BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The Berkeley Heights Recreation Department and the Berkeley Heights Business & Civic are pleased to announce in conjunction with The Connell Company, our Berkeley Heights Summer 2020 Drive-In Movie Experience on July 22, August 5, and August 18.

"As a result of COVID-19 and the restrictions placed on social gatherings, we had no choice but to cancel our traditional Summer Concert Series, loved by many BH residents and leaving a huge Summertime void," said Ed Gallitelli, Berkeley Heights Recreation Commission Chairman.

The Township was approached by Boxcar Inc. (New Jersey based company) regarding a way to provide community entertainment, while following social distancing etiquette and practices. After an initial Zoom meeting, Mayor Angie Devanney asked that the Berkeley Heights Recreation Commission and the Berkeley Heights Business & Civic to join forces and try to move forward with this project. The sole intent was to provide an event(s) for the Township that would allow a fun environment and experience for the residents of Berkeley Heights at a minimal cost ($25-$30 per car).

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Throughout the United States, drive-in movies have seen a resurgence due to Covid-19. "The Connell Company offered use of their property. It was the perfect site, logistically, to host a drive-in movie concept. And they were in from day one," said Gallitelli. "After a site meeting, it was deemed the parking lot between Connell Building 100 and Lifetime Athletic provide the perfect tiered space to allow optimum viewing for 80 – 100 cars in a beautiful natural setting.

"We then worked out details with Boxcar to make the Berkeley Heights Summer 2020 Drive-In Movie Experience a reality and exclusive for Berkeley Heights residents," he said. 

There will be three movie dates:

  • Wednesday July 22 - Jurassic Park
  • Wednesday August 5 - TBD
  • Tuesday August 18 - TBD                                                                                      

Boxcar works with an outdoor movie production company that will provide a giant 36x24 foot movie screen for viewing.  The production company utilizes FM transmitters so patrons can tune into a specified FM radio station upon entering the venue, allowing all to hear the movie through the comfort of their cars. Doors to the venue will open at 7:15 pm with movie airing approximately at 8:30 pm depending on darkness.  

Patrons will purchase a ticket on the Boxcar App, but must be signed up for the Boxcar App prior to being able to purchase. "It’s imperative to register and sign up ahead of time with Boxcar, so you can then reserve a $25-$30 car ticket when the first movie event is released. Once in the Boxcar data base, all registrants will be notified via mass e-mail at the same time when the first movie event is available for reservation," said Gallitelli.                                                                                                                                                                     

The following link will go live next week to register:  https://platforhttps://platform.boxcarapp.com/orgs/berkeleyheightsnjm.boxcarapp.com/orgs/berkeleyheightsnj      

Food to Be Available

What would a Drive-In Movie be without food? 

"We have partnered with four local restaurants: Grain & Cane, Delicious Heights, Marcello’s and Goodman’s Deli to bring you a limited boxed meal concept that will be available via the Boxcar App at least one to two weeks prior to the movie," said Dr. Patrick Smith, Chairman of the BHB&C. 

This food option is not inclusive of your $25-$30 car entry fee and will be processed as a separate add-on transaction on the Boxcar App via their Dashboard. "Purchasing food via the Boxcar App helps support local restaurants and shows them we care during this difficult time," he said. 

"We have also contracted security through our own Berkeley Heights Police Department, and we will have a Port-a-Potty station available for your restroom needs during the event. We are also looking for event Sponsorships from our business community as well as private donations that will help defray some of the logistical costs associated with putting this 3 series event together," said Smith.

Please contact the Berkeley Heights Business & Civic at: BHbusinessandcivic@gmail.com for Sponsorship availability. "Sponsors will get mentioned in a pre-movie announcement, and we are also working on a pre-movie print trailer that will acknowledge our sponsors. This will run prior to the movie on the big screen."

There will be additional information to follow regarding the logistics and the drive-in movie guidelines with emphasis on social distancing protocol, prior to, during and after the event for the Berkeley Heights Summer 2020 Drive-In Movie Experience.

Stay Tuned for a fun summer!