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Photograph: Courtesy Skyline Drive-In

The best drive-in movie theaters in NYC

Outdoor movie-going is no longer a relic from the last century. Lucky for us, there's a boom of pop-up drive-ins now operating in NYC.
Written by
Collier Sutter
Shaye Weaver

Drive-in movie theaters in NYC may seem to belong to a different era, but after last year when we were all forced outside, the nostalgic entertainment form has made its way back into the spotlight.

Drive-ins across the city popped up and though New York City isn't known for sprawling parking lots, New Yorkers flocked to big screens set up at diner parking lots on the East River waterfront and more. 

For your next date night or outing with friends, order takeout from your favorite restaurant, pack a picnic full of snacks, and enjoy a flick at one of these new drive-in theater locations in and around the concrete jungle. 

RECCOMENDED: 12 spots to catch a movie outside in NYC this summer

These are the drive-ins around NYC

  • Things to do
  • City Life

This Greenpoint, Brooklyn drive-in offers killer views of Manhattan's skyline along with popular movie classics at 1 Oak Street across the river from downtown Manhattan—a site that’s been used for shooting Fendi and Converse ads as well as the opening credits of Saturday Night Live. There's a concession stand on site and if you don't have a car, don't worry, you can rent out a chair ($22) to take in the flick. You can find the full, jam-packed schedule here. Tickets range from $22 to $80.

  • Things to do
  • Sunset Park

Rooftop Films and New York City Economic Development Corporation have teamed up to create The Brooklyn Drive-In, popping up at The Brooklyn Army Terminal in Sunset Park. With film festivals shut down or postponed around the world, this series is a way to access those sought-after flicks including new and independent foreign films released this year. Tickets are priced starting at $35 per car (up to 4 passengers per car). Doors will open each night around 7:30pm, shows will begin at 8:30pm and end by 11pm.

  • Things to do
  • Queens

On the grounds of the New York Hall of Science in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Queens-Drive-In is popping up through October. Drive-In guests can expect pre-show entertainment from live performances, talks, live demonstrations and more connected to the night’s movie theme (think climate change or real-life thrillers). Tickets will be priced starting at $35 per car (up to 4 passengers per car). Doors will open each night around 7:30pm, shows will begin at 8:30pm and end by 11pm.

See the full line-up here.

  • Things to do
  • City Life

One Astoria-based restaurant that's been around since 1965, Bel Aire Diner, is  putting on drive-in movie nights in their sizable parking lot, bringing the trend straight into the concrete jungle. For the setup, Bel Aire Diner has been using a 25-foot screen, propped up high to allow easy viewing for roughly 30 to 40 cars. Movie patrons must be inside their cars (no walkers!) and can tune in to the flick's sound on an an FM radio station. Visitors can dine too, ordering food ahead of time from Bel Aire's website and just include a car color and license plate for food drop-offs from the greasy spoon. Bel Aire Diner has been working on the venture with Long Island Movie Nights, who specialize in creating pop-up drive-in events. 


Is there anything better than an outdoor barbecue? Yes, and outdoor barbecue paired with a drive-in movie! Staten Island's Juicy Lucy is hosting a new series called "A Flick & a Feast" that delivers barbecue to your window. It's $45 per car, which includes $20 toward your meal. Showtimes are Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays, at 5:15 and 7:45pm.

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