Silicon Valley wasn’t always the place where technology was born and bred. It used to be one of the world’s largest orchards, where an estimated one-third of the entire country’s fruit was harvested, packed, and canned. Roughly 50 years ago, however, a new culture started to emerge. As the interstate highways rolled out, as we chose to go to the moon, the valley’s architecture began to reflect that freedom of the open road and that boundless optimism for the future. Space-age symbols appeared on businesses designed to attract people driving cars with rocket tail fins. Wing-shaped roofs and starburst-laden signs became common themes.

Now, Silicon Valley is tearing down that vision of the future to make room for reality.

On November 24th, 1964, the giant Century 21 theater opened in San Jose, California, right next to the famous Winchester Mystery House. It was the first of many dome-shaped theaters designed by prominent local architect Vincent G. Raney, including its next-door neighbors the Century 22 and Century 23. The three theaters are some of San Jose’s largest, most iconic remaining examples of mid-century architecture, but they’re unlikely to remain. Two weeks ago, they screened their final films, and the city will soon contemplate demolishing them to clear the way for new development.