Cold doesn’t stop patrons of free movie, food drive

The attendance line stretches around the south side of the Hermiston Stadium 8 Cinema before wrapping around the parking lot shortly after 8 a.m. Saturday morning.

Hundreds of families braved temperatures in the mid-30s Saturday morning as Hermiston Stadium 8 Cinema provided a free film showing to the community.

Janea Fricke, manager of the cinema, said the annual tradition started with previous owners years ago, and she has been involved in the effort personally for five years.

The theater promoted the event as a free showing of “Despicable Me,” an animated movie yet to arrive on DVD, and a canned food drive, with all proceeds heading to the Agape House.

Hermiston resident Serena Barker waited patiently in line with her two children.

Their motivation for attending the film was simple — free movie, free snacks.

She arrived at about 7:45 a.m., she said, a half hour before doors to the theater opened.

Even with her punctuality, Barker said she ended up in a spot that became the middle of a growing line that stretched to the far southeast corner of the parking lot.

The event raised more than 2,100 pounds of canned food, and Fricke said the theater plans to do it all again next year.

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