Jose Theater and Zanotto’s

Jose Theater is now the home of San Jose Improv. The original theater was built in 1904, but I have no idea how old this neon sign is…sj_improv_street

And step away, down the same street is the sign for Zanotto’s Family Markets.

I photographed this piece as I worked on it. Initially, I wanted to go right to  watercolor with this one, but decided it was wise to add in a quick pencil underdrawing to make sure I didn’t misspell Zanotto’s as I painted in the shapes. With light colored lettering, I like working this way: as negative shapes and shadows that come together to form the letters.


Zanotto’s no longer operates at this location, and as I sketched, a lady passing by told me it was going to be gone soon, so I decided to do a super-quick piece that captured where this sign is located. It’s pretty amazing when you get two beautiful old signs in one sketch right at the heart of downtown San Jose.


About Suhita Shirodkar

obsessive-sketcher. graphic designer.
This entry was posted in california, Close to home, Silicon Valley, Vintage Signs and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Jose Theater and Zanotto’s

  1. Wendy Kate says:

    Love this! Great to see how you worked this one.


  2. Carmela Rizzuto says:

    Wonderful series of signs. Thanks for documenting vestiges of the past. FYI: Zannotto’s family markets are alive and well in Willow Glen and Sunnyvale. Old-time service and quality food is their specialty. I’m a happy customer!


    • Carmela, yes, it’s jut this downtown location with the old sign that’s closed, right?


      • Carmela Rizzuto says:

        FYI: In the blog’s title, the store’s name is misspelled– it’s 1 N and 2 TT. Easy mistake.
        I don’t know what the plans are for the Zanotto’s market site that you painted–but yes, their store on 2nd St. is now closed. According to their web site there are 4 locations for Zanotto’s–the Rose Garden, Willow Glen, Sunnyvale Markets and an Express store on S. First St.,. San Jose. You can contact them.
        The stores are family owned and they might be interested in purchasing your sketch–or at least knowing about it.


      • Thanks Carmela, glad I got it right in the sketch!


  3. teresac831 says:

    precioso.Precioso.P RECIOSO


  4. Emilie Heurtevent says:

    This is beautiful as usual. Could you please come to Melbourne and do some Art of our beautiful city? 🙂


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