Experience another kind of drive-in movie theater. Climb in and out of 60 cars reclaimed from a New York junkyard as you watch a live show or film projected on a big screen.
Empire Drive-In is a large-scale multimedia installation and outdoor theater made of reclaimed and recycled materials. It features a 40-foot screen, a concession stand, and seating in cars sourced from a Brooklyn junkyard, with low-power radio sound in each vehicle.
New York Hall of Science presents the New York debut of Empire Drive-In in collaboration with artists Todd Chandler and Jeff Stark, who will construct the massive installation in NYSCI’s parking lot with a team of collaborating artists. The finished drive-in will act as a vehicle for community engagement that reflects on car culture, technological obsolescence, creative reuse, and sensory-based nostalgia.
Chandler and Stark teamed up with several community and cultural organizations to program for the three-week run. Partners include the Queens Museum, Rooftop Films, Museum of the Moving Image, Light Industry, Flux Factory, Transportation Alternatives, and Build It Green.
Seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Audience members are invited to sit inside or on top of any of the 60 different cars and trucks that make up the installation, or bring lawn chairs or blankets from home to make their viewing experience more comfortable.
Installation is open daily from 10am to 5pm and 10am to 2pm on days of shows. Daily programming features a sound broadcast about cars and manufacturing curated by Ann Heppermann transmitted to cars by low-power FM. All nightly programs begin with a slideshow of late industrial images by photographer Stephen Mallon.
Empire Drive-In shows are held rain or shine, however, extreme weather may result in cancellation. In the event of extreme weather, check NYSCI’s Facebook page, Twitter feed, or website after 4 p.m. on day of show for up to date information regarding cancellations. Refunds administered via Eventbrite.
The Empire Drive-In show schedule includes:
The End of the Road: Cars and Other Junk with Greg Saunier’s Casio Orchestra – Friday, October 4; 7 – 11 pm
Bollywood Bash – Saturday, October 5; 7 – 11 pm
A Samuel Z. Arkoff Double Feature – Sunday, October 6; 7 – 10 pm
Animation Flip Out – Thursday, October 10; 6 – 9 pm
The Space Between: Public, Private, Borders, Edges – Friday, October 11; 7 – 11 pm
Teenage Wasteland: Double Feature – Saturday, October 12; 7 – 11 pm
Our Century – Sunday, October 13; 7 – 11 pm
Youth Media Night: New Films and Filmmakers – Wednesday, October 16; 6 – 9 pm
Galactic Drive-In – Thursday, October 17; 7 – 10 pm
A Night at the Races – Friday, October 18; 8 – 11 pm
Silents and Noise: Handmade Films with Live Scores – Saturday, October 19; 7 – 11 pm
American Made: Cars, Trucks and Working Machines – Sunday, October 20; 7 – 10 pm