Welcome to ... Jurassic Park?


Blake Sullivan helped residents have a wonderful week after hunting for free movie tickets around Kemmerer and Diamondville. The tickets were to his favorite movie, Jurassic Park. He gave hints on the internet on where to find them and let local businesses give them out. Then, on Friday night, the private party! So, who’s hungry? Hopefully no one since Sullivan gave out $5 in free concessions. He said that he wanted to give the community a little fun. COVID-19 has taken away so many activities from the people here. Life, uh, finds a way.

The night of the movie arrived and the small crowd lined up outside the theater. The people were all ages. Older. Middle aged. Small versions of adults, honey. They went inside and got their treats. Welcome to Jurassic Park! Then the lights went off. Quiet, all of you. They’re approaching Tyrannosaur paddock. And you sat on the edge of your seats, many for the first time, seeing a movie that is 27 years old. And yet, as of June 21, it is currently the biggest box office hit in the US, according to an article by Deadline. “Steven Spielberg’s 1993 movie Jurassic Park was No. 1 for the fourth time in its release history this...as movie theaters tried to have a semblance [of normalcy] during the COVID-19 pandemic over what is typically a big movie going weekend, Father’s Day,” Anthony D’Alessandro, the article’s author, wrote.

Sullivan was entirely unaware that the movie he had chosen was a current box office success. He chose it because it was his favorite movie. And it’s a good choice for a guy that digs fossils. He bought a night at the Victory Theater after they advertised they were for rent for private parties. Sullivan had planned on having approximately 10 people come to his private movie party. However, in talking with a friend, Sullivan realized it wouldn’t cost him any more to fill up to the 40 seat capacity. He had, after all, already rented the place out for an evening. So he found a way to invite more people to participate. He approached local businesses and asked for help in giving away pairs of tickets. At first there was some hesitancy – who are you and why are you giving away free tickets?

Sullivan explained this is his ninth year coming up to Kemmerer and he loves it. He loves the people and he loves the community. With everything being canceled this year, he thought it would be fun to do something one night. He usually comes to the area to work. After spending years in a museum, he made the move to buy, sell and trade fossils. He founded his business, Moments in Stone, in 2012. It became a full-time job in 2019, when he decided to just dig fossils and sell them as his main source of income. In the summers, he comes to this area and digs fish fossils. The other months of the year, he is buying and selling and trading or digging in Texas, Florida and other places.

“I go out, dig my fossils, go to bed,” Sullivan said. He spends about 12-14 hours a day out digging. A movie night sounded like a good idea.

“The goal was to just have a fun night,” Sullivan said. “I mean I keep pretty much to myself. Go out a couple of times a week. If I’m not digging, I’m just hanging out.”

Sullivan says he would encourage people to continue doing fun things for the community. “Just do something and don’t worry about getting something out of it,” he says.

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