Though many theaters across the U.S. are still closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ava DuVernay is making sure Angelenos can take a safe (and free) trip to the movies.
For a special two-night pop-up event, DuVernay’s non-profit cinema and social justice organization ARRAY Alliance will present “Selena” and “Purple Rain” on a 40-foot screen in Downtown Los Angeles.
“Selena,” which celebrates the life and tragic death of singer Selena Quintanilla and earned Jennifer Lopez a Golden Globe nomination, will screen on Friday, Aug. 14. “Purple Rain,” which marked Prince’s big-screen debut before going on to win an Oscar for best original score, is featured on Saturday, Aug. 15.
The event will be held at Los Angeles Center Studios in L.A.’s Historic Filipinotown/Westlake neighborhood. Tickets are free with advance registration online at ARRAY Drive-In and will be issued one per car, with admittance on a first-come, first-served basis. Putting safety first, the ARRAY Drive-In will adhere to the County of Los Angeles social distancing and health safety mandate for staff and attendees. And because the two films celebrate musical icons and some of their most classic tunes, “singing along is encouraged” at the screenings.
“At ARRAY’s core, we produce, distribute, exhibit, and amplify images by Black artists, people of color, and women of all kinds,” Mercedes Cooper, ARRAY’s director of programming, said in a statement. “While the Amanda Cinema at our ARRAY Creative Campus is closed for safety, along with all theaters in LA, it was important for us with this event to continue our mission of offering free film screenings in communities that are underserved.”
The community cinema pop-up will be presented by Lyft, which earlier this year launched a new initiative called LyftUp, which expands transportation access to underserved communities. Explaining the partnership, the team at ARRAY noted LyftUp’s goal to provide ride credits for voters in an effort to make getting the polls easier and more affordable “resonates deeply with ARRAY’s mission of providing various streams of access in Black and Brown communities.”