NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The Tribeca Festival - the first in-person film festival in North America since the pandemic, which dropped "Film" from its official title Wednesday morning - returned with 13 simultaneous screenings of the film "In the Heights."
Pier 76 on the West Side was one of the 13 screening locations for the film, finally being released after a year delay due to the pandemic.
Big stars came out to show their support at a screening in Battery Park Wednesday night.
"I'm grateful to see all of you again, I'm grateful to have the film business beginning again," actress Sharon Stone said.
Another screening was held at the United Palace Theater in Washington Heights. Hudson Yards served as a second outdoor location.
For months, crews have been dismantling Pier 76 - an NYPD tow pound for more than 30 years before the city finally vacated it in January, the culmination of a legal battle with the state.
The festival will close Sunday June 19 with a ceremony at Radio City Music Hall, opening its doors for the first time in over a year, at 100% capacity with a fully vaccinated audience.
The Tribeca Festival was founded in the wake of 9/11 around the idea that artists and great storytelling can inspire hope, bring about change and revitalize communities during difficult times.
Twenty years later, Tribeca's message rings truer than ever, particularly after a year in which New York and the larger world faced unprecedented challenges due to the pandemic.
"Our founding mission is even more relevant today, and we wanted to ensure that we could reach all corners of New York," co-founder and CEO Jane Rosenthal said. "Tribeca was started to bring people together, and that's what we aim to do again this year, to connect communities across all five boroughs and share our festival experience, safely, while supporting local businesses."
This year's festival will also feature a podcast lineup for the first time ever, as well as a series of film reunions and anniversaries.
The festival expects to reach up to 100,000 guests who can participate over the 12-day event with over 200 screenings at outdoor venues including:
--The Battery, Manhattan
--Waterfront Place at Brookfield Place, Manhattan
--Hudson Yards, Manhattan
--Pier 76 in Hudson River Park, Manhattan
--Empire Outlets, Staten Island
--MetroTech Commons, Brooklyn
Also, the Borough-to-Borough programs will bring the festival directly to neighborhoods around New York City using traveling 40-foot state-of-the-art LED cinemas, the first mobile HD screens in the country, to connect communities to the festival experience in their own backyard. Borough-To-Borough venue locations include:
--Queens: Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Rockaway Beach, Astoria Park
--The Bronx: Van Courtland, Soundview Park, Walter Gladwin Park
--Brooklyn: Marine Park
For more information or for tickets, visit TribecaFilm.com/Festival.
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