ENID, Okla. — Enid City Commission on Tuesday night approved an economic development deal for a movie theater.

After spending almost one hour in executive session, city commissioners reconvened to approve a $3.8 million package — a $1.5 million loan to be paid back over 30 years and $2.3 million in cash incentives — with S&K Cinema Holdings Group.

The nine-screen movie theater, including an IMAX, also will have entertainment such as duckpin bowling, virtual reality and an arcade, City Manager Jerald Gilbert said.

Gilbert said a site plan has been approved, with the expected location to be along Garland.

“The city will begin working on the contractual documents with Stride Bank,” he said regarding next steps in the process, “and Stride Bank will continue working on loan approval and USDA approval, which both have to occur for this deal to work.”

Mayor George Pankonin said the deal has been in the works for a while.

“We’ve been working on it for a long time, but we needed the right deal at the right time,” Pankonin said. “No matter how much we want it, we have to be able to afford it, and I think we’re at that point where we have found a deal that we can afford — that the community can afford. We know it’s going to bring a lot more income into the city — not only from people that are here, but it’s going to bring people here.”

Debbie Moore, interim executive director of Enid Regional Development Alliance, said the movie theater will help with recruitment of individuals and businesses to Enid.

“When you are bringing somebody in to have them look at our community, one of the things that they’re going to ask is, ‘What do you have for people to do?’” she said. “If you bring a physician to Enid … and they want to look at the community, having a movie theater is a huge plus.”

Moore added that the movie theater will provide a better quality of life, which is “a major aspect of economic development,” to the Enid community.

“The community of Enid can expect to have a very nice theater for them to be able to enjoy the entertainment in Enid, have things to do in Enid and no longer feel like they have to leave Enid to go see a movie,” Moore said. “I think this is a win for the community to have a movie theater.”

Article by: Kelci McKendrick, Enid News & Eagle