Summer drive-in movies return to Gordon Outdoors

A drive-in movie at the Gordon Outdoors
A drive-in movie at the Gordon Outdoors during the summer of 2020 (David Stuck)

Summer drive-in movies have returned to the JCC of Greater Baltimore.

As part of its Gordon Outdoors programming, there will be drive-in movies at least once a week until July 17 at the Rosenbloom Owings Mills JCC. The next showing is of “The Goonies” this Saturday at 9:15 p.m. Other movie screenings will be of “Tommy,” “National Treasure,” “Pink Floyd – the Wall,” “O Brother, Where Art Thou,” “Back to the Future: Part II” and “The Croods: A New Age.” Gordon Outdoors will also have three movies — “Tel Aviv on Fire,” “A Call to Spy” and “Back to Maracanã” — as part of its Jewish Art House Film Series.

The Gordon Center started screening drive-in movies last summer. Over the past year, the drive-in entertainment space has become its own venue, hosting fundraisers and a bar mitzvah and screening other films, such as “Indecent” as part of the Queer Jewish Arts Festival and “The Prince of Egypt” during Passover.

“The pandemic was a catalyst for [Gordon Outdoors], but I wouldn’t say that we started it just because of the pandemic,” said Sara Shalva, chief arts officer at the JCC of Greater Baltimore. “It was a catalyst for innovative and creative thinking. We wanted to figure out a way to gather people safely, but it’s turned into so much more than that.”

This summer series is different than last year’s, Shalva said. Last summer, the films were targeted toward families, while this year, the films are intended for different audiences. Some are for families, while others come with a parental advisory.

One new part of the Gordon Outdoors this summer is the addition of the 4Front Teen Nights. On select evenings, teens will be able to watch the drive-in movies in a special teen section. There are three more movie nights for high schoolers left this summer (the first was on June 12) and one for middle schoolers. The teen section will have snacks, some 4Front swag and will be supervised.

The JCC’s teen organization, 4Front, wanted to set this space up so teens could socialize safely, even if they aren’t fully vaccinated yet.

“Obviously, it’s been a very wacky year,” said Diana Solomon, the co-managing senior director of 4Front. “Everything with COVID and school being virtual has been particularly rough on teens, which is who 4Front serves and who 4Front works with and is here for.”

The Gordon Outdoors venue will stick around for a long time, Shalva said, even if what it’s used for changes.

“It’s a new venue,” Shalva said. “This venue will have a very long shelf life, and its identity will evolve as we get to know what the audience and the patrons and the community really wants and needs.”

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