Sunday, February 1, 2015

Trashy Theater

Empire Drive-In makes a movie theater out of derelict cars


Do you like bikinis and junk cars? Of course you do, who doesn't. At Empire Drive-In, you'll get a bit of both alongside your movies.
Of course, you won't need to drive in, the cars have already been parked for you. But you can slip in and out of the 60 cars reclaimed from a Brooklyn junkyard that make up the seating area in front of its 40-foot screen at the New York Hall of Science.
A project by two New York-based artists and a team of artist collaborators, Empire is as much an art installation as it as a movie theater.

During the day, it's an interactive exhibit about car culture and technological obsolescence, with a sound broadcast by This American Life's Ann Hepperman piped through each of the car's sound systems.
At night, it's a DIY cinema. (Don't worry about smuggling in your own popcorn — there's a concession stand, too.) Each evening's programming kicks off with a slideshow by Stephen Mallon, whose amazing images of junked subway cars you've definitely seen before.
One night it's a Bollywood fest; another, it's a screening of Penelope Spheeris' punk rock cult flick Suburbia. On opening night, Deerhoof's Greg Saunier and 30 pianists play cheap Casio keyboards to accompany old silent films.
Oh, about those bikinis: this is probably the only place in the country showing 1965's crime comedy Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine.
You thought we'd forgotten about the bikinis, didn't you?

Empire Drive-In
Friday October 4-Sunday, October 20
New York Hall of Sience, 47-01 111th St. (44th Ave.), Flushing Meadows
Tickets: $15 here

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