In this case, “Drive Thru” refers to the name of the newest installation from the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership (DBP) and Van Alen Institute — and the inspiration behind it — rather than the actual experience itself.
The Plaza at 300 Ashland is Downtown Brooklyn is now home to Soft-Firm’s Drive-Thru, an adjustable outdoor theater that’s sharing performances by local artists and filmmakers from February 18 through April 14, 2022. It was inspired by the “the classic drive-in movie experience,” created to “reimagine how shared public spaces can be activated during the winter months to connect communities.”
The installation is made up of two 13.5’ x 7.5’ screens that sit on a giant rotating pedestal, and can be adjusted to be seen from both Lafayette Ave. and Flatbush Ave., and even the seating area of the Plaza. The screens utilize light through rear projection to screen various films and videos by eight Brooklyn-based artists and filmmakers for the public to enjoy.
Screenings will also incorporate timely initiatives like Black History Month and Women’s History Month, with a Black History Month celebration event on February 23 that also incorporates live performances.
Here is the upcoming schedule of events at Drive Thru:
February 23 | 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Launch of Drive-Thru honoring Black History Month: Senegalese Taneber Sunu Birr (Drum and Dance Circle)
February 24 – March 2
Nicholas Fraser, Follow/Unfollow (2016)
Nicholas Fraser’s Follow/Unfollow captures New Yorkers as they travel the city’s ever-changing streetscape. As their paths cross in frame, a single person grows to two, two form a trio, the trio morphs into a crowd, stopping, shifting, and changing direction to a hypnotic effect.
March 2 – March 8
Simon Benjamin, Errantry (2021)
Named after Édouard Glissant’s theory, Simon Benjamin’s Errantry is centered on the polyphonic rhythms of coastal space, the Caribbean sea, and the life sustained by it in a non-linear narrative that raises questions about time, labor, environmental degradation and the ongoingness of colonialism.
March 9 – March 15
Luna X Moya, What the Pier Gave Us (2021)
In Luna X Moya’s What the Pier Gave Us, a fisherman’s ordinary day at an undisclosed New York City pier becomes a visual metaphor for the immigrant experience in the United States. This short film is part of an upcoming feature-length documentary.
March 16 – March 23
Olalekan Jeyifous, The Frozen Neighborhoods (Fly-through) (2021)
Olalekan Jeyifous’s The Frozen Neighborhoods (Fly-through) depicts a speculative future where poor and marginalized communities are cut off from travel, forcing them to develop advanced ecological technologies. This deceptively dystopian vision imagines the potential of community-focused innovation and creating a sustainable and self-contained world in Brooklyn.
March 25 – March 30
Tanika I. Williams, (construct)Clearing (2021) and Sanctuary (2021)
As a meditation on quiet care, intention, intergenerational movement and labor, (construct)Clearing seeks to understand how we wear and repeat family patterns of silence and separation. Sanctuary illustrates the aftermath of African-Caribbean mothers leaving their daughters to immigrate to the United States, combining academic research, autobiographical expression, and archival interviews.
March 31 – April 5
Series of shorts by Ezra Wube: Flatbushtopia (2017), Bridge Street (2015), At the Same Moment (2013), Words of Wisdom (2016)
This series of shorts by Ezra Wube offer snapshots of life across New York. These stop-motion animations, often developed with community input and participation, depict scenes in Flatbush, DUMBO, Jamaica, and on the subway.
April 6 – April 13
- Aisha Amin, Choir (2020) and Friday (2019)
It may be self explanatory, but just a reminder: it’s best to take in Drive-Thru at night!
Find it The Plaza at 300 Ashland through April 14. More details can be found on their website here.