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New Venue, New Approach for San José


SAN JOSE, CA -- 01/14/2005 -- As one of the country’s largest and safest cities, San José is already a popular meeting and convention destination. With Team San José, the newly formed innovative facilities management group now in place, as well as the recent re-opening of its newest venue, the California Theatre, San José now offers an even more interesting mix of venue choices with a streamlined booking process sure to capture the attention of event and meeting planners.

The newly renovated California Theatre celebrated its grand re-opening on September 17. Originally built in 1927, the 1,119 seat movie palace, located in the heart of San José’s downtown, has been transformed into not only a major performing arts center but also a lavish conference and meeting facility. Additional meeting rooms, with state-of-the-art audio and video technology, have been added to the original structure.

With its majestic marble columns and gold leaf cornices, the California Theatre was the area’s first true movie palace. Architects Weeks and Day, who designed the California Theatre, were also responsible for landmark structures like the Mark Hopkins and St. Francis hotels in San Francisco.

The progressive public/private partnership, which is Team San José, is another welcome addition to the city. Team San José offers meeting and event planners a single point of contact when booking an event and a one-stop shopping experience. Comprised of four distinct stakeholder groups, Team San José is represented by a 27-member board, including local hoteliers, arts groups, the Convention and Visitors Bureau and organized labor.

“Having these groups working together enables the meeting planner to have each of these organizations affiliated with and cooperating on their event from the onset,” said Dan Fenton, President and CEO of the San José Convention & Visitors Bureau, and chairman of the board of Team San José. “The idea is to provide this team effort which will boost our appeal to visitors.”

Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, Vice Chair of Team San José and the Executive Officer of South Bay AFL/CIO Labor Council, feels involvement of organized labor in the planning stages of a project will be beneficial to all parties involved.

“We’ll have a quicker response time to any problems that arise, be able to cut through red-tape and ultimately push jobs through,” Lamkins stated. “Working with Team San José, we expect to have major events running like a well-oiled machine.”

In addition to the California Theatre, Team San José manages the San José McEnery Convention Center, the Civic Auditorium, Parkside Hall, Center for Performing Arts and the Montgomery Theater.

To even further simplify event planning, Team San José partnered with Centerplate, a provider of catering, concessions, management and merchandise services to ensure a successful execution from booking to move out. Planners work directly with an event services team made up of experienced professionals who have been trained to coordinate all aspects of planning a successful event from F&B, A/V, décor, electric, and network communications, saving the planner time and the confusion of working with several contractors.

With its moderate climate, safe streets, a smart, walkable downtown and close proximity to an international airport, San José has always been a prime convention and meeting destination. Now, with Team San José’s progressive client-centric event coordination process and a one-of-a-kind movie palace meeting facility, San José is more attractive than ever.

California Theatre -- A Unique Venue For Any Occasion

Since its opening in September, the California Theatre has been brimming with business from its seasonal tenants Opera San José and Symphony Silicon Valley to the Packard Humanities Institute’s Classic Movies to holiday parties and corporate press junkets. Below is a snapshot of some high-profile events that recently took place at the California:

-- Corporate icon, Apple, unveiled its Special Edition U2 iPod at the California Theatre in October, which included a show-stopping performance by U2.

-- College Track held a fundraiser featuring a special screening of Pixar Animation Studios’ new film “The Incredibles.”

-- Debut performances for the Firebird Chinese Youth Orchestra, the San José Symphonic Choir and the Stanford Theatre Foundation’s Classic Movie showing of “Casablanca.”

-- The Silicon Valley Football Classic’s 5th Anniversary VIP Holiday Party

In addition to hosting private events and community tours, the California Theatre’s elegance and classy ambiance is also an ideal venue for weddings and other special receptions.
For more information on the facility or to book an event please contact: Max Schultz, Sales Manager, at (408) 792-4141 or via email at

About Team San José

Team San José, a public benefit corporation, was founded in December 2003, for the exclusive purpose of ensuring that the City of San José’s six convention and cultural facilities are managed more efficiently and responsive to customer needs. The Team San José Board of Directors is composed of local community stakeholders, including hoteliers, organized labor, cultural arts groups and the convention and visitors bureau. These stakeholders share in the sales and marketing of the facilities, and ultimately, the collaboration will enhance customer experience, reduce operating costs and improve the overall economic impact to San José businesses.


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