The California Theatre opened in 1927 as a vaudeville and film house, but closed its doors in 1974. After more than five years of reconstruction and restoration, the California reopened its doors in 2004, and is currently home to OSJ and Symphony Silicon Valley. Its elaborate interiors have been opulently restored, while important additions for audience comfort and theatrical production have been added. The California Theatre is one of the region’s most important performance facilities.
The 1,100-seat auditorium, slightly smaller than England’s Glyndebourne and Venice’s historic Teatro la fenice, joins the select ranks of the world’s most intimate opera houses. There are only 20 rows of seats in the orchestra section, five rows in the grand tier, and six in the mezzanine. Each seat offers close proximity to the stage, essential for engaging theatre, and acoustics are excellent in all areas of the theatre.
The intricately restored gallery-foyer and auditorium are surrounded by entirely new conveniences and comforts, including elevators, ample restrooms upstairs and down, a magnificent gallery, a foyer and even a courtyard complete with fountain.
The California is at 345 South 1st Street, between San Carlos and San Salvador (map). The box office is open 90 minutes prior to curtain: (408) 437- 4450. There is ample parking on S. First St, which is supplemented by additional parking lots and garages in the surrounding area. Excellent restaurants encircle the building, including Arcadia, Eulipia, Il Fornaio, and Original Joe’s, and within easy walking distance are Grill on the Alley, Morton’s, Scott’s Seafood Grill and Bar, and others.