Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Two great options in play for the Camera 12 Cinemas site

Change is always an opportunity to improve, even when the change initially seems bleak. When Camera 12 closed last September, it was a shock to the Downtown community--especially given how much livelier Downtown has become over the past several years. Now, there are two options on the table that actually would be a significant improvement to the area.

Option #1 - Luxury Movie Theater

This is exactly what Downtown needs, a destination theater that does not exist elsewhere in San Jose to draw more visitors to the area as well as provide a great local amenity for residents. It sounds like something similar to an Alamo Drafthouse is being floated as a possible suitor for the space. The theater would have luxury seating, food, and alcohol. This was the first thought that came to mind when we first heard Camera 12 was closing.

Option #2 - SJSU Student Housing Tower

San Jose State is interested in building a 20-story student housing project on the site. The building would be a mixed-use as it gets with 14 floors of housing, 4 floors of offices, a Sky Terrace, retail/restaurant space on the ground floor, and underground parking. This would bring a large number of students into the Downtown San Jose core and further intertwine the University with the community.

There is also a 3rd option, and that is to do both Option #1 and Option #2. Based on the first rendering, the tower can accommodate a luxury theater on the ground floor, which can even be used for SJSU events and classes during off-peak hours. If it comes together, it will not only fill the hole left by Camera 12's departure, but be a new amenity for all San Joseans to enjoy.

Source: The Merc, hat tip to Josh Russell for sending this in


  1. Nice if Century 21 and Alamo Drafthouse Cinema could pair up.

  2. A tower would be nice, but not for SJSU students. We have the Fairmont right behind it. Don't need a bunch of dorm rats hanging all around what should be a more upscale area.

  3. A newly renovated movie house is the only appropriate use for this site, not a high rise nonsense since there are other surface lots/parking lots for high rises.

  4. There are enough students already around here. They don't add the sense of permanence downtown needs. We need that movie house and better restaurants. I think we can do better than the mix of students, homeless, and light rail riders that currently move through downtown on a daily basis.