Town & Country Theater

2980 Stevens Creek Boulevard,
San Jose, CA 95128

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MSC77 on October 28, 2018 at 10:01 pm

Ralph Daniel: I find it highly unlikely the “Chips Ahoy” cartoon short screened with “Altered States.” Ask yourself: Does it seem plausible Disney would authorize one of their G-rated cartoon shorts, with no thematic similarities, and in a different aspect ratio, to be screened with an R-rated movie from a rival studio? The only 70mm screenings of “Chips Ahoy” I’m aware of screened with “The Black Cauldron” in 1985. And “The Black Cauldron” played Town & Country, the same theater in which you’re recalling seeing “Altered States,” so if you saw “Cauldron” there, too, then I’d say you’re simply conflating the two moviegoing experiences. On the other hand, if you did not see “The Black Cauldron” there, then maybe it’s a different cartoon short that played with “Altered States” (the sci-fi themed “Duck Dodgers in the 24 ½ Century,” maybe?).

Ralph Daniel
Ralph Daniel on October 27, 2018 at 3:31 pm

I saw “Altered States” there in 1981, projected in 70mm. The projection booth door was right beside the left entrance, and the projectionist left his door open for people to see the equipment. I struck up a conversation and was allowed to be inside for picture start-up. A Disney cartoon “Chips Ahoy” preceded the feature. It had been blown-up to 70mm so that no projector change-over was needed. This experience was truly an example of someone who was proud of his work.

Coate on June 1, 2016 at 10:43 am

The 70mm engagements at the Town & Country….

1967-03-08 … Hawaii (roadshow; 70mm unconfirmed)

1969-08-01 … Krakatoa, East of Java

1976-12-25 … A Star is Born

1978-12-15 … Superman (70mm from Week #7)

1981-01-23 … Altered States
1981-05-22 … Outland

1982-06-18 … Firefox

1983-04-22 … Raiders of the Lost Ark
1983-05-13 … Blue Thunder
1983-07-15 … Staying Alive

1984-06-08 … Ghostbusters
1984-12-07 … City Heat

1985-05-22 … Rambo: First Blood Part II
1985-07-24 … The Black Cauldron
1985-12-20 … Out of Africa

1986-05-16 … Top Gun
1986-10-17 … The Color of Money

1987-03-06 … Lethal Weapon
1987-06-03 … The Untouchables
1987-08-05 … Stakeout
1987-11-25 … 3 Men and a Baby

1988-05-20 … Willow
1988-07-15 … Die Hard

1989-07-07 … Lethal Weapon 2

1990-06-15 … Dick Tracy

1992-12-25 … Hoffa

troy on March 20, 2015 at 11:44 am

Saw Krakato East of Java there and Herbie The Love Bug for 8 straight weeks .My father was the projectionist there Tom Taylor when I was young and mom was fed up with me i was sent to work with my Dad and yes Herbie played for 8 straight weeks not a fun summer but the memories will never go

Coate on January 14, 2014 at 2:10 pm

boxcop… At the time of the “Superman” engagement, the Dome Complex and the Town & Country were in competition with each other. The Domes were run by Syufy and the Town & Country was run by Mann. Syufy’s (aka Century) ownership of the Town & Country came years later. See my Still Believing A Man Can Fly article for a reference to Town & Country being a Mann operation in 1978/79 (and for a list of where else “Superman” played when it was new).

boxcop on January 14, 2014 at 12:49 pm

I saw Die Hard, Top Gun and Superman here…. It had the best presentation back in the day, before AMC bought it and ruined its reputation. On the issue of the 21, 22 and 23 theaters closing across the street- With some serious funding from some serious supporters, the Century 21 could become a class act entertainment destination in the heart of the Silicon Valley once again. With some minor changes to the exterior, lobby and auditorium and a few major changes to the projection booth and screen, this theatre has the potential to be a first-run, 3D digital movie theatre, a one-of-a-kind single-screen IMAX venue and even a Cinerama-capable auditorium (as it was originally constructed to be) all in one. Just see what Paul Allen did for Seattle’s Cinerama Theatre and what the Pacific Theatre chain did for the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood. The developers even built around that one and both sides won. The issue here is that we have wealthy corporate executives and we have dedicated, film-lovers who appreciate what these screens were in the past, what they are today and what they could be in the future. The problem that we face is that we do not have both qualities in the same person who is willing to swoop down and save the day, like Superman did for me in 1978 (another classic film I watched at these domes – technically across the street at Town & Country, which was still considered to be a part of the old “Block” Century Theatres complex).

ajtarantex on March 5, 2013 at 7:17 pm


larrygoldsmith on February 13, 2009 at 7:05 pm

FOX TOWN AND COUNTRY THEATRE was originally owned by National General Theatres.It was sold to CENTURY THEATRES in the early 70’s when Mann took over and sold or closed all the Bay Area theatres under the FOX/NATIONAL GENERAL banner.

kucharsk on January 13, 2008 at 5:40 am

My fondest memory of this theatre is I saw “Die Hard” there shortly after I had moved to Santa Clara.

Not only did the movie blow me away, but the presentation at the Town and Country ranked among the best I had ever seen, to the point I had to inform the theatre management what a great theatre it was.

It makes me sad to even drive by the CinéArts @ Santana Row that now occupies the location.

Chris Lion
Chris Lion on April 14, 2005 at 7:09 pm

I worked at the T&C for a few years in the 80’s. I remember both Top Gun and The Natural each played there for seven months. Do any theaters keep a movie for more than two weeks?

Anyway, it had a fantastic curved ‘ribbon screen’. Instead of a single curved piece of material, it was a series of hundreds of 1.5" ribbons that slightly overlapped in a curve. The depth in that screen was amazing. I saw Out of Africa there and went to see it again at another theater (why I would see that again, I can’t remember) and it looked so flat! However, if the A/C blew too hard, it caused the ribbons to shift and it looked as if there were scratches in the film.

T&C had these amazing Norelco projectors. The most forgiving and quiet projector ever. They ran reel-to-reel until Century Theatres took over. However, they left the second projector up—so we actually had a backup projector!

When AMC came in they put in this small screen that they hyped as “the largest Torus compound screen west of the Mississippi.” (Whatever that was.) It looked like crap. Across the street were two 40 x 80 screens and there answer was to put in a 20 x 40 in the same space? When Mann and Century showed films in Scope, the picture practically went ceiling to floor and wall to wall. Look at that picture at the top, it’s practically a quarter of what T&C had before AMC.

Also, AMC had no idea how to run a single-screen. It was total culture shock for them. It was a slow, sad decline for such a great theatre.

GaryParks on January 8, 2005 at 2:41 pm

The Town and Country Cinema in Sunnyvale opened in the 1920s as the Strand. It was later called the Sunnyvale, then Town and Country. It still stands, with a few historical details evident on its exterior, and is now a restaurant and nightclub.

scottfavareille on October 21, 2004 at 3:11 pm

There was a Town and Country Cinema in Sunnyvale on Murphy Ave which showed second-run fare until 1975, when it showed hard porn until closing. Does anybody have more info on that theater?

mcmikecroaro on August 30, 2004 at 8:03 pm

Hi Folks:

I believe that United Artists operated this theatre prior to AMC taking over in the mid 1990’s.

TedK817 on April 1, 2004 at 12:53 am

It was owned by a number of companies. I believe it opened as the Fox Town and Country under Mann Theatres, and consisted of yellow seats, yellow carpeting and yellow interior lighting.

It later briefly became the Century Town and Country when Syufy owned it, and finally AMC Town and Country at the time of its closing. I possess the two large FOX signs from its earlier days.

I saw the first screening when AMC took over (“North By Northwest” for the press), and the final screening the night before it closed. And I got in and took some pictures and footage the day after it closed. (They were already removing the seats and the concessions stand had been demolished.)

It was one of the last three big screens in San Jose. The others remain across the street at Century 21 and 22.

Ironically, the last movie which ran there was “Romeo Must Die”, starring Jet Li.

Donald John Long
Donald John Long on November 21, 2002 at 10:04 pm

This was a fine, first-run theater which was lost in the destruction of the rustic Town & Country Center to make way for the ashes of Santana Row’s spectacular fire on August 19, 2002. I went there many times, often going to one of the many restaurants nearby.

Thankfully, the 1960s suburban ambience of the T & C Shopping Center (R.I.P.) still survives in its twin shopping center in Palo Alto on Embarcadero and El Camino Real near Stanford University. In Palo Alto, things never seem to change…

TomRose on October 6, 2002 at 3:24 pm

From the ashes…. Syufy, owners of the Century chain of theaters, is slated to open a multiplex in the new complex, named Santana Row. These theaters will compete with the Camera Cinemas in showing foreign and independent releases.

mansorama on July 28, 2001 at 5:48 am

Only known Cinerama film screened was KRAKATOA-EAST OF JAVA from 1 August 1969

fmbeall on May 18, 2001 at 8:33 am

In 2001, the entire Town and Country Village Shopping Center, which included this theatre, was demolished for a new development.