The historic status of the now-shuttered Century 21 dome theater on Winchester Boulevard bounces back into the city of San Jose's court this week. On Wednesday night, the city's Historic Landmarks Commission will have a hearing and decide whether to recommend the City Council declare the 50-year-old movie house a city landmark.
A couple of weeks back, the State Historic Resources Commission determined the theater to be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places and sent the nomination forward. The National Park Service will make the final determination -- probably some time in June -- but even if it agrees, there's unlikely to be a victory for preservationists. Because while the park service doesn't require a property owner to consent to a historic listing, it won't list a property on the register if the owner objects. The families that own the land beneath the dome have objected in the past, and there's no reason to believe they won't continue to do so.
So in that scenario, the Century 21 would be "Determined Eligible," without actually being listed.
Given the actions that San Jose's Historic Landmarks Commission has taken on the issue so far, I'd expect it to forward the nomination to the City Council. And that's where things get sticky again. One councilmember I've talked to wants to wait until the National Register decision is made, which may push any city action until after the council's July recess.
For anyone interested in weighing in, the landmarks commission meeting starts at 6 p.m. in rooms 118 and 119 of the San Jose City Hall wing. You can also read city staff's report on the theater at http://www.sanjoseca.gov/DocumentCenter/View/30078.
SHE SHOOTS, SHE SINGS: When San Jose State's women's basketball team gets together for its end of the year banquet on Saturday at the Villages Golf & Country Club, there'll be some high notes along with the high fives. The event, which includes a brunch and silent auction, also will also feature some of the team members providing attendees with a presentation of their vocal skills.
Personally, I'm not surprised that San Jose State would turn out athletes who are artists, too. Creativity is part of the DNA around here.
If you're interested in attending the event, contact Gayle Kludt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SCENE STEALER: It's not unusual during the way casual "ShakesBEERience" shows at downtown San Jose's Cafe Stritch to have a cast member borrow a drink from your table or sit down next to you while performing lines. But a surreal moment during last week's production of "Romeo and Juliet" left the audience wondering if what they saw was real or part of the show. Toward the end of the play, a young man walked up to the stage and addressed the audience, telling them he was visiting San Jose from Canada for the first time and just wanted to thank everyone for a great time. He departed and the play played on.
Methinks he got a bit into the ale, eh?