Mayor: Santee 'Hot and Sweaty' in Talks for New Movie Theater

Discussions between the city and movie theater operators for an "entertainment complex" at Town Center continue.

Mayor Randy Voepel told Santee Patch last week that the city of Santee is in "hot and sweaty negotiations with various movie theater entities."

Santee Councilmember Rob McNelis, who leaked news of discussions with movie theater operators in a blog last month, said there are no updates to report, but talks are still ongoing.

In the blog post 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."

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

Dionna April 16, 2013 at 09:52 PM
An "entertainment complex" will be the only way a new movie theater will be able to compete with the budget-friendly ease of watching on-demand, high definition movies in the comfort of our own homes. There has to be some other draw to going to the movies ... otherwise, I'll pick my own couch and my own food - and the lower price tag that goes along with them - every time.
Jon Notw April 17, 2013 at 02:01 PM
I still would rather throw the mattress in the back of my pick up and head to the Santee Drive-In and watch 2 movies for the price of a 1/2 of a movie at the giant theater at parkway plaza or a new one in Santee charging me $20 for one movie and $10 for a small box of popcorn.
Mike Walker April 17, 2013 at 03:28 PM
A top shelf leading edge entertainment complex for Santee is a fantastic idea. Why? People are always looking for a new entertainment experience, and this sounds just like that. I have all the latest digital bells and whistles at home too, just like everyone else. However, would I spend $75.00 on my family for a great and different recreational experience, close to home? You bet I would, and so would hundreds of thousands of other East County residents. Santee needs the revenue, Mark this day, it is a very rare day I agree with Government, Good job Mayor Voepel and City Council.
Mike Walker April 17, 2013 at 03:38 PM
markets drive innovation and the leading edge wins, people are driven to seek out new recreational experiences, if it's new, different and stays on the leading edge it will win. Why do people drive all the way to Magic Mountain or Joshua Tree National Park for a recreational experience when all they have to do is click on their laptop otherwise? Because, it's a destination, a new and different experience. Santee needs multiple "destinations", this is the future.
thedefchef April 17, 2013 at 03:42 PM
Listen to all you Naysayers! How about saying something like....Wow that sound exciting.....or, That will be great for our community.... I personally think it will be awesome and a great place for our teens to hangout. Better than Parkway Plaza.
rudy reyes April 17, 2013 at 03:45 PM
We have a classic form of americana here in santee. The santee drive-in needs our community's support. Like Jon said "2 for price of 1" and something we can show our kids. The nostelgia of the drive in is dying and we can keep it alive here in santee. Bringing in a new theatre will jeopardize the drive in and we might lose it. Please support this gem of santee
Kellie Hopstein April 17, 2013 at 04:01 PM
I am happy this new and exciting complex is coming to Santee, I hate allowing my teens to head over to El Cajon for a movie. The complex will bring more jobs to Santee as well. Sure its going to be over priced but hopefully it will be worth the occasional visit. @Jon Notw, I concur I LOVE Santee Drive-In; its all about the experience! But something new and different every now and again is a special treat for the family.
Brian Hanifin April 17, 2013 at 04:35 PM
The drive in theater is a fine experience and I appreciate the nostalgia of the idea. But many people do not wish to sit in their cars to watch a movie. I have a wife and kids and while I am sure my wife and I could see the movie just fine our young kids would have a majorly obstructed view in our minivan. There are only a handful of movies I feel are worth seeing in the movie theater every year and I want the comfortable seating, quality viewing, and immersive sound that a high end theater can provide.
Brian Hanifin April 17, 2013 at 04:37 PM
I hope "entertainment complex" means there will be more things to do than just watch movies there. I'm hoping for at least a couple of pinball machines. :)
Joe Spencer April 17, 2013 at 04:40 PM
Maybe it will be a "smoking" theater.... just saying..... ;) As for the connection between the drive-in and a new theater being built...there is NONE. People go to the drive in for the experience of being outdoors, seeing two movies, and the inexpensive cost....building a new theater will NOT take away people from that experience. The ONLY venue that would lose business will be Regal Cinemas at Parkway.
Brian Hanifin April 17, 2013 at 04:44 PM
... and maybe another form of entertainment such as bowling, skating, or pool tables?
Stacey G. April 17, 2013 at 05:20 PM
Growing up in Santee in the 80s/90s we had AMC Santee Village 8 Theaters next to the Godfathers pizza. This was a fun and safe place to "hang" as kids/teens. Not to mention RollerSkate land. Santee needs a fun area for everyone to enjoy. There is plenty of places to spend my money on food or clothes in Santee, we need some fun!!
Steve Odland April 17, 2013 at 05:38 PM
Is this the best the mayor can come up with for Santee? I say no to a theater. It's a dying business and way overpriced.
Doug Curlee April 17, 2013 at 07:49 PM
joe.. sorry to tell you this.. but when i was a kid, i went to the drive-in just about every weekend we didn't have a game.. and i have to tell you that seeing two movies, or even one, was the LAST thing i had on my mind..:-) doug
Kellie Hopstein April 17, 2013 at 07:49 PM
How about a mini golf or go kart track! More activities for the kids to stay umm ACTIVE and work off all that bad (but tasty) food that's hitting Santee?? Roller Skating is a good idea or is it even "cool" now ha ha
Kellie Hopstein April 17, 2013 at 07:58 PM
WHAT?!?! @BrianH: My husband and I love taking our 3 boys to the drive-in. Bring the chairs and blankets to sit outside the car (maybe snuggle with your wife). As for the sound, you have "surround sound" it comes from all different directions (depending on how many vehicles are parked around you). We must be lucky because it never fails we get some young kid in close proximity that has a pretty sweet system in his car ;)
Brittany April 17, 2013 at 08:46 PM
Wow, I can't believe how many people are being so negative!! Obviously you all don't go to the theaters much because it is far from dying. Theaters are packed when new releases come out or any given weekend night! The new "fancy" theaters that serve food and alcohol are making a killing here in San Diego County! Can you all not see how great this is for our property values, not to mention to have a little fun? I for one and happy that our city is taking such an active stance on improving our city while so many others are sitting idle and blaming the economy. We have had so many new business open here lately and have yet another new housing development being built. You should all be proud not complaining! I for one am super excited! I can't wait to hear more!!
Mike Walker April 17, 2013 at 10:32 PM
look at it this way, you can go to Jack in the Box for a burger or make one on the cheap at home,,,or you can get that really unique burger at, "In n Out" burger. So how is that "In n Out" burger doing? from the sounds of this, Mayor Voepel may have found the "In n Out" equivalent of the entertainment complex business. We need more of this kind of forward thinking from City Hall.
Brian Hanifin April 18, 2013 at 04:29 AM
You can bring chairs? I have a vague memory of going when I was a kid, but I thought you were supposed to sit inside your car.
thedefchef April 18, 2013 at 03:40 PM
I totally agree with you Stacey!!
thedefchef April 18, 2013 at 03:43 PM
Brittany you hit it spot on! Great comment!
Gloria Gerak April 18, 2013 at 06:31 PM
Be careful what you wish for folks. Your lovely town center that is crazy busy already with people driving her from other areas (yes I know that is the retail point). However, now you add the element of the trolley. Someone mentioned Parkway Plaza. Have you ever been to a movie at Mission Valley or Fashion Valley on the weekend. It will definitely be a place to "hang out"
Kathy April 22, 2013 at 06:35 PM
Cars are not designed the same as they were in the 50's, where the seat backs were low, below your shoulders. Now the Car Seats are usually bucket, with high backs, I guess we care about the passengers more, now, LOL The Cars are also not as large inside like they use to be, now if they seat 5, you are rubbing hip bones. Drive -ins are for night hours only and for most families only take their families to the Drive In on Fri or Sat nights. The Santee drive In screen is old and weathered, no speakers and the Popcorn is just as expensive as a theater. I would love to see a New Theater. When we had ours before, I went once a week, now I go maybe once every 6 months. I hate going to Parkway Plaza, it is full of undesirables, dirty and not safe at night or even day any more. I don't want to have to drive any further than that and think of all of the Teens that don't drive. We need a safe area for our Teens to enjoy. I am excited to hear more about the New Entertainment Center.
Kathy April 22, 2013 at 06:37 PM
Bowling would be GREAT! Pool Tables too.
Kathy April 22, 2013 at 06:39 PM
"Maybe it will be a "smoking" theater.... just saying..... ;)" What is your POINT Joe? Get over it and just stay in Lakeside WHERE YOU LIVE. You really are a pain in the BUTT.
Kathy April 22, 2013 at 06:42 PM
I feel confident that the Mayor will make SURE that whoever builds this, will furnish Security around the clock, inside and out. Correct Mayor Voepel?
Mayor Randy Voepel May 09, 2013 at 06:55 PM
Kathy, security is always job #1 in Santee. We have a Sheriff's substation at the Trolly and a new entertainment complex would be state of the art. Town center is well covered by camera/security as would be an entertainment complex. The complex would have two levels, Activities for Kids & families on the first floor and adult entertainment (nightclub, dancing etc.) on the second floor with security for the entire complex. This is not a done deal as of yet but we are working hard to bring a fabulous venue to our wonderful little slice of heaven called Santee. To those that have a negative outlook on Santee...Just look around you, we have come a long way in the last 20 years. To the 79% of voters that always vote for me thank you and SALUTE! Respectfully submitted.
Mike Walker May 09, 2013 at 08:52 PM
Security didn't come to mind much for me, as all we have to do is look around Santee then compare it to other communities, the low crime rate in Santee is one of the main reasons we moved here, that and the open spaces on the West end. I look forward to the new entertainment complex and more progress like it, now I am off to get something different for lunch than the usual fare...ah, I think I'll try an in n out burger today.
thedefchef May 10, 2013 at 07:52 PM
You rock Randy! Keep up the good work!
Mark kettlewell June 16, 2013 at 06:01 PM
This is great. What's the latest news?


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