Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Camera 12 - Rest in Peace (Part I)

Unfortunately, the largest movie theater in Downtown San Jose has shut its doors. Camera 12 was one of my favorite movie theaters for a long time. I still remember when they first opened and hired actors to entertain crowds during premiers. My personal favorite was the Borat impersonator that hung out with crowds in line and introduced the film.

Camera 12 was also known for its central role in the Cinequest Film Festival. The 2017 festival will be a bit more complicated now. It was one of the few theaters eager to experiment with new technology, like the Barco Escape three-screen experience (image below).

Architecturally, it was also very unique. There are not very many three-story theaters in the US, let alone the Bay Area. I always enjoyed the view coming down from the top floor and the openness in the lobby.

Even though it seems like more and more people were patronizing the theater this year, revenue was outpaced by increasing rents and maintenance costs. Fortunately, Camera 3 and Camera 7 will not be impacted by the closure.

As sad as I am about this closure, there is a positive spin... (stay tuned for Part II tomorrow).

Source: The Merc, Andrew Rivlin

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