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Councilmember Hints at New State-of-the-Art Movie Theater in Santee

Rob McNelis let the cat out of the bag in a video blog last week- but isn't making any promises.

"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?

Diana Whinery March 28, 2013 at 08:13 PM
We really do need one, gosh we have just about anything you could want to eat (a jersey mikes would be awesome tho) we have lots of shopping here the only time I leave Santee is to go to the movies.
Jay March 28, 2013 at 08:25 PM
iPic Theaters?
Mike March 28, 2013 at 09:17 PM
I'll believe it when I see it!!! The last theater left town when my daughter was born. She'll be graduating next year.
Valerie Ellis March 28, 2013 at 10:19 PM
Yes Santee needs a movie theater again. I believe the city has done a great job trying to keep Santee dollars in Santee with their vast variety of stores and eateries. I’m no longer a resident of Santee but I visit Santee several times a week to see my family. I loathe shopping anywhere other than Santee. I’m not a fan of the movie theaters in El Cajon or La Mesa as those are my two choices based on where I live currently. I would definitely go to a movie theater in Santee if one was built.
Dennis M Kleinsmith March 28, 2013 at 11:19 PM
I agree!
Margie Logue March 29, 2013 at 01:22 AM
I do believe that when they tore down the old theaters, it was rumored a multiplex would be built in Town Center.
Brett O'Connell March 29, 2013 at 06:19 AM
Please, please tell us that when you talk about a high end theatre that a Cinéopolis is what we might see coming here.
Jake Mahamood March 30, 2013 at 02:03 AM
I hope the apartment complex will not be so called "affordable housing", Santee is already on track to be like El Cajon, too many apartments.
Deb March 30, 2013 at 07:09 AM
YES YES YES!!!
Pat April 01, 2013 at 08:54 PM
Jake, I think I had heard these were going to be high-end apartments. I doubt the council would want to stick low-income apartments into Town Center. In fact, the only reason why our council allows any low-income apartments, is because we're mandated to have a certain percentage by our state of California.
Retha Knight May 17, 2013 at 09:55 AM
Would love to see a movie theater in Santee.
Andrea Sisney August 31, 2013 at 11:31 PM
Ive been waiting since we moved here in 2005 for a theatre....i hate going to parkway plaza to see a movie, wgen Santee has everything else we like....so maybe by the end of 2014?

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