Drive-In Movie Raises over $200,000 For East End Food Pantries

Independent/Neil Rasmus for BFA

Two back-to-back beautiful summer nights set the perfect stage for a step back in time at the Hampton Classic Horse Show grounds in Bridgehampton. With social distancing regulations keeping movie theater doors shuttered, a drive-in movie screening of Disney’s newest release, “Artemis Fowl,” had been assembled as a way to “get out, without getting out.”

Led by Andrew Saffir, creator of The Cinema Society, the film biz fixture tapped actor/director Bob Balaban, producer Jane Rosenthal, Blade CEO Rob Wiesenthal, telecoms president Dexter Goei, and lawyer Eddie Burke Jr. to join as co-hosts. Altogether, the connected crew rallied a crowd of nearly 200 cars each night, raising over $200,000 for All For The East End‘s Feed the Need Campaign, which funds food pantries across the East End.

“At this point during our quarantine, we could probably show Hot Tub Time Machine and sell out in an hour,” Wiesenthal joked of the community of permanent and seasonal residents who came out en masse after three months spent holed up at home.

Nicole Miller, Kim Taipale. Independent/Neil Rasmus for BFA

In addition to the film, available for streaming starting today via Disney+, moviegoers were also treated to a round of video messages sending well wishes from Joy Behar, Lorraine Bracco, Jimmy Buffett, Don Lemon and Jimmy Fallon. “This shows that when we come together as a community, we can do anything, and it’s really inspiring,” Fallon said, before quipping. “A little birdie told me after-party at Alec Baldwin’s house! See you there!”

Lemon himself could be found in the crowd too, taking in the movie from the back of a wood-paneled station wagon alongside his partner Tim Malone and their cute pooch Gus.

Rob Wiesenthal, Eddie Burke Jr. Independent/Neil Rasmus for BFA

“I’m a big lover of outdoor movies, and these two nights felt particularly magical, in part because it was the first time we were seeing people, and there was a renewed sense of community, and we were all collectively giving something back to the local population in need,” Saffir told us on Sunday evening, following the screenings. “That, combined with the perfect weather and the feeling that we’re all so lucky to be out here, made it extra special.”

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