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New Turlock Drive-In a Smash Hit with Jurassic Park

Gaby Muro

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TURLOCK – Movie goers and dinosaur lovers packed in a sold out showing of Jurassic Park at the new Grand Oak Drive In Theater Friday.

The theater came as a spontaneous idea, after the owners of the Grand Oak event center had to cancel all of their booked weddings and events for the entire year due to COVID-19. The owners decided to do something different to keep their staff employed during the pandemic.

“Let’s just do a drive-in theater,” said Sarah Yonan, who explained the idea was her father’s. “There isn’t one in this area.”

The drive in was a fun and safe idea for families to get out of the house and enjoy an event without a fear or risk of COVID-19, Yonan said.

“The community benefits because there aren’t many places open right now, so this is something families get to look forward to on the weekend.”

Yonan said the entire staff was on board with the idea.

There is a bar and concession stand at the drive-in offering tri-tip sandwiches, colossal dogs and popcorn, as well as a beer garden. The venue also has live concerts lined up, with Selena and Eagles tribute bands booked for the near future.

Friday, families were able to enjoy a showing of Jurassic Park, which has set box office records four times since its premiere in 1993. Yonan said it was their first sell out showing, saying the movie is a timeless classic.

The staff hopes to offer movies to the community as long as there is continued support. Visit godriveup.com for tickets and showtimes.

Gaby Muro is a journalist specializing in local issues and breaking news. She holds two degrees from San Joaquin Delta College. In 2018, she was considered one of the top 40 journalism students in the United States and received a scholarship to cover international conflict news near the Israeli-Syrian Border for 10 Days. Some of her work as a student has been submitted to the Student Emmy Awards. She was crowned the 2019 Miss Merced County title holder through the Miss America Organization and competed for the title of Miss California, advocating for epilepsy awareness. She has been featured on Investigation Discovery, profiling local homicide cases. Gaby is a native of Stockton, California.

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