this sounds like one of the restaurants they have at Walt Disney World in Florida where you can eat dinner in a vintage car and watch vintage cartoons on the drive-in screen. FUN!

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on March 5, 2010 at 12:11 pm

Only in New York!!!!

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