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Come on, let’s go: NHCC to present ‘La Bamba’ at Balloon Park Drive-In

Joe Pantoliano as Bob Keane and Lou Diamond Phillips as Richie Valens in a scene from 1987’s “La Bamba.” (Courtesy of Columbia Pictures)

Hispanic Heritage Month is in full swing across the country.

As part of this year’s celebration, the National Hispanic Cultural Center and the Balloon Park Drive-In teamed up to screen films highlighting Hispanic history, culture and contributions.

At 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 4, there will be a screening of Luis Valdez’s classic “La Bamba.”

The screening will take place at the RV parking lot of the Anderson Abruzzo International Balloon Museum at Albuquerque’s Balloon Fiesta Park, 9201 Balloon Museum Drive NE.

The 1987 biopic is the story of Los Angeles teenager Ritchie Valens, played by Lou Diamond Phillips, who becomes an overnight rock ‘n’ roll success in 1958, thanks to the love ballad “Donna,” written for his girlfriend, whose parents did not want her to date a Latino boy.

As his star rises, Valens has conflicts with his jealous brother, Bob, played by Esai Morales, and becomes haunted by a recurring nightmare of a plane crash just as he begins his first national tour alongside Buddy Holly, played by Marshall Crenshaw.

According to the NHCC, patrons can get a $5 discount with the coupon code NHCC5.

Tickets range from $25 to $75, plus fees, at

Gates open at 6:30 p.m.; ticket prices listed on this site are per car, rather than per patron.

On Oct. 11, the NHCC and Balloon Fiesta Drive-In are presenting 1997’s “Selena,” by Gregory Nava.

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