Showing posts with label san jose camera cinemas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label san jose camera cinemas. Show all posts

Monday, February 17, 2020

Former Camera 12 Theaters space will become office and retail

It's a bittersweet solution to a key space in the middle of Downtown San Jose, but at least it is better than the empty shell that exists today. Camera 12 was my favorite movie theater, and one of the few three-story movie theaters in the country. I was hoping this could be repurposed into a high-end theater with luxury seats, cocktails, and upscale dining similar to the Showplace ICON in Valley Fair. However, it appear Urban Catalyst has a firm plan for the 70,330 SQFT site.

The plan is to convert the space into a five-story building called "Paseo." This will be interesting to see executed given the existing configuration. They will likely have to gut the whole building. The top four floors will support 73,000 SQFT of office space while the ground floor will have 15,000 SQFT of retail.

I am excited about what the retail opportunities could be, especially given the whole street is starting to fill up. Scott's Seafood is moving to the former Social Policy space on the same block and Hapa Musubi is a few doors down (one of Downtown's most popular eateries, often completely selling out of food daily). It may no longer be a movie theater, but I'm certain this can be an anchor for urban activity Downtown.

Source: SVBJ

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Lights, Camera, Action: Cinequest 2019

Cinequest 2019 occurs March 5th to March 17th in San Jose and Redwood City (Silicon Valley) where it will showcase the work of artists from 56 countries, including 132 World and U.S. premiere films and virtual reality.  One hundred works at Cinequest have been directed by women. Fifty-four celebrations, performances, and special events round out the offerings—amounting to 531 screenings, events, parties and experiences.

Some of my top flick picks and screenings I'm so excited about watching include: FreaksEvery Time I DieThe PublicGroupers#LikeUndercoverThe Edge of SuccessCut Off (Abgeschnitten), Go Back to China and Shadow to name a few!!!

Here’s a look at Bay Area films, documentaries and short films worth checking out:
·      Bring Me An Avocado
·      Lucky Fifty
·      Circles
·      The Edge of Success
·      The 17
·      Hook Up 2.0
·      Your Friend
·      49 Mile Scenic Drive
·      Bones
·      Shades
·      Swan
·      When an Egg Meets a Tomato
·      My Mother, Myself and I
·      Love for Food
·      In Our Heads
·      The Fringe Class
·      Lunch Lady
·      American Muscle

Key Cinequest 2019 highlights include:

Closing Night Screening and Celebration: Sunday, March 17, 6:00pm, California Theatre
Cinequest 2019 culminates with The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. 

Maverick Spirit Award Events:
Cinequest’s highest honor, the Maverick Spirit Award, recognizes the world’s most compelling visionary and creative forces. Cinequest 2019’s Maverick Spirit Award recipients are:
  • Legendary star of screen and stage Bill Nighy
  • Actor, director, writer, and activist Nandita Das
  • Life of a Maverick Award Recipient, Esther Wojcicki

Television & Webisodes at Cinequest 2019:
It wasn’t that long ago when award-winning actors, directors, and producers wouldn’t dream of working in television or creating a web series. All of that has changed as the golden era of TV prevails. Cinequest is extremely proud to offer a First Look at upcoming shows, and you get to experience these dynamic stories on the big screen!!! Lineup includes:
  • THE BLACKOUT (U.S. Premiere) 
    • A glorious addition to the science fiction genre, The Blackout defies expectations and electrifies.
    • Joanna Nadin’s bestseller about finding optimism and adventure in deprived circumstances. Thirteen-year-old Joe Holt is left behind when his mum and unsavory boyfriend take a week-long holiday.
  • M (U.S. Premiere)  
    • An exhilarating horror-thriller from Argentina, M follows Diane and Tim, a young American couple who travel to Patagonia to search for Tim's father, a biologist who disappeared 10 years earlier.
  • OVER WATER (U.S. Premiere) 
    • Over Water is a captivating psychological drama set against the raw background of a sea port. Former television star John Beckers is given one last chance to get his life back on track.
  • TABOO (U.S. Premiere) 
    • Called “The comedy show you shouldn’t laugh with,” Taboo examines that which we often take for granted and forget to cherish.
  • UNDERCOVER (U.S. Premiere) 
    • One of the largest ecstasy producers in the world, Ferry Bouman, lives a charmed life in his villa, but things start to change when two undercover agents move into his territory.

Regular Screening Prices:
·      General Admission: $12
·      Regular screening tickets are not valid for special events. Opening and Closing Night films are special events.
·      Matinee: $8 All weekday (Monday – Friday) screenings before 5 pm.
·      Students: $6 Valid Student ID required at Box Office.

Complete lineup with ticket and pass sales information at

Monday, January 22, 2018

3Below Theaters & Lounge opens its doors with Sondheim on Sondheim

When it comes to musicals and plays, we are fortunate to have the Center for Performing Arts with Broadway San Jose, The San Jose Stage, and the Children's Musical Theater.

Now we are lucky to have another venue to consider!

On Thursday, January 18, 2018, 3Below Theaters & Lounge officially opened its doors to the public as they welcomed patrons to the musical: Sondheim on Sondheim. You can read their press release on The San Jose Blog here.

As we covered about the closing of Camera Cinemas (Part 1 and Part 2) along with options for the Camera 12 Cinemas, it’s been a heartbreak for many of us wondering about the future of these properties. However, a glimmer of hope came alive when it was announced that the property, formerly known as Camera 3, was to be renovated and revitalized!

Exterior of 3Below Theaters & Lounge on January 18, 2018
(Photograph courtesy of John Huân Vu)
When we arrived to 3Below, we noticed that the exterior hasn’t changed much aside from the removal of Psycho Donuts and the subtle interludes of blue and white. However, once you enter into the lobby, you can definitely see, feel, and even - ah - smell the new changes including a new snackbar; a remodeled dining area with plenty of tables and chairs; and renovated lobby with new flooring, wall coverings, and lighting. As shown below, I love their chosen wall pattern because it gives the exact feel that 3Below is trying to achieve: “a social spot for stage, screen, music, comedy, family fun, and events.”

Interior Wall Covering of 3Below Theaters & Lounge
(Photograph courtesy of John Huân Vu)
Arriving early to take pictures and look around, I was excited when they decided to let people in to see the musical in Theater 3. I found out that I was the first official patron to set foot in Theater 3! As you can see by my panorama, Theater 3 is a multipurpose theater for musicals, plays, movies, operas, cabarets, concerts, and a coveted screening room for Cinequest Film & VR Festival. You can find more about the other two theaters yet to be completely remodeled on their website under Who We Are, including an “intimate 87-seat theater” and another theater which will be the homebase to ComedySportz!

Panorama of Theater 3 at 3Below Theaters & Lounge
(Photograph courtesy of John Huân Vu)
Of course, it’s also not everyday that you get to sit in a brand new theater. It doesn’t quite have a new car smell but the room feels and smells so clean with brand new wall coverings and lighting; beautiful new seats; and fortunately, gum, scuff marks, or food on the floor were nowhere to be found!

Seats and interior of Theater 3 at 3Below Theaters & Lounge
(Photograph courtesy of John Huân Vu)
As for Sondheim on Sondheim, the musical is a big nod and honor to Stephen Sondheim, a famous American composer and lyricist best known for his work on Company, Follies, West Side Story, Sweeney Todd, and Into the Woods. The musical is on a limited engagement until February 4 and you can purchase tickets here.

With movie clips showing interviews of Stephen Sondheim featured on the big screen alongside cast members live on stage singing, dancing, and acting out many of his musical numbers, it was great to appreciate this living legend, or as some call him – “God”, for his work, sense of humor, and personal life.

Cast members on stage look on as Stephen Sondheim is featured on the big screen
(Photograph courtesy of Guggenheim Entertainment)

Under the direction of Guggenheim Entertainment, the cast members performed well. Theresa Anne Swain and Amy Bouchard amused us with their interludes of “The Wedding is Off” and “Bless This Day”, respectively, from the musical Company. Given his work as an opera singer, Stephen Guggenheim nailed “Epiphany” from Sweeney Todd. Jim Ambler amused us with “Franklin Shepard, Inc.” from Merrily We Roll Along. Then we had two deep and emotional numbers from Passion: “Is This What You Call Love?” and “Loving You”; both were performed eloquently by Jeremy Kreamer and Susan Gundunas, respectively. Martin Rojas Dietrich sang a number that many of us can relate to in life called “Being Alive” from Company. And Hayley Lovgren’s performance of “Do I Hear a Waltz?” from Do I Hear a Waltz? made me want to get up out of my seat and dance along to the waltz rhythms. After all the musical numbers were finished, I began to not only appreciate Sondheim’s lesser known works including Road Show (previously Bounce/Wise Guys), Merrily We Roll Along, and Passion, but also appreciate and empathize with his struggles in life including his psychologically abusive mother.

The cast members of Sondheim on Sondheim at 3Below
(Photograph courtesy of Guggenheim Entertainment)

All in all, 3Below has done a great job and I’m excited for their upcoming renovations of the other two theaters and additions to the lobby dining area including their Pix & Pints Cafe for dining options before, during, and after events. We will certainly be coming back and can’t wait to see another musical, play, movie, show, sing-a-long, or ComedySportz! They will win my heart, any day, if they are able to have a classy cabaret show or a jazz concert with some great wine and h'orderves. Great job 3Below Theaters & Lounge!

Sincerely Yours,
John Huân Vu

Sondheim on Sondheim at 3Below Theaters & Lounge
(Photograph courtesy of John Huân Vu)

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Sondheim on Sondheim @ 3Below

3Below Theaters and Lounge (the newly renovated Camera3 Theaters) is about to host their first premier live Stage Show, "Sondheim on Sondheim." Musical theater geeks will love this show and have the privilege to be one of the first to experience the new auditoriums and lounge.

Tickets are $41-58 and you can learn more about the three-week engagement over here.

3Below Theatres & Lounge to Produce “Sondheim on Sondheim”
as its Premiere Live Stage Show

Jan. 3, 2018 - SAN JOSE, Calif. - Take a stroll into the mind of a master. Hailed as “a funny, affectionate and revealing tribute to musical theater’s greatest living composer and lyricist,” Sondheim on Sondheim is being produced for the first time since 2015 at downtown San Jose’s newest entertainment venue, 3Below Theaters & Lounge, Jan. 18-Feb. 4.

Video footage plays an integral part in this live stage production. Through exclusive interviews, audiences will get an inside look at the personal life and artistic process of the famed composer.

“When we received the video content that will accompany the actors in this production, Shannon and I both watched together and instantly felt like teens at the stage door waiting for an autograph from one’s idol,” said Scott Guggenheim who is co-directing and producing Sondheim on Sondheim with his wife and creative partner, Shannon Guggenheim. “Watching Mr. Sondheim in his living room, seeing his couch, what’s on his walls, his mantle - it really made the ‘theater geek’ inside us rather giddy. We can’t wait to share that kid-in-a-Sondheim-filled-candy-store feeling with our audience.”

Who: Guggenheim Entertainment
What: Sondheim on SondheimWhen: Thursday, Jan. 18 - Sunday, Feb. 4, Thursday-Sunday 7:30 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 2 p.m.Where: 3Below Theaters & Lounge, 288 S. Second Street, San Jose (on the corner of Second and San Carlos)Tickets: $41-$58, 404-7711

Conceived and originally directed by Sondheim’s decade-long collaborator James Lapine, 3Below’s production is produced, directed and choreographed by Scott Evan and Shannon Guggenheim with musical direction by Stephen Guggenheim.

“I originally wanted this show to be titled: An Evening with Stephen Sondheim, but there was a concern that our New York audience would actually think that Sondheim himself would be on stage every night,” said Lapine in his production notes from Mar. 26, 2012. “Of course, with Sondheim on Sondheim, Steve is there, and I know that when you get to the end of the show and your cast sings ‘Anyone Can Whistle’ accompanied by the master himself, you and your audiences will feel as if you have indeed spent an evening with Stephen Sondheim.”

Both beloved and obscure numbers taken directly from the Sondheim songbook supplement the stories told by the stellar cast. Starring Amy Bouchard, Stephen Guggenheim*, Susan Gundunas*, Jeremy Kreamer*, Hayley Lovgren, Jim Ambler*, Martin Rojas Dietrich* and Theresa Swain, Sondheim on Sondheim showcases music from 19 of Sondheim’s shows throughout its 100 minute production.

“At the callbacks for this production, we asked each auditioner to share their favorite Sondheim memory,” said Shannon Guggenheim. “Perhaps the request could have been viewed as a device to weed out those actors not familiar enough with the material to be part of such a challenging new work, but we were pretty sure everyone in the room would be able to recount at least one defining moment when they fell in love with Sondheim. Not only did each person have a crystallized memory of the first time they were exposed to ‘Sunday In The Park With George,’ or when they realized ‘Anyone Can Whistle’ isn’t about whistling at all, but they spoke with great reverence about how this master’s compositions and lyrics have changed their life. They know what a privilege it is to be able to sing Sondheim’s work and share the words and music with audiences equally enamored by the content, or even better, to introduce Sondheim to people unfamiliar with the remarkable anthology of songs we’ll present in this revue.”