Today, I received a call from an El Cajon city official (higher up on the food chain) who wished to remain unnamed, but was concerned on the direction of the so-called “ECPAC Foundation” and their constant public aspersions against the City Council, such as the suggestion that the City Council “blindsided” anyone with their decision to begin talks with the hotel developer. This person said to me that the City of El Cajon never intended for things to go in the direction they eventually did, ending up with a City Council decision to explore tearing the troubled 33-year old theater down. This person said that it was originally in the city plans to renovate the theater while the new downtown police center was being developed and built. The plans were actually in place to utilize the same construction contractors and suppliers, but the plans went by the wayside when it was decided that having the two buildings being under construction would place too much of a burden on the limited parking available in the area.
Several El Cajon City Officials have openly mentioned that any prospect of reopening would be temporary, and that they envisioned that demolition of the theater within the next five-to-ten years because of its age “was inevitable.” “Any money we put into it would be for the short term,” it has been said. “We have to look at whether any investment of monies and resources into the long term viability of the theater as a structure into the next decade or two.”