Performing Arts / Museums / Galleries

The downtown San Jose community takes pride in the diversity and quality of arts offered. From small galleries and stages to large concert arenas, downtowners can usually find something creative and extraordinary to do any night of the week.

The South First Fridays gallery crawl thrives in SoFA the first Friday of each month. The performing arts are always busy:  San Jose Stage, Theatre on San Pedro Square, City Lights, Broadway San Jose, and opera and symphony at the restored California Theatre. During walks through downtown, one may stop and enjoy a spoken-word competition, Live and Local music in a restaurant or bar lounge, or indie film at Camera Cinemas.

The Downtowner Online, a weekly compilation of all that’s happening downtown, is complemented by, which provides details and ticket information for the region.

For tickets (most Silicon Valley arts) (California Theater, Center for Performing Arts, City National Civic, Montgomery Theater) (SAP Center, San Jose State Events Center)

Music and stage

Ballet San Jose
40 N. First St., (408) 288-2820

Broadway San Jose

Children’s Musical Theater San Jose
1401 Parkmoor Ave., (408) 288-5437

City Lights Theatre Co.
529 S. Second St, (408) 295-4200

Northside Theatre Company
848 E. William St., (408) 288-7820

Opera San Jose
2149 Paragon Drive, (408) 437-4450

Renegade Theatre Experiment
1346 The Alameda Suite 7-265, (408) 351-4440

San Jose Chamber Music Society
72 N. Fifth St., (408) 286-5111

San Jose Chamber Orchestra
72 N. Fifth St., (408) 295-4416

San Jose Jazz
(408) 288-7557

South Bay Guitar Society
72 N. Fifth St., Suite 18, (408) 292-0704

The Stage
490 S. First St, (408) 283-7142

Symphony Silicon Valley
P.O. Box 790, (408) 286-2600

Tabard Theatre Company, Theatre on San Pedro Square
29 N. San Pedro St., Suite 200, (408) 979-0231

Film series

(408) 295-FEST

CINEQUEST fuses creativity with technological innovation to empower, improve, and transform the lives of people and communities worldwide, through Picture the Possibilities (PTP), Cinequest Film Festival and Cinequest Mavericks Studio.  The film festival showcases the city center for 13 days each February and March.

HD Opera Series at Camera 3 Entertainment

Camera Cinemas’ popular series of exclusive European HD operas and ballets is presented at Camera 3, at the corner of Second and San Carlos streets.  See popular titles including Aida, Tosca, Cosi fan tutte and The Nutcracker, Sundays at 12 noon with encore screenings the following Tuesday at 7:30pm.


California Theatre
345 S. First St., (408) 792-4111

Center for the Peforming Arts
255 Almaden Blvd, (408) 792-4111

Historic Hoover Theatre
1635 Park Ave., (408) 535-4747

Trianon Theatre
72 N. Fifth St., (408) 995-5400

Montgomery Theatre
271 S. Market St. (408) 792-4111

SAP Center at San Jose
West Santa Clara and Autumn streets

City National Civic
San Carlos Street at Market Street, (408) 792-4111

Museums & Galleries 

Children’s Discovery Museum
180 Woz Way
(408) 298-5437
More than 3 million happy customers have used the 52,000-square-foot learning and discovery center for exploration and fun. Clifford the Big Red Dog, Alice in Wonderland and other kid favorite characters have shared space with permanent exhibits that are refreshed regularly.

Higher Fire
499 S. Market St.
(408) 295-5765

Higher Fire is both a teaching studio and contemporary ceramics gallery featuring work made by instructors, members, local clay artists, and nationally recognized potters and sculptors. Stop by during South First Fridays.

Peralta Adobe & Fallon House
175 W. St. John St.
(408) 993-8182
Don’t just read downtown’s history, live downtown’s history. Built 100 years apart, both structures tell the story of early settlement.

San Jose Museum of Art
110 S. Market St.
(408) 271-6840
Contemporary art that makes you think and have an emotional reaction. Since establishment in 1969, The San Jose Museum of Art has grown from small civic art gallery to a museum in the 10th largest city in America.

San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles
520 S. First St.
(408) 971-0323
This museum celebrates the art, craft and history of quilts and textiles. Artwork transcends cultures, ages and gender. Quilts and textiles have been more reflective of society than you might think. Go take a peek.

The Tech Museum
201 S. Market St.
(408) 294-8324
The Tech Museum is a must-see, must-do Silicon Valley experience for all ages. Explore how technology and science affect the way we live, work, play and learn. Over 100 hands-on exhibits, an 8-story IMAX dome theater help bring science and technology to life.

The Japanese American Museum of San Jose
535 N. 5th St.
(408) 294-3138
The mission of the Japanese American Museum of San Jose (JAMsj) is to collect, preserve and share Japanese American art, history and culture with an emphasis on the greater Bay Area.  Common Ground exhibit showcases San Jose’s historic Heinleville Chinatown and Japantown.

Anno Domini // the second coming of Art and Design
366 S. First St.
(408) 271-5155
Respresenting and promoting urban contemporary art and culture in its many forms. The gallery also promotes and supports emerging and established artists.

KALEID gallery
88 S. Fourth St.
(408) 947-1785
KALEID features over 60 artists from the San Jose area. The gallery showcases fine art limited editions and creative gifts in a wide range of mediums and price points originating from the artists themselves.

MACLA: San Jose Center for Latino Arts
510 S. First St.
(408) 998-2783
An energizing contemporary arts space where Latino artists create and showcase new work in the visual, literary, and performance arts to help define, interpret, and transform society.

Natalie and James Thompson Art Gallery
1 Washington Square
San Jose State University
(408) 924-4328
The Natalie and James Thompson Art Gallery is the main gallery and presents six exhibits annually of work by professional artists. Each year there are exhibits of contemporary design, history of art, a collaborative exhibition with other art institutions in the Bay Area, and a special exhibition and residency.

San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art
560 S. First St.
(408) 283-8155

The ICA reflects and interprets the cultural and technical diversity of the region and engages Bay Area audiences through innovative visual art exhibitions and educational programs. They present forward-looking, thought-provoking, and exciting contemporary art by emerging and established Bay Area artists.

Works/San Jose
365 S. Market St.
(408) 300-6405
Works/San Jose provides an accessible, supportive and welcoming art center and serves as the South Bay community’s creative laboratory where people can experiment, exhibit and engage with art and each other.