California Theater // San Jose, California

The historic California Theater (originally known as the Fox Theater) is the new home of Opera San Jose and Symphony Silicon Valley.  Opened in 1927 as a motion picture theater, it was said to be the finest theater in California on its opening day.  The theater was built to seat 1,700 moviegoers and featured a grand theater organ.  The historic interiors were completely restored, in addition to a complete seismic upgrade, and two new ancillary buildings to augment theater production capability. Altered to accommodate 1,122 seats, the historical restoration work included our mechanical design of a displacement air distribution system in the theater space for audience comfort and to assist in achieving an acoustical design goal of NC15.  A projection room with a xenon lamp projector was rebuilt, and the pipe organ was replaced, to allow the theater to be used by the Stanford Theater Foundation for the screening of old movies.  A new 20,000 square foot addition houses the Music Room, Founders Room and cafe.

First Place, Region X, ASHRAE Technology Award, Public Assembly-Existing Building

Owner: San Jose Redevelopment Agency
Scope: Auditorium: 1,122 seats
          Renovation: 46,000SF
          New Construction: 51,000SF
Cost: $66 Million                                        
Completion: 2004

Project Services
Project Expertise
  • Integrated Engineering
  • Historic Preservation
  • Existing Buildings