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“Outside nothing like inside, don't judge a book, by its cover”
Review of California Theatre

California Theatre
Ranked #20 of 140 things to do in San Jose
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Owner description: The California Theatre in San Jose, California is managed and operated by San Jose Theaters, a division of Team San Jose. It regularly hosts major performances from Opera San Jose, Symphony Silicon Valley and other organizations. This beautiful theatre, originally built in 1927 and renovated starting in 2001, marries the opulence of its movie palace origins with state-of-the-art performing arts venue attributes. The California Theatre is Available to Rent * 1,122 seating capacity, with up to 14 wheelchair areas * State-of-the-art production and audio visual technology * Stage Size: 90'x40' * Several dressing rooms
Reviewed 15 September 2017

Only drawback is lack of snack food. It would be nice if you could just get a bag of crisps or something during the break, so eat before, if not, plenty of restaurants near.

The theater has two levels - the orchestra and balcony. Every single row and seat offer a good view of the stage. The inside of the two levels, is beautiful.

Form outside looks like a normal theatre, ticket window etc., then you go through the front doors and WOW!!

Parking isn't much of a problem, large lot across the street, with a flat rate. This could totally change if there was a major event in San Jose, so plan ahead.

I've attended symphonies and operas and even though, I'm not the biggest opera fan, both have been first class. Her Ladyship attends many different events here, and has always been pleased.

When you enter there is usually, a person on a wonderful old organ, so you have entertainment, the moment you walk in. Continue up the stairs, and find the bar on your right. They serve a pretty decent drink and I believe, champagne, by the glass.

Interesting people watching, tuxedos to polished punk rockers :)

Thank sirmeandt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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4 - 8 of 78 reviews

Reviewed 15 September 2017

After a substantial renovation, the California theater reopened in 2004 and it has been a spectacular venue for opera, symphonies, live performances, corporate events and classic movies. With over 1,000 seats, a outdoor courtyard (for receptions) and two incomparable organs, it provides the quality venue that is appreciated by it patrons.

Originally built during the 'Roaring Twenties' as a movie theater, it closed in the 1970s and fell into disrepair. Fortunately, the Packard Humanities Institute financed and worked to renovate the interior and enlarge the stage to accommodate live performances. And if you want to literally vibrate, come when the four manual Wurlitzer organ and it 1,500 pipes is performing...it is magical!

For years we have enjoyed the San Jose Opera in its new home and truly appreciate the attention to detail in all aspects of the California Theater.

Thank HikingLee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 March 2017 via mobile

You'll love the lush interior except for the majority of the seating that has less leg room than a Boeing 727 jet.

So pick your Film Festival (2-28 through 3-12) movies accordingly on the days you see 3 or 4 movies - for comfort.

Suggest alternating movies with the Hammer Theater. That will stretch out your legs too between movies.

Thank Marsha S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 February 2017

I worry when parking is literally right across the street, and to be fair, the entrance is lovely but narrow. How great will this be? Fantastically great! The tiles, the paint, the live organ music, the enormous snack bar (bear with me, I love fresh chocolate chip cookies and reasonably priced water at public venues). The bathrooms are huge and clean.The acoustics are fantastic. The staff is polite and lovely. The hall itself is oozing with grandeur. I would go back there again.

3  Thank kcdenman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 January 2017

We had the pleasure of attending Opera San José's performance of the Barber of Seville in November. The intimacy of this beautifully restored facility (1,100 seats) creates an incredible opera experience and we thoroughly enjoyed the performance - the singing and music were superb and the comedic interpretation of this opera an absolute delight. San José is so fortunate to have such a magnificent facility and fabulous opera talent.

1  Thank Linda M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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