Fans of the Retro Dome—Guggenheim Entertainment’s combination of classic movies and original stage shows presented in the now-demolished Century 25 dome theater—will be happy to know that the company has found a new home and will be starting a new year of unique and family friendly entertainment in January.
Shannon Guggenheim, Scott Evan Guggenheim and Stephen Guggenheim—GE’s creative trio—have taken over operations at Camera 3 Cinemas on Second Street in downtown San Jose, reinventing it as 3Below Theaters and Lounge, a community gathering spot for stage shows, movies and socializing.
The name 3Below is a nod to the theaters’ location—three theaters below the 2nd Street and San Carlos parking structure.
The complex, run in partnership with Jack NyBloom of Camera 3 Entertainment, is currently undergoing renovation and will debut in January 2018 as a venue for live theater; revival movie screenings and interactive films; comedy, live music and events like Broadway karaoke and open mic nights; and classes and children’s programming. Renovations have been partially funded by the City of San José and a silent auction that runs through Dec. 31.
Camera 3’s redesign includes a full renovation of the main theater, restrooms and lobby with additional upgrades throughout the complex. Sleek, smooth, shining silver elements and cool colors will create a contemporary look that recalls mid-century modern style. New seats will be installed in each of the three theaters, and a café will invite passersby with food and drinks prior to shows and throughout the day.
Theater 3—3Below’s largest, 250-seat theater—will serve as the site for professional theater productions performed by Actor’s Equity Association (AEA) actors, as well as a family and teen theater series, intimate operas, musicals in concert, interactive sing-along and quote-along events, talent shows, a summer musical theatre conservatory for aspiring young actors and film festivals, including Cinequest.
Silicon Valley’s longest running comedy show, ComedySportz, will remain in 3Below’s 99-seat theater, and its weekly performances and classes will continue throughout construction.
The smallest, 89-seat, theater will be home to revival films, movie marathons and double features, art and independent films, documentaries and sensory-friendly screenings. The theater will also host young people’s programming that includes Saturday morning cartoons, Slapstick Sunday events and pajama parties.
Another new feature is 3Below’s Pix & Pints Café and Lounge. Dining options will range from sandwiches and snacks to hot and cold foods that are themed around programming (think: Raiders of the Lost Artichoke and Harry Potter Pinwheels). A selection of soft drinks, coffee, tea, beer and wine will also be available.
The lounge, designed as a community gathering spot, will host family game nights, Broadway karaoke, evenings of cabaret and musical theater and opera, pop, rock and stand-up comedy open mic nights.
Programming kicks off January with classic film and stage shows. The Sound of Music Sing-Along—a community favorite—opens on Jan. 11 (running through Jan. 14). That will be immediately followed on Jan. 18 by a stage production of Sondheim on Sondheim, a revue by the father of the modern musical reflecting on his 60-plus years on the theater. Sondheim on Sondheim runs through Feb. 4.
There are plenty of free events lined up as well. First and third Tuesdays are Family Game Night. Second and fourth Tuesdays are Broadway Karaoke Night. And every Wednesday is open mic: comedy on first Wednesdays of the month; Broadway on the second Wednesdays; pop, rock and country music on the third Wednesdays; and opera on fourth Wednesdays.
For information about events and reservations visit 3belowtheaters.com.
You can support 3Below’s effort to create a new theater and film venue in the South Bay by joining the capital campaign at www.32auctions.com/3belowtheaters.