History of California Theatre

An Architectural Icon of the 1920’s

First opened in 1927, the California Theatre today is known as one of the finest motion picture-era houses, and one of San Jose’s most iconic landmarks. The building is part of a wave of ornate theaters built in the U.S. in the 1900’s to define downtowns all over the country. Today, the theater continues to enchant with its magnificent Jazz Age décor.

After its opening, the theater featured a number of shows and films of the 60’s and 70’s. The venue temporarily closed in 1973 after a change in ownership and in 2001, after a $75 million renovation, it reopened as a major landmark—a 1,100-seat hall filled with modern amenities in a setting of meticulously restored 1920’s opulence.

We are proud to call the California Theatre home. The building is located in one of the most diverse and dynamic areas in San Jose called the SoFA (South First Area) District, serving as the center of a lively restaurant and club scene. The neighborhood is a great place to catch a symphony performance, or people-watch from restaurants and wine bars.

Explore Our Second Home—
San Jose Center for the
Performing Arts