WATCH: Santee Drive-in Announces Closing Date as Era Ends

An East County landmark is about to disappear into history.

The Santee Drive-in Theatre announced Wednesday it is officially closing on Dec. 31.
The property is being sold to a Los Angeles-based real estate development company.

The owners of the Santee Drive-in, the Forte family said on Facebook they're closing after 65 years in business because of economic hardships.

They said a loss of customers, higher business expenses and competition with streaming services were among the reasons that made it no longer feasible to stay open.

"We want to thank the Santee community for many years of support and ask for your understanding of our family’s decision. We hope you will come visit us one last time!" the Fortes wrote on Facebook.

In September, the Forte family said in a news release that it was selling the property to North Palisade Partners. The real estate development company plans to build “a state-of-the-art building that will serve to attract new businesses to East County San Diego.”

“We currently own and operate two properties in the San Diego region and are big believers in Santee and East County. We are looking to reimagine this property and build on the legacy of the Forte Family. We want to invest in this community and build a project that attracts companies that will bring local jobs,” North Palisade Partners founder Joe Mishurda said.

(Photo Santee Drive-in Theater)

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