San Jose’s Eastridge celebrates 50 several years of shopping memories

I spent some time this week at Eastridge Centre, the San Jose mall that celebrated its 50th birthday on May 17. Owning not been there in really some time, I required to see how the buying heart stacked up to my recollections. I came away pleasantly astonished by how familiar it stays.

Compared with Westfield Valley Fair and Oakridge malls in San Jose, which have been expanded and re-modeled so several moments it’s tricky to bear in mind what they made use of to be, Eastridge is however recognizable irrespective of its possess updates. Billed as the most significant indoor shopping mall in the West when it introduced in 1971, Eastridge was a huge offer for residents in Evergreen and East San Jose, who no extended experienced to push to Valley Reasonable or Westgate to shop. Try to remember that downtown San Jose’s retail was in comprehensive retreat by this time, and the smaller Oakridge Shopping mall would also open that calendar year to serve the expanding population in South San Jose.

This undated picture of Eastridge mall exhibits Stephanie Scuris’ stainless steel sculpture, which was a attribute at the San Jose mall from its opening in 1971 until eventually the early 1980s. (Pacific Retail Associates/Record San Jose) 

It opened with 4 anchor outlets — Macy’s, JCPenney, Sears and Liberty Dwelling (later the Emporium) — and equally JC Penney and Macy’s are however there, and the entrances to Macy’s still have huge indicators utilizing the store’s then-present logo from 50 years back.

The inside decor, of program, was pure Seventies — with reflecting pools and fountains inside the shopping mall, which experienced 3 ranges that had been related by a series of ramps that I, like all little ones, liked to run on back again in the day. (The three ranges were reduced to two as portion of a 2008 renovation.) And its centerpiece was a hanging sculpture of stainless steel rods by artist Stephanie Scuris, which was donated to the city in 1983 and now stands downtown in the median on Almaden Boulevard in front of the Lodge De Anza. You can see the mall in Robert Redford’s 1972 movie, “The Prospect,” a marketing campaign scene which retired San Jose Condition poli-sci professor Terry Christensen claims was filmed at Eastridge just before the mall officially opened.

Shoppers at Eastridge Center on Friday, Might 21, 2021. The San Jose mall is celebrating its 50th anniversary. 

Of program, you can count on some change in 50 decades. Shops like Woolworth’s and Florsheim have been changed by H&M and Shoe Palace. There’s now an AMC movie theater, and the eateries of the authentic foodstuff court — who remembers the Donut Hole? — have long been replaced by “The Eatery,” populated with additional recognizable chains. The old ice skating arena — wherever U.S. countrywide men’s champion Rudy Galindo obtained his commence — is very long gone, but roller skaters can consider a spin at the Aloha Roller Rink, a downsized edition of the now-absent birthday party preferred in South San Jose.

Eastridge Middle has actually leaned into its heritage in modern decades, with a series of murals and other artwork during that emphasize its put in San Jose. And latest possession no doubt required to have a large 50th anniversary event experienced the COVID-19 pandemic manufactured that not possible. As an alternative, it kicked off a “50 Times of Giving” campaign on Monday with a scavenger hunt for 50th anniversary brand playing cards great for a gift card, and it is also asking the public to share their recollections by submitting photographs of Eastridge from the earlier 50 decades. You can get all the details at

Art INVESTMENTS: One of the plans I’m happiest to be element of is the Leigh Weimers Rising Artists Awards, which offers out unrestricted grants to up-and-coming artists in Santa Clara County in honor of my predecessor as the Mercury News’ columnist-about-city. Due to the fact 2013, the Rotary Club of San Jose software has presented out additional than $125,000 to more than two dozen artists — such as musicians, painters, sculptors, dancers, actors and more. And surely after a 12 months of canceled demonstrates and gigs, creative people today all around in this article could use the guidance a lot more than at any time.

Apps are being recognized for this year’s awards till June 30, and all the information — as properly as a video clip of very last year’s awards presentation — are out there at

BRANCHING OUT Yet again: There’s great news on the way for guide enthusiasts, as a number of branches of the San Jose Community Library will be reopening for in-human being use setting up May possibly 24. Libraries all over the metropolis closed at the commence of the pandemic in March 2020, and whilst you were being nonetheless capable to reserve publications on line and pick them up, it wasn’t the exact experience as searching via the titles and ebook covers for a little something that jumps out at you.

The branches that will be open up upcoming week are the Alum Rock, Alviso, Biblioteca Latinoamericana, Evergreen, Joyce Ellington, Tully and West Valley, with additional on the way. They will be open from 1 to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays. You can browse and use personal computers for up to an hour for each go to, but general public seating and group rooms aren’t heading to be open up, and masks are however demanded inside. You can get much more information and facts, and view for other opening branches at

COMEBACK Path: This time final 12 months, email after email was about a little something else becoming postponed or canceled for the reason that of the COVID-19 pandemic. Theater displays, fundraisers and fairs all had to get a back seat to preserving people safe and sound. In a indication of how things are strengthening, the opposite would seem to be legitimate these days — we’re receiving flooded with good information about activities coming back.

Twelve artists at the Alameda Artworks in San Jose are making ready to welcome website visitors for their Spring Open up Studios occasion on Could 29-30, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. every single day at 1068 The Alameda. It’s a fantastic glimpse powering-the-scenes of how art — paintings, jewellery, images and stained glass — is created, and it is cost-free (except if you come to a decision to purchase anything). The approaching round of weekly artwork record lectures at the Triton Museum of Artwork in Santa Clara will be held in individual setting up June 3, and the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles ideas to reopen June 18 with a few new exhibitions.

There is at last very good information for theater lovers who have been streaming shows for a year: City Lights Theater Corporation declared its 38th time Thursday night time, a slate of 6 demonstrates that will be staged for audiences at its downtown San Jose theater (get the rundown and ticket data at This year’s topic? “The Road Home.” It would be pleasant to strike the street to see a demonstrate at somebody else’s “home,” finally.