San Jose – A historic former movie house with a distinctive domed shape in San Jose could debut with a new role as part of a very preliminary proposal that is being released at City Hall.
Improvements are being made to the iconic Century 21 movie theater at 3161 Olsen Drive in San Jose, according to plans filed by the Federal Realty Investment Trust, the developer and principal owner of the movie theater site, adjacent properties and destination mixed-use village of Santana Row. across the street.
“The proposed project is a renovation of an existing Century 21 theater,” Federal Realty said in the proposal. “The project will include a seismic upgrade, new mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, interior construction, the addition of skylights, and the addition of an interior floor level.”
This is a very preliminary proposal that is being floated with San Jose officials and is a plan that will not necessarily become a real development effort, Federal Realty officials noted.
A spokesman for Federal Realty said in comments emailed to this news organization, “We are beginning the process of obtaining approval to put the building in a condition where it can be considered for re-use in the future.” is.”
The exact nature of that end use for the film house is not currently known, the real estate titan warned.
“We do not have any specific reuse plans for the building at this time,” a Federal Realty spokesperson said.
Still, as per the proposal, the real estate firm outlined some possible future uses for the long-shuttered cinema complex.
Renovations and upgrades will be conducted in a fashion to create considerable flexibility for Federal Realty to choose a future role for the old building.
According to the filing, “the design team will include provisions to accommodate offices, kitchens, cafeterias, gyms and the ability to support small data centers”.
Possible scenarios imagine a performing arts center or even a restaurant.
“The project will renovate the existing structure and transform it into a three-story space by adding two floors within the dome above the ground floor,” Ryan Joyce Structural Design said in a description of the project, according to the filing.
In accordance with the concepts included in the proposal, Federal Realty envisions a building with a bright, airy and well-lit interior.
“New skylights located in the center of the dome, on the perimeter edges of level two and above the lobby entrance will provide a significant amount of daylight to the interior,” the proposal states.
The domed theater was built in 1964 and is near the famous Winchester Mystery House. For decades, the one-time cinema palace featured blockbusters such as the original trio of “Star Wars” films, as well as some “Indiana Jones” films as well as recent hits such as “Frozen.”
The theater closed its doors in 2014. In the same year, the Century 21 Movie House was designated as a city landmark.
The vaulted building is next to a new modern office building known as One Santana West. It is also next to the sites of future office buildings that represent the later stages of the Santana West complex. Santana Row is on the other side of South Winchester Boulevard.
At present, the vaulted building totals 19,000 square feet, with 18,000 square feet primarily on the ground floor and 1,000 square feet on the second floor where the projection booth was located.
The interior reconstruction effort that will produce three floors in the building will total 29,000 to 34,500 square feet, depending on the final configuration of the inside of the structure.
The old movie house structure is expected to be woven into the fabric of the growing Santana West campus at the corner of Winchester Boulevard and Olsen Drive.
According to the filing, “Federal Realty intends to develop this historic building as part of a 13-acre mixed-use commercial development.”