Camera Cinemas owners Jack NyBlom and Jim Zuur closed the 12-screen downtown cineplex Sept. 8 after 13 years of operation, citing increased maintenance costs to the aging three-story, 73,000-square-foot building.
“As much as we would like to believe that it was catering to and bustling with families all the time, the fact is that most families today are watching movies at home and the theater has struggled for years,” rued Councilmember Raul Peralez.
The theater complex was originally built in 1996 as the United Artist Pavilion with San Jose Redevelopment Agency assistance. The agency invested in the theater again after UA abandoned the location in 2000 and attracted Camera Cinemas to operate it in 2003. The Successor Agency (SARA) now has the long-term lease and developer Forest City owns the building. SARA has six months to find another movie operator. After that, Forest City will be allowed to find any tenant to occupy the building.
The closure came with ramifications. Cinequest partners Halfdan Hussey and Kathleen Powell vowed to continue their popular film festival and will announce its venues in January for the Feb. 28-March 12, 2017 event.
Also, Retro Dome moved its sing-along film events to the affiliated Camera 7 venue in Campbell.
Camera 3, opened by NyBlom, Zuur and Dennis Skaggs in 1983 at Second and San Carlos streets, continues to show art and indie films. Another downtown film option is the IMAX theater at The Tech, which shows science and nature films, and occasionally presents feature-length blockbusters.