Movie nights in Lathrop re­turn­ing for sum­mer run

Manteca Bulletin - - Front Page - By JA­SON CAMP­BELL

When Lathrop Parks and Recre­ation Di­rec­tor Zach Jones came to Lathrop he brought with him an idea that worked at his pre­vi­ous job – movies in the park.

And Lathrop res­i­dents have re­sponded to the com­mu­nity gath­er­ing where Jones’ staff presents var­i­ous fam­ily-friendly movies at parks through­out the com­mu­nity dur­ing the warm sum­mer months as a way to bring peo­ple to­gether.

That tra­di­tion will con­tinue this year with a num­ber of films that will be shown, and

Jones main­tains that it’s a good op­por­tu­nity for res­i­dents to get out and meet their neigh­bors as well as an op­por­tu­nity for his de­part­ment to net­work with res­i­dents to fa­cil­i­tate even more out­ings.

“A lot of it was a great way to get out and do some­thing free that was fun and safe for the peo­ple in the neigh­bor­hood,” said Lathrop Parks and Recre­ation Di­rec­tor Zach Jones. “We just want ev­ery­body from the neigh­bor­hood to come out and meet each other and it only en­cour­ages us to do more in those park lo­ca­tions.”

By the time the next film is shown on Fri­day, June 15, Jones hopes to have the City of Lathrop’s Com­mu­nity Ser­vice Of­fi­cer and rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the lo­cal Neigh­bor­hood Watch or­ga­ni­za­tions avail­able to talk to res­i­dents about ways that they can get in­volved.

The films them­selves and the laid­back en­vi­ron­ment, Jones says, is a way to bring peo­ple to­gether, but once they’re there it pro­vides his staff with his chance to hear di­rectly from res­i­dents and learn what they en­joy, and what they’d like to see of­fered in the com­mu­nity.

“It gives us an op­por­tu­nity to con­nect with the com­mu­nity and find out things that they may be look­ing for,” Jones said. “If they were some­where else out of town, and they saw some­thing that they en­joyed, it’s a chance for them to come back to talk to us and see what else in the com­mu­nity we can pro­vide for them.”

The next com­mu­nity out­ing will be on Fri­day, June 15, at Valverde Park. The movie is sched­uled to be­gin at dusk – just af­ter 8 p.m. The fun will con­tinue on Fri­day, July 13, at Park West Park, and then wraps up on Fri­day, July 27, at Moss­dale Land­ing Com­mu­nity Park.

For ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion about the movies in the park, or for a complete cal­en­dar of up­com­ing ac­tiv­i­ties in the com­mu­nity, visit the City of Lathrop’s web­site at www. ci.lathrop.ca.us.

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