Volume 20, Number 49 | THE NEWSPAPER OF LOWER MANHATTAN | APRIL 19 - 26, 2008

Courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival

The 2007 Drive-In outdoor screenings attracted 10,000 people

Drive-In thrills with family-friendly fun

By Lawrence Everett Forbes

Sports fans, music aficionados, and families alike are bound to find themselves parked up front and center at the North Cove of World Financial Plaza for the annual Tribeca Drive-In outdoor screenings. Last year’s three-night run drew 10,000 people. Now in its sixth year, the gathering gives footloose and car-free urbanites both a taste of the movie-going nostalgia of yesteryear—as well as buckets of free popcorn.

The Drive-In begins on Thursday, April 24, when director John Landis screens “Thriller” and “The Making of Thriller,” his groundbreaking collaboration with Michael Jackson. Filmed 25 years ago, the video ushered in the MTV Era and made its way into the Guinness Book of World’s Records as the Most Successful Music Video. More interesting than the screening is the pre-show, which features “Thriller” face-painting stations, a King of Pop look-alike contest, and a dance floor for those looking to get their ghoul on.

The creature comfort continues on Friday with the world premiere of “Meerkat Manor: The Story Begins,” the prequel to the wildly popular Animal Planet series. New York native Whoopi Goldberg narrates the coming-of-age journey of Flower, and the challenges the young meerkat faces as she rises through the ranks of the Whiskers clan. With eye-popping footage that glides over the Kalahari Desert, the film appeals to both children and adults. Attendees who show up before the screening are treated to the meerkat personality test, “Meerkat Manor” trivia, and a similarly themed dance-off.

Gridiron junkies looking to get their off-season fix should get a kick out of Saturday’s Tribeca/ESPN’s Sports Film Festival Fans’ Favorite Football Flick. The virtual face-off, which has been going strong since March 20, began with the top 16 football films. Visitors to the TribecaESPN.com Web site vote on the head-to-head tournament of fan favorites. The winner is announced on April 17 (the voting deadline) and featured on the Drive-In’s final night.  

TRIBECA DRIVE-IN. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and seating for the free event is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The organizers will supply 3,000 chairs, but the venue can accommodate another 4,500 people. Programs begin at 7:30 p.m. with screenings starting at approximately 8 p.m. at the North Cove of World Financial Plaza. tribecafilmfestival.org.




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