Century 22

3162 Olsen Drive,
San Jose, CA 95117

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Showing 17 comments

ajtarantex
ajtarantex on April 8, 2014 at 5:03 pm

Where did my Friend Mr. Bill Williams go after they closed the Century 22?

heytoddo
heytoddo on April 2, 2014 at 6:31 am

My fondest memory of Century 22 in San Jose was waiting in a long line on blankets through the center of the parking lot for the original “Star Wars”. Years later, in the early 1980’s, I would work for Syufy as an Assistant Manager at Century Almaden (five-house theatre at Blossom Hill Rd and Almaden Expressway) and help out occasionally on the Big Block, mostly for Ron Giffen at Century 23 or Bill Tannehill at Century 21. I met Ray Syufy Sr. once when he came to Century Almaden to decide whether to split the center big house in two, but he never did. Sometime later while working the door at Century 23 a younger man walked up and said he was Ray Syufy and he wanted to see the manager. I chuckled, since I had already met Ray Syufy. I went to the office and told Ron Giffen some guy said he was Ray Syufy and wanted to see him. Ron exclaimed, “That could be Ray Syufy, Jr.!” I was mortified.

Still years later after having left that profession I was at Century 22 for the first showing of “Back to the Future III” with a friend. They were going to show all three movies in a series in the big A house. We waited in line, but it sold out when we were about 20 people from the box office. Disappointed, we bought tickets for some other movie in one of the other two houses. We bought a ton of food at the concessions stand to fill our arms, then walked right past the guy guarding the door to the A house and sat in the very front row for all three movies. There are so many other stories about these grand theatres — good times. Now they are closed and will likely be gone soon like Century 24 and 25.

Coate
Coate on January 14, 2014 at 2:12 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
boxcop on January 14, 2014 at 12:45 pm

On the issue of these theaters closing – 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).

Scott Neff
Scott Neff on January 10, 2014 at 11:48 am

Again — same architects between the UA 150 and this building.

paulnelson
paulnelson on January 8, 2014 at 5:53 pm

Screen and curtains and dome design similar to the late and great UA 150 in Seattle built in the 60’s and torn down sadly a few years ago. Was a weed filled empty lot for years and now another oversized and cookie cutter highrise in the ever expanding downtown Seattle. Only about 4 original grand theatres left in that city downtown. This was one of the best. The famous Cinerama still is succssful there. Was restored years ago.

SSmyth
SSmyth on September 15, 2013 at 4:53 am

=================================
On March 7, 2013, Richie_T wrote:
“This theater reminds me of my

beloved, late Orange Cinedome"

As well it should … same architect, same builders, same ownership at time of building.

Scott Neff
Scott Neff on March 8, 2013 at 4:38 pm

Bill is still there.

ajtarantex
ajtarantex on March 7, 2013 at 11:08 am

IS MY FRIEND MR. BILL WILLIAMS STILL MANAGING THIS LOCATION? I have too say this man was the best District Manager in the Theater Business. He knew people and the business so well he could handle anything!

Richie_T
Richie_T on March 7, 2013 at 9:25 am

Wow… this theater reminds me exactly of my beloved, late Orange Cinedome… next time I’m up north I will visit for sure. Good to see.

Mikeyisirish
Mikeyisirish on June 27, 2012 at 10:00 am

A few 2012 photos of the Winchester Dome Theaters can be seen here, here, here and here.

Scott Neff
Scott Neff on June 11, 2012 at 5:37 pm

Though the sign on the building says Century 22, the name should probably be changed to Winchester 22.

Coate
Coate on June 11, 2012 at 11:11 am

“I notice that the Century 21 has its own Cinema Treasures page, but the Century 22 and Century 23 do not.”

The Century 22 obviously has a page since your comment was posted on that theater’s page! I think you meant pages are needed for Century 23 and Century 24.

Eric
Eric on January 18, 2010 at 9:14 pm

The digital projector disappeared a few years ago. Which is too bad because this would have been a great venue for Avatar in 3D.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 4, 2009 at 10:07 pm

A list of new theaters opened in 1965, published in Boxoffice Magazine’s January 17, 1966, issue, included the Century 22, and gave the seating capacity as 950.

Boxoffice Magazine’s issue of May 1, 1967, said that Syufy’s Century 23 Theatre had recently opened adjacent to the Century 21 and 22. The item said that the seating capacity of this new domed house was 832.

The same publication’s list of new theaters opened in 1968, published in its January 20, 1969, issue, lists the Century 24, and has a small photo captioned “Century 21, 22, 23, 24 – San Jose California – Syufy Enterprises” It doesn’t list the seating capacity of the new house.

The magazine’s list of new theaters opened in 1971, published in their issue of May 15, 1972, includes the Century Twin, 1200 seats, located in front of the Century 22.

I notice that the Century 21 has its own Cinema Treasures page, but the Century 22 and Century 23 do not. If somebody has their addresses, go ahead and submit these theaters. Both were designed by Vincent G. Raney, of course.

Logansneo
Logansneo on June 3, 2006 at 5:44 am

Santana Row shows more art-house films and limited releases than the larger Century dome theaters. This aspect alone limits the Cinearts to a different demographic. The bigger budget releases more often than not are still released on the Century 21 and 22 screens, as well as 22 being (as far as I can tell) the ONLY Digital Cinema in San Jose. Business has been a bit slower, but most theaters in the area have been impacted by the current slump in movie-going. I don’t recall waiting in large lines anytime this year for a film, or being in a completely sold-out showing. But Superman Returns hasn’t been released as of this writing, so only time will tell.

Century theaters is still the only chain around that doesn’t force feed it’s patrons a bunch of television commercials, and besides the Coming Soon trailers, only advertises Fandango, which is a movie related ad anyway. While AMC and Regal cinema’s make movie-goers sit through a minimum of 15 min. of television product ads, then another 10-15 minutes of trailers to boot. That and the cost per ticket, at least in San Jose, is cheaper at Century theaters than any other big theater chain.

natedogg
natedogg on February 20, 2005 at 10:16 pm

i don’t see that much time these theaters will be open due to the new theater in santana row