New Yorkers will now have an opportunity to gain access to outside entertainment, during the coronavirus pandemic. Beginning in July, Yankee Stadium will host drive-in movies and concerts featuring local musicians every night Friday through Sunday, with a “brunch series” occurring on Saturday and Sunday. In March, MASC Hospitality Group came up with the idea for the Uptown Drive-In, after realizing that many of their events, such as the Bronx Night Market, would be canceled this summer.
“It’s a food festival meets cultural event meets classic drive-in,” co-owner Marco Shalma told CNN. “We wanted to create a space where people can eat, watch films or comedians, play bingo and even have date nights in a way that is safe.” The Yankee Stadium parking lot will be turned into a weekend carnival experience dubbed Uptown Drive-In. The stage will be elevated to be seen from attendees’ cars, with sound streamed from the PA system directly to car radios.
Tickets will be all-inclusive and available online on a first-come, first-serve basis. Prices are still being worked out, but MASC’s Marco Shalma told Time Out, “We’re working with city and state officials, and some of our sponsors to reduce cost as much as we can to be able to make this very affordable, and for as many New Yorkers as possible.” He also promises raffles for folks to win tickets.
Shalma said the group will focus on showcasing New York talent and food and they hope to hire around 40 people to help with security and food service. The group initially planned to kick off events every weekend after July 4, but after experiencing an overwhelming interest, they are looking into branching out into the rest of the week. The events will run until August, Shalma said.
“We had more than 9,000 people register to attend already and so many amazing people jumping in to offer partnerships,” he said. To abide by social distancing guidelines, cars will be asked to park 10 feet away from each other and only 200 cars will be allowed to register for each event. Car-side food service will be explored so that attendees won’t have to get out of their cars to pick up food.
The price of the ticket has not been decided yet, but MASC is working with their local partners to make sure it’s affordable. The tickets will be all-inclusive and per vehicle, according to Shalma.