Over the last 14 months, I’ve thought a lot about what my last prepandemic movie was — it could’ve been the boozy brunch screening of “Little Women” at the Nitehawk Prospect Park, that sent me sobbing into the snowy afternoon, or, more likely, an afternoon screening of “And Then We Danced” at Quad Cinema. But at this point, it doesn’t really matter — I just know that I’ve missed watching anything on the big screen, where I can laugh and cry alongside a big room of strangers.
So this week, we’re going to grab some popcorn and leave our laptops and TVs behind; it’s time to return to New York’s cinemas, drive-ins and parks for a proper movie night.
This all comes just in time for summer festival season — and theater reopenings around the city. The Tribeca Film Festival is kicking off at the United Palace theater this Thursday with the world premiere of “In the Heights”; the festival runs through June 20 with screenings online and in theaters. BAM Rose Cinemas is also reopening this Friday with a mix of old and new titles, and the BAMcinemaFest starts on June 23.
Film at Lincoln Center is also starting its “Big Screen Summer: NYFF58 Redux” series on Friday, with screenings of 33 films from last year’s New York Film Festival.
Outdoor cinemas, like Rooftop Films’s Queens Drive-In and the Greenpoint-based Skyline Drive-In, are showing movies under the night sky (this weekend, in Queens, “Carrie” and “Goodfellas”; in Greenpoint, “Black Panther” and “Scream”), and Syndicated’s Sidewalk Cinema is showcasing a lineup of queer films at the end of this month (highlights include “Paris Is Burning” on June 21, “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” on June 24, and “Tangerine” on June 29).
Rooftop Films, the roving summer series that screens movies around the city, is also kicking off its 25th anniversary with showings at Green-Wood Cemetery, the New York Hall of Science and Fort Greene Park. The season kicks off on June 17 and includes the New York premiere of Zola on June 24.
And last but certainly not least, the NYC Parks Department is bringing back its Movies Under the Stars series, which screens films at parks and playgrounds around the five boroughs (including some excellent family-friendly options). New movies and locations are added throughout the summer, so that page is worth bookmarking if free, open-air movie nights appeal.
A few more ideas
Tonight: Catch an evening of music and dance with Madison McFerrin, Samantha Figgins, and Jessica Pinkett, who are performing at the Jackie Robinson Park Bandshell in Manhattan. The shows are free with an RSVP.
Free fun: The River To River Festival kicks off at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday with performances by Esperanza Spalding, Terri Lyne Carrington and Leo Genovese at the Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural & Educational Center in the Lower East Side.
In the Bronx, Queens or Brooklyn: Head to Forever Jerk for “the finest, juiciest and most impressively smoky jerk” meat that our critic has found in New York City.
In Staten Island: Join Angel Elektra for a Drag Queen Story Hour at the Staten Island Children’s Museum on Sunday at noon.
In Brooklyn: Get something to eat at the reopening of Smorgasburg in Prospect Park on Sunday. 35 vendors will be there from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., but if you miss it, you can drool over some of the options on their Instagram feed.
In Manhattan: The Museum of the City of New York is opening the exhibit “New York, New Music: 1980-1986” on Friday.
Date night: The Blue Note Jazz Club is reopening for the summer on Tuesday with concerts from the pianist Robert Glasper at 8 and 10:30 p.m.
With friends: Join the queens of Bushwig at the Brooklyn Museum for an evening of drinking, drawing and drag performances on Thursday. More pride events can also be found in this lovely roundup from the Arts section.
And if you like things that glitter: The American Museum of Natural History is reopening the redesigned Halls of Gems and Minerals on Saturday.
What do you want to hear from us this summer? Are there events or venues we should know about? Send us a note at [email protected], or let us know in the comments.