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09 June 2016

Is the Casa Blanca a movie theater or bowling alley?

Actually, it's both.

(Courtesy: Santikos Entertainment)

The Casa Blanca, opening today (June 9), is the latest sparkling jewel in the impressive San Antonio-based Santikos Entertainment group.

On those days or evenings when you just can't decide if you want to catch a movie on a state-of-the-art laser projected digital screen or go bowling, now you can do both.  Or either, or both and have dinner at the Café, or have dinner while enjoying a movie in one of four Bistro theaters, or ... well, you get the idea.

For the record, there are 16 movie screens, including two enormous ones measuring about 90-feet across and five stories skyward, 16 regulation bowling lanes, the aforementioned Café, automated ticket booths, comfy recliner seating in six theaters, a party room for birthdays and special occasions and Starbucks coffee.

I can't wait until they screen "Kingpin," "The Big Lebowski" and "Bowling for Columbine."

And, this is perhaps most impressive, Santikos Theaters, thanks to the generosity of John Santikos' legacy, operates as a social enterprise.  In other words, the money spent in Santikos Theaters is returned to the community through charitable donations, sponsorship and grants.

"Most companies support local charity programs as part of being a great corporate citizen, but we are the only theater group that exists solely for the purpose of supporting our community," Santikos Entertainment CEO David Holmes said, according to an article published in the Alamo Ranch Highlights.

I had the pleasure of checking out the Casa Blanca Tuesday night at a gala pre-opening party.  I can tell you that Holmes and Arthur Seago, president - Santikos Entertainment, have masterfully fulfilled the late John Santikos dream of naming a movie house after his favorite movie.  Casablanca just happens to be my favorite as well.

So, in honor of the late John Santikos, the Casa Blanca and Casablanca, the next time I want to see a movie on a large screen with comfortable seating while enjoying a steaming cup of Joe, or go bowling, or both, I'm going to round up the usual suspects and head out to West San Antonio and the Casa Blanca at the intersection of Loop 1604 and Alamo Ranch Parkway.

Oh, and this one's for you, Mr. Santikos:



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