Heads up, Bay Area history lovers: There’s another campaign in the works to repurpose a decaying theater as an arts venue, and once again it’s in the South Bay. This time, it’s the Burbank Theater.
Long a blight on Bascom Avenue and a go-to punchline for West side citizens, the Burbank Theater opened as your typical movie palace during San Jose’s suburban boom, then became an art house through the ’60s. The Burbank’s longest stint, however, was as an, ahem, adult-film theater from the ’70s on, until it was closed by the city in 2000. It sat shuttered for a few years until it got a garish paint job and started to show signs of life again; signs and decoration appearing in the ticket booth out front. Rumors have been swirling for years that it would–or at least could–be reopened as an art venue of some variety.
Most recently, Sharise Parviz of Studio Sharise, who rents out the theater for dance classes, has taken it upon herself to revive that idea, and has an Indiegogo campaign going here. Parviz plans to make over the venue into first and foremost a space for live stage production, but also as a possible theater for film, music, and other arts ventures throughout the valley.
As my dear, blunt mother said the last time someone had this idea, “They better hose the place down first.”