At The Drive-In
Beginning in October, the Jefferson Performing Arts Society (JPAS) will be premiering Drive-in Déjà Vu at the Pontchartrain Convention and Civic Center.
This idea brings back many memories from my childhood. I vividly remember two drive-in movie experiences: in 1961 awkwardly watching “Blue Hawaii” with my father, who was recently divorced from my mother, and in 1969 trying to watch “If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium” while thwarting the overly amorous moves of Rusty Ogletree.
Amy Kirk Duvoisin, JPAS marketing and community relations director, has much more recent and pleasant memories.
“The drive-in movie theater where I grew up in Ohio is still active,” she says. “I was so happy to be able to bring my 7-year-old daughter to a drive-in movie two summers ago. We packed up the car the way we did when I was a kid, complete with blankets and pillows. Of course, she fell asleep by the end of the first film, so my husband and I had a ‘date night’ with her snoozing in the backseat while we watched the second movie.”
The series will show vintage films on the first four Fridays in October. They films are “42nd Street,” “The 39 Steps,” “Arsenic & Old Lace,” and “An American in Paris.” The series culminates with a special screening of “Ghostbusters” on Friday, Oct. 30.
“The JPAS team was looking at ways to stay connected to the community and generate enthusiasm while the theater is dark,” says Timothy Todd Simmons, JPAS executive director. “With so many restrictions on indoor performances, we looked at what could be possible outdoors. Drive-in concerts and movies have become one of the best options for producing safe, socially distant events. When we looked at our 43rd season, we realized that four of the shows were plays that had become movies or vice-versa, so drive-in screenings of them seemed like a great way to bring these shows to the community during this difficult time.”
JPAS remains hopeful that it can present its 43rd season “as is.”
“Every single day we look at what is possible, what we need to do to produce the shows safely and successfully, and what permissions we require to safely present our productions,” says Simmons. “It is a daily task and daily discussion. We know ‘the show must go on’ but it will take a lot of effort—which we know will be well worth it”
The Jefferson Performing Arts Society is a nonprofit professional arts organization whose mission is to promote arts performance, training, and outreach by providing a diverse range of quality programs that entertain, educate, and enrich the cultural and economic vitality of Jefferson Parish, Greater New Orleans, and the Gulf South.
For information on JPAS’s upcoming season, interviews with performers, and more visit www.jpas.org
Address: 6400 Airline Dr, Metairie, LA 70003
Phone: (504) 731-4700
How Can Readers Help?
Readers can like JPAS on Facebook at Jefferson Performing Arts Society and follow on Instagram to see what they are doing. Things such as virtual video contests and interviews, to auditions, and of course, all of the information on these upcoming movies. They can also share information about the drive-in movies with everyone.
How Can Businesses Help?
JPAS needs local business’ support now more than ever to reopen and lift its curtain this spring. They welcome sponsors and community partners for all of our endeavors, from its drive-in movies (sponsorships are still available) to its season productions, and outreach and education. They have received fabulous in-kind donations from Pelican Pointe Car Wash and
Rouses Markets for its drive-ins, and they welcome more businesses to partner with them to continue to offer creative options for the community.