Historic Ceres drive-in brings in families and nostalgia for reopening night

Local News

CERES, Calif. (KTXL) — A piece of Ceres history was brought back to life Friday night as families filled up the lot at the drive-in for a family-friendly movie night. 

The drive-in reopened to a line of cars for the first time in more than a decade. 

People like Ish Lujan were eager to pick the perfect parking spot to watch a family feature. 

“I really wanted them to experience this,” Lujan told FOX40. 

For him, it was a piece of nostalgia. 

“I grew up in San Jose. We had the Capitol Expressway drive-in,” Lujan said. “And this just brings me back. So when this came up I thought bring my grandkids out here and let them get the experience that I had growing up.” 

Jimmy Wheeler said he used to come to the drive-in as a kid. 

“I remember they used to have the park right over here, the swing sets and all that stuff,” Wheeler said. “We used to come here and as kids go out there and play on the swings and everything right before the movie starts. It was awesome.” 

For some, it was a brand new experience. 

“I’m 21 now, so this my first time here tonight,” said Vincent Gurerro. 

It was a chance for another generation to make new memories in an old school way. 

Mark Stotzer, whose production company now runs the drive-in, said he wanted to give people something to do to get them out of the house during the pandemic. 

“You’re out here, this kind of sense of community,” Stotzer said. “Even though we’re safe and socially distant, you’re still able to, you know, be out here in the fresh air and enjoy a good time.” 

Stotzer said they’re following all Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. Masks are required in common areas, including the line to get movie snacks. 

But once it was dark, families hurried back to their spots and got settled in just in time for the movie. 

One family at the drive-in said they were already planning on going back to watch other movies in the weeks to come. And planning ahead may be a good idea — Saturday night’s movie is already sold out. 

For those wanting to experience the drive-in, you can visit the drive-in’s website by clicking or tapping here. 

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