BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The aftermath of Tropical Storm Isaias didn't keep the crowd from enjoying Wednesday's showing of the original Jurassic Park at the first of three drive-in movie experiences in Berkeley Heights. Approximately 100 cars filled the graded parking lot at 100 Connell Drive to enjoy the show. 

The event was presented by Boxcar in coordination with the Berkeley Heights Business and Civic Association, The Berkeley Heights Recreation Department and The Connell Company. Berkeley Heights was fortunate to book three movie dates with the next experience on August 18 featuring "Raiders of the Lost Ark." The third date is August 24, with feature movie to be confirmed. Tickets are $25 per car and can be found here.

The first drive-in movie experience received overwhelming community support and sold out in a mere 56 minutes. With this response, the drive-in movies and the small glimpse of normalcy they provide, there is no question the event was a big hit.

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Boxcar partnered with singer-songwriter, and former contestant of The Voice, Dylan Hartigan, who gave a pre-show jam for the movie goers and performed mostly original songs along with a few covers. With his music tour being canceled due to the pandemic, he enjoyed the "good vibe" of playing for tips.

Ed Gallitelli, Chair of the Berkeley Heights Recreation Commission, said it was very important to be able to have a community event during these times. He said, “Because people had been confined and restricted to activities and what they could do and couldn’t do, we felt it was very important to try to put something together that we could rally the town behind and have something fun and entertaining for them.”  

Community members agreed and rising senior at Governor Livingston High School Kiera Blake said, “When everything feels so crazy it's really good to have something where we can get together and at least have a little bit of a sense of normalcy.” 

Alongside their kids, many parents felt a sense of nostalgia to their childhood when they would go to drive-in movies. Blake’s mom Laura said, “I grew up on drive-in movies. The first movie I ever saw at the drive-in movie theater was the first Star Wars movie.”

Before the movie started, Dr. Patrick Smith, chairman of the Berkeley Heights Business and Civic Association pointed out the resilience and strength of the town saying, “ You know, God gave us lemons, and we made lemonade.” Finishing up he said, “Please patronize the sponsors, because they're the ones who are making Berkeley Heights downtown as great as it possibly can be.”

Boxcar, a business that primarily provides commuters the ease of reserving parking spaces through their APP, had to pivot since the COVID-19 pandemic severely impacted commuting. They currently are focused on providing community entertainment by bringing the drive-in movie experience to the suburbs. Since entering the entertainment arena, the drive-in movies have taken off and Boxcar is selling out parking lots across the state while providing people with some much-needed entertainment. Not only have they entered the entertainment arena, they also provide a food market delivery service and car detailing. Visit https://www.boxcarapp.com/ to learn more about services offered by Boxcar.

Berkeley Heights Drive-in Movie Experience Season Sponsors Include: Advanced Dental Specialist, Anything Floral, Balloon Design Studio, Berkeley Hardware, BH Physical Therapy, Blue Jasmine , Dr. Memoli DMD, Kevin Mack/Edward Jones, European Wax Center, Fit Forever, Fountain of Youth Spa, Heights Marketing, Linda's Creative Gifts, Peace of Mind Yoga Counseling and Wellness Center, Peak Medical/Total Health, RE/MAX Integrity Advantage, Robinwood Inc., Smith Chiropractic, TAPinto Berkeley Heights/Bobbie Peer, Taylor Rental, The Liberty Group, The Rotary Club of BH

Editor's note: Aidan English is a junior at Gov. Livingston High School participating in the TAPinto Berkeley Heights internship program. To learn more contact bpeer@tapinto.net.