New York City, New York: Guerrilla Cinema is the New Drive-In

Photo Credit: CBS (A Renaissance for Drive-In Movies)

Once the drive-in was entertainment of choice for most Americans. Now most drive-in movie theaters have disappeared but outdoor movies are making a comeback in the way of guerrilla cinema. Across the nation outdoor films are popping up in abandoned parking lots and on the sides of buildings.

Regarding this phenomenon, John Young, a guerrilla cinema promoter comments that DVDs and home theaters are great but "you... want the experience of going out, with people, people that you're talking to and seeing a movie" (CBS News).

John organizes a guerrilla drive-in in New York City that screens outdoor cinema on the sides of buildings in secret locations. Spread by word of mouth, clues are dropped which lead you to a hidden FM radio transmitter. Once found, you must decode the message to get in to the movie.

Movie-goers seem drawn to this particular outdoor cinema because it's kind of underground, and not many people know about it. But the outdoor movie events have grown in popularity, and over 200 people attended a recent screening of Back to the Future. New York isn't the only place where outdoor films are cropping up.

Parks and recreation departments have caught on the the trend, with not-so-guerrilla screenings of family-friendly films in the parks. Film festivals are also adopting outdoor movie screenings to their roster. And guerrilla cinema has caught like wildfire with portable movie screens and massive underground organizations like Mobile Movies. These days, finding an outdoor film near you might not be quite as easy as going to the drive-in, but it certainly is as fun!

Join our mailing list

Get the latest outdoor cinema updates and benefits straight to your inbox

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

Join our community of 4,000+ Open Air Cinema enthusiasts and professionals. Get exclusive tutorials, guidance and discounts in our weekly email newsletter.

Subscribe now 👇