A couple is reviving the drive-in theater by showing all-diverse films.
According to Cassius, Newark, NJ filmmaker Ayana Stafford-Morris and her husband Siree Morris are only playing films with diverse casts at their Newark Moonlight Cinema, such as Just Mercy, Set It Off, Creed II, Girl’s Trip, Hardball, the 2007 film adaptation of the musical Hairspray and others. The couple’s reason is that diverse films “reflect the ethnic and cultural diversity of the region’s audiences.”
With their launch of Moonlight Cinema, Ayana Stafford-Morris and Siree Morris passed on the all-white ’80s cult classics originally offered to them, and will instead screen movies that reflect the ethnic and cultural diversity of the region’s audience. https://t.co/mMUdtnf8nE
— Gothamist (@Gothamist) July 23, 2020
Stafford-Morris told Gothamist that they wanted to show that cult classic films “shouldn’t just be assumed that it’s a white film.” She came up with the idea for her all-diverse drive-in after meeting with a movie licensing company who suggested she show only white films from the ’80s, such as Sixteen Candles, Jaws, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and The Breakfast Club. To the company, those films were “drive in staples,” but as Stafford-Morris said, “Some of us like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. But that’s not a cult classic for us.”
The Newark Moonlight Cinema opens Friday at Bear Stadium with a week dedicated to Queen Latifah-starring films. You can learn more about the drive-in on Instagram.
Photo: Newark Moonlight Cinema