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San José City Landmarks

San Jose City Landmark
Towne Theater
City Landmark #
88
1433 The Alameda
Built:
1952
Architectural Style:
Art Deco
Architect:
Binder & Curtis
Designated:
1994

Built in 1926 as the Hester Theatre and remodelled and renamed the Towne Theater in 1952, this is the oldest neighborhood theater in San Jose. Until the Covid pandemic, it was also the city’s last historic movie theater in operation and an anchor of the Bay Area’s Indian-American community, showing an eclectic slate of Telugu, Tamil, Hindi, Malayalam, Kannada language films. Unfortunately, its post-Covid reopening is now in doubt and the theater is listed for sale. Fortunately, the Towne Theater was designated a City Landmark in 2009, giving some legal protection to its flamboyant neon-traced facade and marquee-- an icon along the Alameda.

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