“Despicable Me 2” a hit at Plaza

07/04/2014 12:00 AM

07/05/2014 6:52 PM

The tale of a reformed villian Gru assisting the minions and finding true love entertained a couple hundred people at Henry Miller Plaza during Movie in the Park last week.

Pacific Gas & Electric and the Los Banos and Merced County Parks and Recreation departments collaborated for a free showing of the Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment animated film “Despicable Me 2.”

Event organizer Ann McCauley said she was pleased with the June 27 event.

McCauley welcomed the crowd, asked parents to keep an eye on their children and, most important, made sure the port-a-potties were unlocked. By the time the sequel to the 2010 smash hit was ready to start, she was already looking forward to a second Movie in the Park later this summer.

“I want to get one on Aug. 22,” she said. “People have returned from their vacations and the (high school) football games haven’t started yet, it’s perfect.”

Summer movie nights originated in Los Banos in 2007 as part of the city’s centennial celebration. Turnout has at times been sporadic, ranging from 150 to about 500 people.

Karen Deeming was in the audience with her daughter and grandchildren for the animated move from 2013. She said she thinks Movie in the Park is a fun community event.

Veronica Sedillo said her children own both movies in the “Despicable Me” franchise.

“It’s nice family time,” Sedillo said. “They get excited about the big screen.”

Although she did not know the dimensions of the inflatable screen, McCauley said she was told it was one of the county’s newer and bigger models.

A few local vendors offered popcorn, nachos, churros and snow cones for sale. PG&E set up an informational booth.

With help from sponsors, the Merced County Parks and Recreation Department holds Movie in the Park events in each of the county’s six cities.

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