Growing up on a tiny pacific island had its perks. Beautiful blue water, perfect weather, a close knit community and a safeness that is hard to find anywhere else. One of the few downfalls, there is only so much you can do. One of our favorite things to do was go to the movies. Yes, we had a movie theater. Two actually. One for families and a separate one for adults that showed anything over PG 13.
I remember going to a "real" theater the summer of my 16th birthday and thinking wow, this is cool. You had to go into an actual building and there was more than one theater. This little island girl was a long way from her outdoor theater with benches and snack bar. Yes, this my friends, is where my childhood movie memories were made.
Boy have things come a long way since those days. I was given the chance to check out the brand new theater that opened up here in San Antonio, and y'all, I was blown away. The Santikos Casa Blanca has just opened up in the Alamo Ranch Area. And is a must for local movie lovers.
It is absolutely out of this world. It is the first 100% laser projection theater...in the world! Bringing us better clarity, color and images that are three times brighter than others. And sticking to the the old saying that everything is bigger in Texas, two of the 16 auditoriums (4&5) have the largest movie screens in the state. 90 feet wide! If you follow me on Instagram or Snapchat (kwajkim28) you saw just how big they really are. Even the seats are bigger. Six of the auditoriums have recliner seating and the others have over sized seats. Four will be offering full food and drink services right to your seat, with the push of a button! They took comfort to the next level for sure! The shorty, whose feet always dangle, is a little over excited about being able to put my feet up!
Santikos Entertainment was gifted to the San Antonio Area Foundations through the estate of the late John L Santikos when he past away last year. Casa Blanca was the last theater he designed. And the net result of the money spent at Santikos Theaters are given back to the community through donations, grants, sponsorships and programs. In 2016 alone, $12 million dollars will be given back and that number will only grow other the next few years.
So where does the money go? Everywhere! Mr. Santikos clearly had a big heart. Choosing charities and communities that really needed the help. They have given their support to the YMCA of Greater San Antonio, Morningside Ministries, The McNay Art Museum and The San Antonio Public Library, to just name a few. One thing I was surprised to find out was that he was passionate about was helping advance medical research programs and health care. And as 1 of the 120,626 people who are currently waiting on an organ transplant, this made my heart happy. In 2015 a $10,000 grant was given to The Transplant Association of Texas, which helps children and their families though the long hard process of pediatric organ transplants. Going through it as an adult is overwhelming, I can't imagine how hard it would be if if were one of my boys.