Onderdonk House to host bike-in film

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There are no drive-in movie theaters in Ridgewood, but residents can still take their wheels to the Vander Ende-Onderdonk House for an outdoor flick this summer.

The home’s lawn will be the plush, grassy venue for The Wonderdonk Bike-in Movie series, which kicks off Friday.

“We wanted to come up with events that would foster more community engagement with the arts in Bushwick and Ridgewood as well as transportation alternatives,” said Jeniece Primus, who worked with the house and other sponsors for the event.

Families are encouraged to hop on their cycles and ride to the 18th-century historical Dutch home, at 18-20 Flushing Ave., which will be showing three kid-friendly movies over the next three months on a large screen outside.

“We encourage the use of the greenspaces like the grounds, where you can actually bike onto the property,” Primus said.

There will be ample space to park bicycles on the lawn and volunteers will be on hand for assistance.

Primus did not discourage moviegoers from getting completely into the drive-in spirit and sitting on their bikes, but said that it might be uncomfortable to sit for several hours.

“They would have to have a wide saddle,” she said.

In keeping with the movie-theater theme, several food venders, including Cafe Ghia from Brooklyn, will be on hand to dish out concessions.

Friday’s bill was selected by Cinebeasts, an organization which screens films in public places all over the city. It will start with the French short film “The Red Balloon,” a story about a boy who befriends a red, inflatable orb that subsequently follows him around the streets of Paris.

The main feature will be Tim Burton’s cycle caper, “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure.”

Elena Callahan, who founded the bike advocacy group 2(w)heels — pronounced “two wheels, two heels” — with Primus, said the event will be a good way to bring people together.

“We feel very strongly that we want to encourage more sustainable transportation and organize art and we believe that having this kind of event builds community,” she said.

Callahan and other sponsors will be handing out bicycle maps at the event.

And, yes, anyone is welcome. Even those who arrive by foot — and even by car.

The gates open at 7:30 p.m. and the first film begins at 8:30 p.m.

Tickets are $7 for adults, free for children. The next bike-in movies will be on Aug. 27 and Sept. 10.

Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4566.

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