Monday, June 21, 2021

Key COVID vaccination milestone has been reached!

To say the pandemic has dragged on longer than anyone anticipated would be the understatement of the decade. Today, there isn't just light at the end of the tunnel--we're standing close enough to need sunscreen.

80% of all those in Santa Clara County above 12 years old have now received at least their first vaccination dose. A whopping 71.2% have completed their vaccination. Both are impressive stats, but neither is the milestone I'm talking about.

Most experts agree that in order to hit herd immunity, at least 70% of the total population has to have some level of immunity (vaccination, antibodies, or a natural immunity). That is 70% of the entire population of all ages and demographics, not only those that are currently eligible for the vaccine. So far, no major country in the world has hit a total population vaccination rate of 70% yet. Canada is the closest at 65.92%, followed by Israel at 63.43% and the UK at 62.55%. The US as a whole is still only at 52.59%.

Here in Silicon Valley, 71.1% of the total population has received at least the first dose of the vaccine. That puts us in a very strong position, with the number of new cases and deaths dwindling to levels not seen since early 2020.

We can still do better, but bit by bit things are getting back to normal. Masks are no longer required in many places indoors if you're vaccinated, social distancing and capacity restrictions have been relaxed, and major events are coming back. It's been a long journey, but we're almost there.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

3Below Theaters reopening plans

I'm thrilled that Downtown San Jose's only remaining movie theater has somehow survived the pandemic. Over the past year they tried every creative option imaginable to stay afloat, including socially distanced date nights on the roof using outdoor screens.

3Below is planning to come back full-force, with blockbuster like Black Widow as well as indie films, sing-alongs, live theater, and ComedySportz. They are also upping their food and drink selection with gourmet hot dogs, veggie skewers, waffle desserts, vegan treats, beer, and wine. There's even a tabletop arcade in the lobby.

For all of the details, read the press release below. 3Below is one of the most unique movie theaters in the Bay Area, so please visit if you would like to keep them around!

And Now…Please Enjoy Our Feature Presentation

3Below Theaters in Downtown San Jose is Now Open for Film, Food, and Fun

Live Theater, ComedySportz, Classes to reopen in September

(San Jose, CA    |   June 1, 2021)   Guggenheim Entertainment, operator of 3Below Theaters in Downtown San Jose, has a message for movie fans: It's time to return to theaters! After over a year of being shuttered, theaters around the country are welcoming guests back to the movies. As Downtown San Jose's only movie theater, 3Below Theater is ready to welcome moviegoers for summer blockbusters like In The Heights and Black Widow as well as award-winning independent films, classic and retro movies, and later this year, the return of their wildly popular sing-along cinema experiences. 3Below is also home to San Jose Playhouse, the producers' newly dubbed professional live theatre company. Live entertainment including musicals, theater for young audiences, classes, community programming, and ComedySportz is expected to reopen in September 2021.

Reopening 3Below for movies is a significant milestone for Downtown San Jose as it resumes normal operation after the COVID-19 pandemic slowed its entertainment and nightlife industries for more than a year. 3Below has a major part to play because of its history as a vital piece of downtown San Jose’s entertainment destinations. "We are committed to doing all we can to stay alive," reports producer and film programmer, Scott Guggenheim. "It has been terrifically challenging to stay positive and imagine a time when entertainment will fully reopen but with so much invested in the venue since its reimagining in 2018, we owe it to ourselves, our team, and our supporters to press on. We also feel we owe it to our community. The residents of Downtown San Jose and our friends and fans in neighboring communities deserve a unique entertainment destination like 3Below, and with the venue's long history - opening in 1984 and still going strong - the venue deserves to be celebrated and attended for years to come.”

With vaccines readily available and restrictions loosening nationwide, studios have begun releasing long-delayed titles, resulting in hours of summer movie entertainment filling up the roster. Though still the only South Bay location to enjoy independent, art, foreign, and documentary films like "Queen Bees", "Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It", and "Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)", 3Below is also adding new releases to the schedule like "Here Today", "Cruella", "In the Heights", "Black Widow", "Jungle Cruise", "Stillwater", "Respect", and the highly anticipated "The Beatles: Get Back" by filmmaker Peter Jackson. 

The cafe in the 3Below lobby has also had a facelift, not only to its decor but to the menu. Guests will enjoy a wider range of freshly-made food and beverages to enjoy before, during, or after events. The eatery features gourmet hot dogs, meat and veggie skewers, waffle desserts, gourmet coffee, and beer and wine; vegan and gluten free options available. Validated parking is provided for the parking garage located above the theaters.

As eager as everyone is to return to "normal", 3Below's team is fully aware that many are being cautious before venturing out. 3Below's operations manager, Sherrol Simard, wants fans to know, "We will continue to enforce a number of safety protocols – known as 'CinemaSafe' – in order to slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep guests and employees healthy. We encourage guests to order tickets online in advance to minimize standing in lines or handling paper tickets. We are still limiting each auditorium to 50% capacity. Guests and employees are required to wear face masks at all times in the lobby and in the theaters, only removing them to eat or drink. When refilling popcorn and drinks, your cup or bucket will be exchanged for a new one." A page dedicated to Covid-19 Patron Guidelines can be found on 3Below’s website.

The producers at 3Below hope the community will once again look at the venue as a "third place." Producer Shannon Guggenheim understands "many people have been isolating at home for the better part of fourteen months and might be looking for a place to be other than home and work. We invite you to make 3Below your 'third place' and come hang out in our lobby to enjoy the ambience, great tunes, and the tabletop arcade game station. It's a place to do homework, use the free WiFi while sipping on our homemade lemonade. And it's where to spend an evening with the family watching a new movie and sharing a meal before taking some premium Italian gelato to go."

3Below closed the theater doors in mid-March 2020 and furloughed nearly all of its employees. All live productions and classes were cancelled/postponed. With theaters closed worldwide, movie studios delayed releases to 2021 or released to streaming services. These tough decisions have made it doubly difficult for a small theater to stay open. Even with the highly enjoyable "Up on the Roof" festival presented with the San Jose Downtown Association in October 2020, and a brief Oscar FilmFest in April, the amount of people who were willing to face a pandemic to catch a film was small. The Guggenheims hope patrons will look forward to returning to theaters to see some great films this summer. "We hope you will choose our family-operated, locally-owned venue as your location of choice to go back to the movies."

Visit to see what's now playing and coming soon, as well as get information on job opportunities in the 3Below box office and cafe.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience coming to San Jose on Sep 24

Finally, events are returning to the San Jose McEnery Center! Nederlander Concerts & Beyond Exhibitions is presenting Beyond Van Gogh for a limited engagement in San Jose. Over 300 of Van Gogh's artwork will be projected onto walls, set in motion, and paired with music and narration.

Prices start at $34.99 for adults and $24.99 for kids. There are also VIP packages that come with a giftbag. You can learn more and book a time slot over here.




SAN JOSE, CA — JUNE 2, 2021 —  Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience (, proudly presented by Nederlander Concerts & Beyond Exhibitions, will open at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center – South Hall on September 24. Open for a limited engagement, Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience was created by French-Canadian Creative Director Mathieu St-Arnaud and his team at Montreal’s world-renowned Normal Studio.  This exhilarating experience features more than 300 of Vincent Van Gogh’s iconic artworks, exciting the art lovers' senses through a three-dimensional lens in a way that’s never been experienced before.  Guests will walk through an all-new, exclusively designed space which will transport them into Van Gogh’s world, becoming one of the brush strokes on his colorful canvasses and illuminating the senses.

Prices start at $34.99 for adults and $24.99 for children, plus the addition of ticketing fees. This world-renowned art experience will be open for a limited-time, so be sure to get tickets while they are still available.  Tickets are on-sale Friday, June 4 at

“We are beyond thrilled to bring Beyond Van Gogh’s art to life in San Jose,” says Mathieu St-Arnaud, Normal Studio.

Cinematic Van Gogh exhibitions have crossed the ocean from European cities to North America in recent years and met with great critical acclaim, with sold out audiences in every market. In a distinctive and unique multimedia artistic adventure, using cutting-edge multi-dimensional projection technology developed by some of the world’s greatest Audio Visual designers and technicians, Beyond Van Gogh encompasses the same iconic flare of Van Gogh’s vast body of work, with a refreshing new twist unlike anything art lovers have seen before. Using the artist’s own dreams, thoughts, and words to drive an unmatched narrative experience, Van Gogh’s exquisite works on projection-swathed walls invite guests to fully immerse themselves in his swirling and colorful flowers, cafes and stunning landscapes.

While journeying through Beyond Van Gogh guests witness his stunning masterpieces, including instantly-recognizable classics such as “The Starry Night”, “Sunflowers”, and ‘CafĂ© Terrace at Night”, now freed from their frames. Van Gogh’s art is thrillingly brought to life by appearing and disappearing, flowing across walls, floors and ceilings, captivating and enveloping guests into the incredible detail of his work. A new appreciation of this tortured artists’ stunning work will undoubtedly emerge as guests travel through, hearing Van Gogh’s own words set to a symphonic score.  It’s no surprise that millions of people all over the world credit Van Gogh with enhancing their relationship with art. Beyond Van Gogh will only strengthen that connection.

As immersive art installations deeply resonate around the globe, Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience continues to amaze audiences and will stay in San Jose for a limited engagement before moving across North America. Art lovers near and far will have the opportunity to live this truly unique and unforgettable experience.


About Normal Studio:

Pushing the boundaries of performing arts, entertainment, and public installations since 2009, Normal Studio believes in making life legendary. Using multimedia magic and fusing physical and technological elements to transform spaces into full-on immersive experiences, Normal Studio tells stories in new and different ways by reimagining what’s possible. The result is a unique adventure that sparks awe and wonder, making an unforgettable impact on people’s everyday lives.


About Beyond Exhibitions:
Beyond Exhibitions is a company comprised of like-minded individuals who have worked across the globe with some of the greatest entertainers and brands known to man.  With Beyond Van Gogh, the team brings their collective understanding of audiences, entertainment, and art together to proudly present Vincent Van Gogh like he has never been seen before.


About Nederlander Concerts:

Nederlander Concerts promotes and produces a wide range of quality live entertainment throughout the United States and in 2020 was ranked among the top 20 promoters in the country.  A boutique, independent event promotion firm, Nederlander exclusively operates and programs the most coveted and awarded small to mid-sized venues, including the Hollywood Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles, Vina Robles Amphitheatre in Paso Robles, City National Grove of Anaheim, San Jose Civic, and California Performing Arts Center in San Jose, Heart Health Park in Sacramento,  among others. Also, the company promotes events at third party arenas, theatres, and clubs across the country, including the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, Arlington Theatre in Santa Barbara, San Diego Civic, Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, Paramount Theatre in Oakland, Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts in Worcester and many more.

Friday, June 4, 2021


With some of the highest vaccination rates in the world (more on that in another post), it's time for San Jose to come back full-force this summer. Today will be the biggest South FIRST FRIDAY since the pandemic started. There are in-person exhibits to enjoy at ANNO DOMINI, Art Ark Gallery, KALEID Gallery, MACHU PICCHU Gallery of the Americas, MACLA, and the SoFA Market. For directions to each gallery and all of the details head over here.

As a side note, the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles will be reopening this month with a members and artists weekend on June 11-13 and a full reopening on June 18-20.

Thursday, June 3, 2021

June 2021 Downtown Dimension Highlights

 The JUNE Downtown Dimension is now available for download.
This month's newsletter highlights:  
  • Dine Downtown returns starting July 1.  The "Restaurant Week" won't be as long as it was last fall, but it has been extended to 18 days this time around.  Some of downtown's best restaurants have already signed up, and more are expected to join the fun this month. Get ready to explore new places and visit longtime favorites.
  • Two new entertainment venues are set to open in downtown San Jose.  San Pedro Social Club opens with bowling lanes, a first for downtown.  And in SoFA, you will find the best gamers in the area battling it out for bragging rights.  The experience includes food, drink, games and a lot of social. Post-pandemic, it may be just what the doctor orders.
  • The North San Pedro housing area is starting to fill up, with the opening of The Julian, added financing for an affordable housing project set to be finished this year, and a land sale that may lead to the start of another residential project sooner than anticipated.
  • Santa Clara County Supervisors adopted Laura's Law, an important step in assisting individuals with untreated severe mental illness.
  • ParkSJ parking meters and garages now offer contactless payments. Just tap your credit card or ApplePay device over the receiver and you are good to go.
  • Happy 50th anniversary to Togo's, which started in San Jose and has grown to almost 200 locations throughout the West.
  • William Quevedo is celebrated as Groundwerx's Employee of the Month.
  • For the ultimate boba and tea drink, try Dr.Ink off San Pedro Square.
  • Fall will be a transition semester at San Jose State, with students in classrooms, at home online and some hybrid classes.  Faculty returns in July and classes begin Aug. 18.

SJDA’s next public meeting will be Friday, June 11 at 8:15 a.m. via Zoom. The agenda includes a presentation by Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez on mental health and homeless solutions. Register in advance for this webinar at