Retro Dome

1694 Saratoga Avenue,
San Jose, CA 95129

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Retro Dome

Viewing: Photo | Street View

This dome theater was opened by Century Theatres chain on May 27, 1969, as a single-screen theater. It was twinned in November 1974.

Century 25 was part of the Westgate Mall complex, operated by Cinplex. It showed mostly independent/art-house fare.

In late-August 2009, it became the Retro Dome, presenting a mix of Classic movies and live performances. It was demolished on January 6, 2013.

Contributed by Kate

Recent comments (view all 29 comments)

Dramatrauma on March 20, 2010 at 5:19 pm

Last weekend the boyfriend and I enjoyed a screening of Lawrence of Arabia at the Red Dome. The musical SHOUT! was being performed in the Live in the Blue Dome and the sound bleed thru was negligible.

I was suprised at the small size of the Dome’s screen but the letterboxing of LOA meant we didnt miss the “edges” of the picture. They are using a high end DVD projector to show films but thats because the projection booth has become the Tech Booth for the live shows.

The Century theaters comfy 70s (?) era seats are still in place,while the walls were covered in new red and white fabric. Folded in a way that made me think of a stuffed ottoman and the BF of a circus tent. My only complaint about the auditorium is that for lighting they are using strips of theater/concert lights on poles (its not as rickety as it sounds, its just that even being in theater all my life I lack a good lighting vocabulary) that,while colorful, leave the place kind’ve dim considering the many different size steps the place has.

Im not sure if they’ll want to keep the swinging 60s color scheme but it was well put together and the series of retro movie posters adorning the walls breaks up the bright greens and pinks nicely.

The staff was really friendly and helpful and hopefully theyll build an audience for both venues; attendance at SHOUT! that day was around half the house (according to the staff) and there were only 10 other people enjoying LOA with us.

Dramatrauma on March 31, 2010 at 3:38 am

A few photos of the Retro Dome; taken March 2010. Its looking good and run by really nice people. All they need is an audience!

View link

Dramatrauma on March 31, 2010 at 5:01 am

If anybody has flat marquee letters to possibly donate, give them a call. Movies like lAwrence of ArAbiA and wrAth of khAn stretch their supply pretty thin.

Dramatrauma on May 21, 2010 at 11:49 am

From the RetroDome newsletter: news for the projection buffs.

You Won’t Believe Your Eyes and Ears!
Thanks to the extremely generous offer of Brian Bakhshandeh (a fan of The Retro Dome and an uber-knowledgeable projection and sound designer) we recently upgraded our projection and sound system from HD DVD and the sound design originally created for the theatre. As of May 2010, we have installed a state of the art Blu-Ray player that is equipped with Anchor Bay VRS Video Processor and the ability to playback Dolby True HD and DTS-HD Master Audio. This is one of the most advanced processors in the market today.

All movies are now shown in 720P DLP Digital Format. If the movie is presented in DVD, you will experience Dolby Digital 5.1 or DTS 5.1, whereas before, this was not offered and the presentation was not even in Stereo Sound, making it a huge improvement. Also, the picture is much improved thanks to the Anchor Bay Video Processor and Digital DLP.

If the movie is presented in Blu Ray, you are in for a real treat. You can now experience Dolby True HD or DTS-HD Master Audio. These are Uncompressed Raw Studio Quality Sound formats! No theater is currently offering this, as this sound quality can NOT be offered with 35 or 70mm film.

Since most movies that are shown are older, they really benefit from Blu Ray as the picture and sound is light years ahead of 35mm presentation. Unlike film, there are no pops, buzzing, film reel artifacts or sound issues. Even Mr. Lucas and Mr. Spielberg agree that Digital is far superior to film and these guys ARE purists! When you see a film, you want to see and hear what the director intended. The Retro Dome now let’s you do that.

TLSLOEWS on July 1, 2010 at 11:58 am

Good Luck,from the photos I see how this theatre got its name.

AlanSmithee on September 20, 2010 at 2:05 am

Well, they REALLY blew it by not converting this back to the original large dome! And why would I go out to watch a DVD anyways?

antoniomontana on May 18, 2013 at 10:15 pm

Now closed after a successful run. Awaiting the bulldozer.

antoniomontana on November 16, 2013 at 1:02 pm

Retrodome/Guggenheim is now in Century 21 complex

tahamaki on January 7, 2014 at 4:11 pm

Demolished as of Jan 6, 2014.

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