The Business of Education
Beloved, Black-Owned Drive-in Movie Theater
Siree Morris and Ayana Morris @theBrickerati
Writer. Director. Co-Owner
Newark Moonlight Cinema
Siree Morris earned a BS in Civil Engineering from Rutgers New Brunswick University. He is a real estate developer who believes in investing in his community “One property at a time”. He told the New York Times, “This right here is personal to me”. Morris is innovating building homes by creating NJ's first multi-family house made out of shipping containers. In March 2021 the City of Newark announced the designation of Fairmount Commons to Siree Morris’ firm, MCI Construction, and his partner Richman Affordable Housing Corp. In November 2020 he cut the ribbon on the Lofts at Avon, two 3-family homes erected on a former empty lot. At the height of the pandemic Morris and his wife opened NJ’s first black owned drive-in theater, Newark Moonlight Cinema. His future projects include “The Michael '', a mid-rise apartment building in his former neighborhood. The building is named in honor of his late brother; it will open Dec 2021. Siree Morris is indisputably buying back the block.
Ayana Morris earned a BA in Arts & Science from William Paterson University. She made her mark in black history by opening the first black owned drive-in movie theater, Newark Moonlight Cinema, with her husband, Siree Morris. The success of Newark Moonlight Cinema is one of the most feel-good viral stories to come out of the pandemic. In 2020 Morris made her directorial debut with the compelling visuals for Ras Baraka’s “What We Want”, the first single and title track from his spoken-word album. In 2018, Morris teamed up with award winning international director, Udi Aloni, to co-direct the documentary Baraka: Why Is We Americans? The film is produced by Lauryn Hill and Oren Moverman. The feature recounts the Baraka family struggles to end apartheid in Newark told by Mayor Ras Baraka and his mother Amina Baraka. The son and wife of the controversial poet, Amiri Baraka. In 2010, Ayana Morris opened Leopard Stripes Productions, a media production and digital marketing company. Her ultimate goal is to tell compelling stories that push the narrative of her culture and community.
The Newark Moonlight Cinema
Music Flavour by Wataboi and Pixabay