Retro Dome

1694 Saratoga Avenue,
San Jose, CA 95129

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Showing 1 - 25 of 29 comments

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 15, 2015 at 8:54 pm

It might have switched to independent and art films in its later years, but when it opened, the Century 25 would have been a first-run house, just like the other domed suburban theaters being built by the Syufy/Century chain during that period.

LC on August 15, 2015 at 7:40 pm

The overview says Century 25 mostly screened independent or art house fare. I remember in the mid to late 70s they were showing major movie releases there; and in the early 80s, we used to go there and watch Tom Cruise films; I also remember watching Star Trek II there, for example. This was a great movie theater.

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on July 18, 2014 at 11:27 am

I saw some of the photos of this place.

It reminds me a little of the now-demolished Civic Arena in Pittsburgh.

tahamaki on January 7, 2014 at 7:11 pm

Demolished as of Jan 6, 2014.

antoniomontana on November 16, 2013 at 4:02 pm

Retrodome/Guggenheim is now in Century 21 complex

antoniomontana on May 19, 2013 at 1:15 am

Now closed after a successful run. Awaiting the bulldozer.

AlanSmithee on September 20, 2010 at 5:05 am

Well, they REALLY blew it by not converting this back to the original large dome! And why would I go out to watch a DVD anyways?

TLSLOEWS on July 1, 2010 at 2:58 pm

Good Luck,from the photos I see how this theatre got its name.

Dramatrauma on May 21, 2010 at 2:49 pm

From the RetroDome newsletter: news for the projection buffs.

You Won’t Believe Your Eyes and Ears!
Thanks to the extremely generous offer of Brian Bakhshandeh (a fan of The Retro Dome and an uber-knowledgeable projection and sound designer) we recently upgraded our projection and sound system from HD DVD and the sound design originally created for the theatre. As of May 2010, we have installed a state of the art Blu-Ray player that is equipped with Anchor Bay VRS Video Processor and the ability to playback Dolby True HD and DTS-HD Master Audio. This is one of the most advanced processors in the market today.

All movies are now shown in 720P DLP Digital Format. If the movie is presented in DVD, you will experience Dolby Digital 5.1 or DTS 5.1, whereas before, this was not offered and the presentation was not even in Stereo Sound, making it a huge improvement. Also, the picture is much improved thanks to the Anchor Bay Video Processor and Digital DLP.

If the movie is presented in Blu Ray, you are in for a real treat. You can now experience Dolby True HD or DTS-HD Master Audio. These are Uncompressed Raw Studio Quality Sound formats! No theater is currently offering this, as this sound quality can NOT be offered with 35 or 70mm film.

Since most movies that are shown are older, they really benefit from Blu Ray as the picture and sound is light years ahead of 35mm presentation. Unlike film, there are no pops, buzzing, film reel artifacts or sound issues. Even Mr. Lucas and Mr. Spielberg agree that Digital is far superior to film and these guys ARE purists! When you see a film, you want to see and hear what the director intended. The Retro Dome now let’s you do that.

Dramatrauma on March 31, 2010 at 8:01 am

If anybody has flat marquee letters to possibly donate, give them a call. Movies like lAwrence of ArAbiA and wrAth of khAn stretch their supply pretty thin.

Dramatrauma on March 31, 2010 at 6:38 am

A few photos of the Retro Dome; taken March 2010. Its looking good and run by really nice people. All they need is an audience!

View link

Dramatrauma on March 20, 2010 at 8:19 pm

Last weekend the boyfriend and I enjoyed a screening of Lawrence of Arabia at the Red Dome. The musical SHOUT! was being performed in the Live in the Blue Dome and the sound bleed thru was negligible.

I was suprised at the small size of the Dome’s screen but the letterboxing of LOA meant we didnt miss the “edges” of the picture. They are using a high end DVD projector to show films but thats because the projection booth has become the Tech Booth for the live shows.

The Century theaters comfy 70s (?) era seats are still in place,while the walls were covered in new red and white fabric. Folded in a way that made me think of a stuffed ottoman and the BF of a circus tent. My only complaint about the auditorium is that for lighting they are using strips of theater/concert lights on poles (its not as rickety as it sounds, its just that even being in theater all my life I lack a good lighting vocabulary) that,while colorful, leave the place kind’ve dim considering the many different size steps the place has.

Im not sure if they’ll want to keep the swinging 60s color scheme but it was well put together and the series of retro movie posters adorning the walls breaks up the bright greens and pinks nicely.

The staff was really friendly and helpful and hopefully theyll build an audience for both venues; attendance at SHOUT! that day was around half the house (according to the staff) and there were only 10 other people enjoying LOA with us.

Eric on October 24, 2009 at 1:00 am

I’m hooked on the Retro-Dome. They’ve done a great job upgrading the place! Saw Ghostbusters tonight. They’ve reconstructed the screen so that it’s more centered. And they’ve fixed all the squeaky seats! New carpet, new paint. The place looks great! They are showing DVD’s, but that’s ok, the sound and picture is very good. It’s really a retro blast! Go and support them!

Eric on September 27, 2009 at 3:32 pm

I’m still waiting for them to show movies…

CSWalczak on September 26, 2009 at 11:07 pm

Here’s a more recent article about the Retro Dome; the Guggenheim’s lease on the property is less than two years, so they are under a lot of pressure to make this a going concern or the the site may become a parking lot:
View link

MPol on September 13, 2009 at 12:51 pm

That’s agreed, BWChicago.

Broan on September 8, 2009 at 12:21 pm

Really cool website!

CSWalczak on August 31, 2009 at 11:28 am

The theater is now operating as a live performance venue called the Retro Dome. Read the story here:
The website is:

Eric on July 10, 2009 at 9:53 pm

I drove by the theatre today and saw the sign posted on the window announcing the new plans for the theatre. I came here to post about it and see that the Guggenheim’s have beat me to it!

How EXCITING!! I am truly excited about this and I think this is going to be a huge hit! Dinner theatres such as the Parkway in Oakland and the Cerrito in El Cerrito have been enormously popular. You are taking it one step beyond those even, and will be tapping into this market that is not served here in San Jose.

The new paint on the building looks great! I am eagerly awaiting the re-opening of the theatre. Good luck and much success!!

Guggy4 on July 10, 2009 at 12:11 am

The venue will reopen on September 3, 2009 as the Retro Dome operated by Guggenheim Entertainment <>

The facility will present themed dining and revival film and retro dinner theatre. Classic Hollywood films from the 40s through the 90s will be presented. Guests will enter the venue and be swept up in the atmosphere.

The venue will be creatively designed to enchant our guests from the moment they set foot on the property. From the lobby to the stage, from the table settings to the restrooms, every aspect of the venue will be designed to tie into the themes. Whether entering the Cotton Club, Ricky Ricardo’s Tropicana, or the Emerald City, guests will be completely entrenched in the atmosphere. For some events, guests will be encouraged to dress-up in costume to fully enjoy the experience. With small table seating and dancing near the stage, plus theatre seating in the upper tier, the audience will feel like they are truly part of something magical, memorable and completely unique.

Whether entering a World War II Nightclub/Casino to view Casablanca, or walking into a Family Meeting for The Godfather or participating in a Civil War Dating Game introducing Gone With the Wind or walking into a 40’s Hollywood Oscar Party to see Singin' In the Rain guests will be transported into the theme of the film prior to enjoying a delicious meal and a film.

Scott Neff
Scott Neff on May 12, 2009 at 8:54 pm

This theatre closed a few weeks ago.

Eric on October 2, 2008 at 1:23 pm

They were showing Bollywood movies for the last couple of months (which I thought was a great idea), but it seems starting 10/02 they’re back to mainstream 2nd run fare, with “My Best Friend’s Girl” and “Tropic Thunder”.

Scott Neff
Scott Neff on September 24, 2008 at 8:11 pm

I think them seats may still have ashtrays in them, not sure. :p

Eric on April 21, 2008 at 11:41 pm

Them’s are some squeaky ol' seats!