The movie theater business has had to overcome endless hurdles in a quest to stay relevant through the years as technology perpetuates human laziness, first with the invention of Cable TV; then VCR, DVD and Blu-Ray; and now with man's best friend, Netflix.
Theaters, however, continued to attract film lovers with increasingly comfortable seats, popcorn servings with Paula Deen-approved amounts of butter and the treacherous magic of 3D. Then, the pandemic put major chains on the edge of bankruptcy.
Film festivals are finding ways around this beast. SXSW switched to online programming, and major film releases went straight to streaming services.
The Tribeca Film Festival, founded in New York by Robert DeNiro and other non-famous people, has become a high-brow indie event. Now it’s coming to Arlington with a series of drive-in movie nights, though its programming is family-friendly and COVID-safe — as long as you stay in your car.
The Tribeca-Drive-In festival will show 30 films starting on July 2, which will play on weekends (Thursday through Sunday) each week until Aug 2.
The films in the series are comfortingly familiar classics like E.T, The Wizard of Oz and Back to the Future;
music-related films like Selena and Straight Outta Compton; and kids’ nights will feature Inside Out and Spy Kids.
Some of the evenings will offer a double feature, like the pairing of Apollo 13 and Field of Dreams on Saturday, July 4.
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“The Tribeca Drive-In series is a tribute to movies and the shared experience of watching them, even if from our cars," said DeNiro in a press release. "In anticipation of theaters reopening imminently, we look back at what we love about the big screen experience."
The press release also promises “surprise elements” like introductions by special guests, film teasers and live stand-up comedy.
The event will take place outside AT&T Stadium (at 1 AT&T Way in Arlington), where guests will be guided to their parking spots by staff. Sound will be set to an FM station and concessions are available. Tickets cost $35 per car regardless of the number of passengers, and the price includes both films in the double feature. They’re only available for purchase online and masks are required upon entering or any time a guest is outside his or her vehicle.
For a list of FAQs, and movie times, visit tribecafilm.com/drive-in/ATT-Stadium.