Okida Hall (San Jose Taiko)

Built in the early 1900s, this building served the community as the Japanese Hall and was primarily used as a theatre. Wooden theatre seats filled the floor, which gradually sloped from the entrance to a flat open area about 40 feet in front of the stage. Families would come and spread their blankets and eat bento with their children before or after the show. Prior to World War II, the theatre featured traditional Japanese plays, such as Kabuki and Nanwabushi, along with comedies, vaudeville shows, magicians, and sometimes opera singers. In the postwar years, the theatre also featured silent movies, and then "talkies." When Japanese language television became widely available, interest in the theatre gradually faded, forcing it to close its doors.

After the closure of the theatre, the owners of the building removed the stairway and the sloping floor and began to rent out the hall for large banquets and other events. Since about 1975, it has been leased by the Japanese martial arts school San Jose Aikido, and is currently used as a permanent rehearsal space by San Jose Taiko.