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Before Valley Fair and Santana Row, Eastridge was the queen of malls when it opened in 1971. Once the largest closed mall in the west, Eastridge certainly gave up its high status a long time ago. But the mall is nearing its late 40s with a new look and approach, thanks to a $ 15 million renovation.
Since Pacific Retail Capital Partners bought the East San Jose mall last year, the company has developed a strategy to make the Eastridge Center more relevant to the surrounding community. These efforts included bringing in artists Purple Gemellos to get a feel for the place through a series of murals in the mall and hold a Taste for the Space competition to give a local food truck operator the opportunity to find a restaurant in the mall Trifecta Cooks’ chefs Lai Chao, Ryan Gallego and Jason Artajos won the competition to join the mall’s food range in August.
New Eastridge features include a kids’ play area, a family lounge with a TV for the kids to relax in, and upgraded interiors like more seating, lots of greenery, a bubbling fountain, and a cherry blossom tree. The Eatery Food Court includes new dining options, communal tables with charging stations, and child-sized chairs in a family seating area called the Honeycomb.
All of this work will be celebrated with a three-day “reopening” that starts on Friday and has a different focus each day. Food will be the big deal on Friday, with a band cut at 1:00 p.m., followed by a 2:00 p.m. panel on the San Jose food scene, plus cooking demos, food trucks, and music. On Saturday, art will be in the spotlight, with hourly dance and music performances from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., a maker market, an open microphone display case, and a community wall painting. Celebrations end on Sunday with a family focus, with coffee with a cop at 11am, a performance by SJ Sharkie at 12pm and a family show from 1pm to 5pm, the bouncy castles, face painting and a meet-and-greet with DreamWorks ‘Trolls.
Visit www.eastridgecenter.com for more information. And if you think you know Eastridge, check out these five facts you may not know.
SUSPENSE ON THE SCREEN: This spring, the Stanford Theater has a number of crowd pullers with its Hitchcock and Other Masters of Suspense festival, which opens Friday through Sunday with two non-Hitch films starring Ingrid Bergman – a double bill from “Casablanca” and George Market Kukors “gas light”. (For an interesting comparison, Stanford shows the British version of “Gaslight” from 1940 the following weekend.)
Further highlights are a pair of classic shockers by James Whale in “Frankenstein” and “Bride of Frankenstein” (April 20-22), Alfred Hitchcock’s “Notorious” and “Spellbound” (May 4-6), “Vertigo” (May 18-20) and “To catch a thief” and “Rear window” (May 25-27).
The full schedule can be found at www.stanfordtheatre.org.
BELLARMINE HONOR ITS BEST: Bellarmine College Prep will honor four candidates for the Alumni Hall of Fame on Saturday. This year’s winners are water polo players and coaches Luis Nicolao (Class of ’88, Athletics); rich Casey (Class ’64, Business / Science & Medicine), CEO of Neuraltus in Palo-Alto; former Bellarmine teacher and consultant Larry Lauro (Class of ’66, Humanities & Fine Arts) and California Supreme Court Justice Ming Chin (Class of ’60, public service).
The ceremony will take place on Saturday at 5 p.m. at the Sobrato Center for the Humanities and Arts, followed by dinner. Tickets are $ 50 for adults and $ 20 for students. Online registration is closed, but walk-ups are accepted.