"We may just have ourselves a movie theater again," said Santee Councilmember Rob McNelis in a video blog post last week.
McNelis described the potential for a movie theater at Town Center, and not just any old movie theater.
"We are so very very close we can taste it. If this happens it won't just be a nice movie theater- this will be the nicest one in California. There's only one other like it in the whole U.S. It's an entertainment complex, not just a movie theater."
If you're asking: "What's this fancy movie theater going to cost me?" McNelis has an answer for that.
"The price point is the same as any other movie theater but there's more to do," he said.
Local businessman Thomas Hootman and radio personality Clint August joined McNelis in the video blog and were excited by the news, but reserved, since rumors of a theater have come before.
"You just basically said it's christmas time, the presents are there, but don't open them," August said. "In fact, Santa might not bring you presents."
Talk about building a movie theater was re-ignited at a November City Council meeting about the planned five-story apartment building at Town Center. City staff said that they were getting renewed commitment from San Diego County, who owns the land, that a theater site would be made available in the remaining mixed-use portion of the land. That land would be given to the theater operator at a low price, possibly as low as $1, to kick-start the costly construction of the theater.
"We're creating critical mass so that a theater wants to be there," said Parc One project consultant Matt Reid.
The rumors about high level talks with movie theater developers have been flying since then. Santee residents have given clear indication that they want a theater back in town. When asked what businesses Santee Patch readers would like to see in town, the most common answer is a movie theater.
The topic was brought up again at the council meeting Wednesday night in a discussion with a county representative.
"We need to work with the county on Town Center land, we're trying to get a movie theater and do development..." said Mayor Randy Voepel.
COMMENT: Does Santee need a movie theater?