El Centro Movies Night--Minions-The Rise of Gru

Siblings Colette (left), 6, and Jonny, 9, show their art projects during the El Centro Movies Night at Plank Park in El Centro.

EL CENTRO — Residents surrounding the city’s Plank Park brought their folding chairs and blankets to watch a popular movie the evening of Tuesday, November 22 at the park.

The Parks and Recreation Department featured “Minions: The Rise of Gru” during the Movie Night Under the Stars community event. The open air movie was offered free to the public. 

Families picked their favorite spots for a good viewing at the park, spread their blankets on the grass, unfolded their lawn chairs, and watched the animated movie. Some residents were able to watch from their driveway. 

“We are having a family movie night. The city does this to promote friendship,” said Adult Center Coordinator Leah Arellano. 

The movie was chosen by popular demand, according to Arellano. Popular movie titles were posted on Facebook and Minions: The Rise of Gru was requested to be shown. 

Yasmin Edney brought her two children, Jonny, age 9, and Colette, age 6, to Plank Park.

“We live across the park. We checked the Facebook page of the city and saw that there was a movie. My children saw it and they wanted to come over,” said Edney. When they arrived, the children went immediately to the arts and crafts table. 

Recreational leader Natalia Lagunas assisted Jonny and Colette in making Minion characters using jumbo Popsicle sticks, colored markers, and plastic eyes. The siblings also colored Minion characters printed on a sheets of paper. After completion of their two projects, Jonny and Colette showed their arts & crafts to their mother.

According to Edney, the last time her family attended the city’s movie nights was for the movie “Coco,” shown more than two years ago, before the COVID-19 pandemic.  

“I came with my son,” said Mia Nelson, referring to her one-year-old son Denton. Nelson’s sister and parents also came and together they watched the movie. 

Mia thought that Denton would like to watch the movie. “He didn’t really sit for too long and then he played. He had fun.” 

According to Nelson, she had watched previous Minion movies, and this was her first time to watch the newly released movie. 

The Minions from the movie itself have their own distinct language different from the English language. Nelson admitted she doesn’t understand them. “But my son kind of talks the same way. So, I felt like I can understand them.” 

As for the community event, Nelson expressed her gratefulness to the city’s Parks and Recreation Department for showing the movie. “It was cool.” 

Yasmin Edney shared the same gratitude. “I’m glad that the city and the other patrons are doing this again.”  

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