JACKSON, NJ – Jackson Township Mayor Michael Reina announced last week that his town would be the first one town in New Jersey to bring in a new pop-up movie vendor to show movies in the park in his town. Residents near and far were excited. The venture was the brainchild of PJ Windle, an entertainment DJ who saw an opportunity to bring drive-in movies back to the Garden State on a regular basis.
On Friday, Reina announced that he was warned not to host the drive-in movies in his town’s park, “It’s against the law and I was warned not to do it.”
Reina hinted that the idea was squashed by Governor Phil Murphy who has also banned a New Jersey tulip farm drive-through and birthday party drive-bys.
“Well there Governor here are your words, parks can be opened if we maintain social distancing,” Reina said. “Well unless I missed something cars are for drive-in movies, cars are also parked in every lot of every business you deemed essential, well then they will be parked the same way.”
Now, Windle’s entire business, which could have taken off during COVID-19, could be in serious jeopardy. Last month, Murphy’s administration threatened a nearby Cream Ridge tulip farmer with arrest by State Police if he hosted his in-car drive-through event. Would Reina be willing to go against Murphy’s Law as some other Republican mayors and leaders are now suggesting, or will he comply with Murphy’s Law?
“The only difference here is that they will be spaced further apart at the drive-in, the sound is through the radio or Bluetooth device,” he said. “No social interaction other than the occupants which would be 99% family or romantically involved couples, what threat is there? There isn’t any is there? No one is mandated to go to the drive-in by the way.”
Reina’s stance against Murphy is a complete 180-degree change as just a few weeks ago, he and his town council introduced a resolution in support of a bill that would fine New Jersey residents $10,000 for violating Murphy’s Law. That bill was sponsored by Reina’s township attorney, Republican Assemblyman Gregory McGuckin.