Century 21 domed theater is worthy of being listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

We’ve written about the endangered domed theaters in California in the past, and a small victory was won this April by the State Historical Resources Commission agreed that the former Century 21 theater in San Jose is worthy of being listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

In an article from the Eichler Network, the owner of the Century 21, however, has opposed the listing and wants to tear the dome down.

Being named to the National Register doesn’t guarantee that the building won’t be destroyed, although it can establish restrictions and possible preservation if it’s argued the building has architectural or historical significance.

FIKDkEjPrVAVIqx-556x313-noPadThe preservation group has their information available on Change.org – you can help them fight the destruction of the building by signing their petitions:

The Retro Dome (under the direction of Guggenheim Entertainment, Inc) and the Preservation Action Council of San Jose (PAC-SJ) are partnering to raise awareness and promote action pertaining to the “Winchester Domes.” Since 1990, PAC-SJ has been dedicated to preserving the architectural heritage of San Jose.

The large, dome-shaped venues are located on the property adjacent to the famous Winchester Mystery House and across the street from the Santana Row shopping center, visible from 280. Theater 21 is a single screen; Theater 23 is a two screen theater, each under a single dome; and Theater 22 has three single theaters under three domes. The City of San Jose is in the process of trying to rezone the commercial property as an “Urban Village” to allow for high-density residential development.

The buildings—originally called the Century Theaters—were the first theaters of their kind. Designed by San Francisco architect Vincent Raney and opened between 1964 and 1966 to accommodate a new widescreen technology called Cinerama that was developed to help theaters distinguish themselves from television.

One example of their proposal for reuse would be preserving Century 22 to provide a home to The Retro Dome, which occupied a sister Dome on Saratoga Avenue but was recently displaced when plans were announced to demolish the former Century 25.   A wonderfully historic building would be saved from the wrecking ball and The Retro Dome would be reborn and serve as a home to multiple Silicon Valley-based performing arts groups. With the three adjoining theaters, Guggenheim Entertainment and its partners would be able to offer the region a cooperative Performing Arts Center unrivaled by any other.

According to their page on Change.og,  the Retro Dome and its partners stand poised to immediately provide tenants for the building and breathe new life into whichever venues can be saved. The Retro Dome, with its award-winning programs, would be able to move in and begin operations immediately, creating captivating entertainment for all ages and demographics, making the new Retro Dome another jewel in the crown that is Silicon Valley’s entertainment scene.

Sign the petition

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