Enjoy Some Classic Flicks in a Classic Domed Theater

Century 21
Photo by Gretchen Steinberg.

The long-term future of San Jose's domed, 1964 vintage Century 21 theater is still an open question as the city's Historic Landmarks Commission determines whether it and some surrounding buildings should be given landmark status. But the short-term future of the dome is clear: For the next few weeks, at least, it's going to be showing some of the most classic movies ever to grace a big screen.

As we've covered here before, fans of the Bay Area's original domed theater have been fighting to save it from the wrecking ball, as San Jose ponders development possibilities at the theater's site near another San Jose landmark, the Winchester Mystery house.

The Preservation Action of San Jose had circulated a petition calling for the dome to stay intact, and as of Tuesday it's only 350 signatures short of its goal of 5,000. That's a good thing, as two other domed theaters the group had been trying to save in San Jose – the Century 24 and Century 25 – were recently demolished.

But the Century 21 is the real focal point of this preservation effort, and it continues to thrive as a theater, operating as the Retro Dome at Century 21 and offering a theater camp as well as movies. While the facility went dark during January, it's back in operation with a new winter schedule available at its website.

The winter schedule includes classics such as Casablanca, West Side Story, Lawrence of Arabia, Grease, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Hairspray, Romeo and Juliet, The Breakfast Club, a couple of James Bond flicks, and a personal favorite, The Princess Bride. There's also some kids' fare, including Disney's Cinderella, a Bug's Life, and Finding Nemo.

These should be some fun shows, and at the risk of sounding negative, they could represent the last few chances to check out this very unique old theater. So get your tickets now!