As we wade deeper into this pandemic, it’s inspiring to see all the creative ways neighbors and organizations throughout the Delaware River Towns are bringing people together while keeping everyone a safe distance apart.
Among the more entertaining events to emerge is ACME Screening Room’s Carpool Cinema. For much of the summer, the independent, nonprofit theater in Lambertville has been staging weekly drive-in theater screenings of cult classics (Purple Rain, The Big Lebowski) behind the Spokeworks Building on North Union Street.
Welcome to the modern drive-in
Held every Saturday, the lot opens at 8 PM. A half-hour live concert featuring a rotating cast of local musicians precedes the featured movie, which starts somewhere between 8:45 PM and 9 PM.
Guests are encouraged to bring their own food (and beverages), though Thai Tida has been selling a special-edition street-food-style menu at the screenings. Just keep in mind that the general aim of the organizers is to discourage spending time outside of vehicles. So, if the scent proves too much to resist—you’re only human, after all—come prepared with a mask and cash (preferably small bills) to minimize the exchange.
Similarly, if nature calls, a mask must be worn to and from the bathroom. (There is one—only one—onsite.) Basically, any time you get out of your car, throw on a mask. Though, expect to spend just about all of the couple hours you’ll be there inside your car. (This isn’t Florida.)
Tickets are $35 to $40 per car (it depends on the size), and the drive-in theater is limited to 30 per screening. (Proceeds go to the theater, naturally.) You can buy them at the link above. If there’s bad weather, you’ll be notified by email by 7 PM on movie night, at which point you can either hold on to your ticket and use it when a rain date’s scheduled or exchange it for another movie.
Get access to ACME’s library at home
If you’re playing it more conservatively (which we totally respect), ACME’s also doing virtual screenings of the independent films and documentaries it would be showing if the theater was open and life was, you know, normal. If you’re not familiar with ACME, these movies are not the sort of fare you’ll find on Netflix or Amazon Prime. For the most part, they tend to exist way, way (way) off the beaten path.
That said, you’ll almost never regret taking a chance on one. At worst, you’ll be thoroughly entertained (and distracted) for a couple of hours. At best, you’ll be entertained and enlightened.
Prices range because the movies are being made available for streaming by different distributors, but they generally run around $12, half of which goes to the theater.