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Hundreds visit Gilley Pool to watch 'Moana'
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McMinnville Parks and Recreation program coordinator Michael Benusches adjusts the projector during the first Dive-In Movie Night at Gilley Pool. - photo by Bethany Porter
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From left, Abby Harvin, Elissia Frazier, Heydin Goodwin, and Claire Caldwell had front-row spots for the showing of “Moana” at Gilley Pool on Friday night. - photo by Bethany Porter

The first Dive-In Movie at Gilley Pool made a big splash with hundreds showing up for the ocean-themed movie “Moana” on Friday night.

As soon as the gates opened at 7:15 p.m., many people with floats started lining up to get a good spot. McMinnville Parks and Recreation program coordinator Michael Benusches was pleased. 

“I’m really excited and glad there is a good turnout,” said Benusches.

The Dive-In Movie idea formed when Benusches was thinking about different ways to utilize Gilley Pool. 

 “So Mari-Lynn, the wellness and aquatics coordinator, and I sat down and were talking about different events to do with the pool and we just thought of the idea of a Dive-In Movie,” he said.

“Moana” is about an adventurous teen who sails out on a daring mission to save her people. During her journey, Moana meets the once-mighty demigod Maui, who guides her in her quest. Together they sail across the open ocean on an action-packed voyage.

“It is the perfect pool movie,” said Benusches. 

First National Bank sponsored the event and provided popcorn. 

“We love the community and we thought it was a fun event,” said Anne Vance from First National Bank. 

The packed pool of floating movie goers really enjoyed the experience. Kristi Lintz says she likes this idea because it is something different to enjoy in the summer.

McMinnville Parks and Recreation will be holding two more movie nights this summer. “Ratatouille” will be shown July 16 at Pepper Branch Park, 120 Old Morrison Road. “Inside Out” will be shown Aug. 5 at Ramsey Park, 125 Bernard Drive. Both movies begin at 8 p.m.