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Letter to the Editor: Drive-In Movie Nights

Friday, December 11, 2020
Posted by: Amy Rahmani

Drive-in Movie at the J: Oh what a night!

Click here for the original article on the JHV website. 

During the recent ERJCC Jewish Book & Arts Festival, there was a movie night/date night held in the parking lot of the JCC on Sunday, Nov. 15.

The movie, “Resistance,” is the story of actor and mime Marcel Marceau, as a young man in France during World War II.

It was a cool night in Houston, and we packed up our car and drove down the street to the JCC. We were warmly greeted by masked and gloved staff and handed a goodie bag of popcorn, water and candy! We were directed to a parking place in front of a giant screen.

The enthusiastic staff gave us written and verbal instructions as to how to access the sound through the car radio and position our car to have easy viewing for the film. There also were written instructions for access into the JCC (to be accompanied by a staff member) for bathroom breaks.

The film started at 8 p.m. We were introduced to the director, Jonathan Jakubowicz, who gave a personal message, and also to Jesse Eisenberg, the film’s star.

Jesse was sitting in his car with earphones and welcomed us. Before the film, both director and star gave a shout-out to Amy Rahamini, JCC Arts and Culture director, and Andrea Wolfe, Arts and Culture program coordinator, which gave us all such a personal touch.

The film was powerful and emotionally engaging. … hiding children in France, the escalation of the Nazis and their takeover of France. All the while, the giant efforts to keep the children healthy and well, while dealing with hunger, illness, fear and loss by a small group of resistance fighters and supporters in France.

It was engrossing to watch the growth of Marcel Marceau, from a self-absorbed young man and aspiring actor to a loving, caring and strong activist, all of which was reflected in his eyes and face throughout the film.

Scenes with Nazi Klaus Barbie and others were hard to watch and, thankfully, I was able to hold my husband’s hand and put a blanket over my head to block out the gritty scenes.

I grew up knowing of Marcel Marceau … I did not know of his history as a young Jewish man in France and his heroic efforts in saving children who had lost their parents in the war.

It was a great night out and distraction through quarantine and COVID limitations. Big shout-out to the ERJCC and staff for creating a night out together.

– Gayle Kamen-Weinstein

Response from Amy Rahmani, Director of Arts & Culture

What a lovely surprise to see Gayle Kamen-Weinstein’s letter to the editor about her experience at our “Drive-in Movie at the J.”

Gayle, we’re so glad you and your husband enjoyed the evening out during Book Festival. It’s so wonderful to hear great feedback, and your letter to the editor brought big smiles to everyone involved with planning the event.

We have another drive-in movie scheduled for December, and we hope [the community will] join us to experience the night out for themselves. The comedy, “After Class,” will be shown on a big screen on Sunday, Dec. 13, at 7:30 p.m., in the parking lot of the Evelyn Rubenstein JCC.

Justin Long leads an all-star cast (Lynn Cohen, Fran Drescher and Richard Schiff) in this smart, edgy Big Apple dysfunctional family story about a 30-something professor forced to defend his reputation. “After Class” is a laugh-out-loud comedy about how sometimes your crazy family can really come through, just when you need them the most.

Guests will be able to enjoy the film from the comfort of their car or right outside their car with lawn chairs. The J will provide a snack bag with popcorn, candy and water upon guests’ arrival, and our staff will direct you so you can comfortably see the screen based on your viewing preferences.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit erjcchouston.org/film. We hope to see you outside at the movies!

Category: Arts and Culture

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