COVID-19 FAQs

We’re excited to be able to welcome you back to the Hammer this summer! But we wanted to let you know about some changes that’ll be happening at our theatre in order to help keep you and your loved ones safe. We hope to see you soon!

Are masks required? What if I forget mine?

  • Face masks will be required for un-vaccinated persons.

What is the level of air circulation in the theatre? What kind of filtration do you have?

  • Our HVAC systems have been upgraded to maximize air flow, offering improved air circulation.
  • Air filters will be operating at the highest efficiency possible, using MERV-13 filters.

Will there be hand sanitizer available?

Hand sanitizer will be available at all entry and exit points (doors, elevators, etc.)

How often will the auditorium be cleaned?

Auditoriums will be cleaned and sanitized following every performance. Hammer staff will perform ongoing spot cleaning on high touch surfaces and the building will be cleaned and sanitized every night. Anti-bacterial wipes will also be available.

Will the Box Office be open?

  • The Box Office will be open one hour before events for walk-up sales.

How will ticketing be handled?

  • All in-person sales will be processed with credit cards only. A no cash transaction policy will be enacted.
  • Tickets will be delivered via email or mobile only. No printed ticket will be offered.
  • Please note that contact information will be collected for all ticket transactions to help facilitate any possible future contact tracing. 
  • To encourage those who feel unwell to stay home, we have expanded our refund and exchange policy to be more flexible. Please work with the Box Office if you have any questions.

Will Will Call services be available?

Will Call services will not be offered. All patrons will be able to check in at entry doors, eliminating the need for physical printed tickets.

Will I be able to choose my seat?

Most events will be sold as assigned seating, but General seating will be an option as well depending on the needs of the performance or event.

Will there still be staff/volunteers to help me find my seat?

Ushers will be available at auditorium doors to guide patrons to their seats, assist, and enforce protocols.

Will accessibility devices still be available?

  • Listening devices and sensory bags will be available for patrons to check out. These devices will be cleaned and disinfected between usage.
  • Ushers will assist patrons with accessibility devices (i.e. walkers, crutches, wheelchairs, etc.) if the device is blocking egress pathways. Gloves will be worn anytime an usher needs to handle an accessibility device.

All patrons will receive a “Know Before You Go” email with detailed information 24 hours before events. This information will also be posted on the Hammer website. Pre-recorded announcements will be made over the PA system at the beginning of each event and pointing out exit routes in case of emergency.

Will programs be available?

Programs will be provided in digital format (via email and QR codes), unless otherwise requested by a patron. Printed programs will be available upon request.

Will concessions be open?

  • Concessions services will be open!
  • No outside food or drinks are permitted.

Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to the Susan and Phil Hammer Theatre Center! Our goal is for every person to enjoy an outstanding experience. Below are answers to frequently asked questions.

When is the box office open?

Our Box Office will be open 1 hour prior to the event.

When should I get there?

  • Performances, screenings, concerts, and any other events at the Hammer Theatre are anticipated to begin promptly on time, please arrive at least 20 minutes BEFORE the start time of the event to ensure you are seated and comfortable by the time the performance begins.
  • You will also want to arrive for performances early enough to allow time for parking. Downtown San José is quite busy, particularly during the holiday season, and parking structures can fill up quickly. VTA light rail stops are also convenient, the Paseo de San Antonio stops along 1st & 2nd Streets provide access to the theatre after a short walk.

When can I enter the theatre?

  • Usually doors into the building will open 1 hour prior to the performance start time, and doors into the theatre will open 30 minutes prior.

Will I still be able to purchase tickets/see the show if I am late?

  • We strive to begin our performances on time. To avoid disturbing both the actors and other patrons, latecomers will be seated at the discretion of the House Manager. You may be asked to wait in the lobby, or other alternate seating. Late seating after curtain-time could be as late as intermission. We encourage all patrons to arrive at the theatre early.

Is food allowed inside the theatre?

  • Outside food and drink is permitted in the lobby, but NOT permitted in the theatre auditorium. Outside beverages and water bottles may be taken inside the theatre if they have a lid. We also have concessions food and drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) available for purchase for most events. You can find a full menu here.

Is there a place close to the Hammer to grab a bite to eat?

  • Located between San José State University’s main campus and Cesar Chavez Park, there are plenty of restaurants, cafes, and diners nearby!  You can find coffee shops and sit-down quick bites along the Paseo, walk down 2nd street for restaurants, or enjoy Whispers cafe right behind the Hammer building!

Is there parking at the theatre?

  • The Hammer Theatre Center is located at 101 Paseo de San Antonio in downtown San José between South 2nd & 3rd Streets, and San Carlos & San Fernando Streets. There are several conveniently located parking garages and lots near the theatre.  Unfortunately, we are unable to validate parking for the nearby garages/lots, but some of the nearby eateries or grocery stores will validate with the purchase of food. There is also metered street parking. For complete information about parking locations and programs, visit www.parksj.org.

Are there extra charges to buy tickets online?

  • Yes, typically there is a $5 convenience fee when purchasing tickets online. Tickets purchased at the Box Office window or over the phone do not carry any convenience charges. Every seat sold includes a $1 Capital Fund Fee, which goes to the care and upkeep of our beautiful building. You can also purchase tickets online at: www.hammertheatre.com.

Are there any student or group discounts?

  • Group Ticket Discounts, SJSU student discounts, and other special offers will vary depending on performance, inquire at the Box Office for more information.

Does my child need his/her own ticket?

  • ALL patrons, regardless of age, must have a ticket to enter theatre, by order of the Fire Marshal. LAP PASSES for young children are sometimes available for certain performances, but you must purchase either a ticket or a lap pass for your child to enter the theatre. Inquire at Box Office for additional information.
  • Although the Hammer Theatre often presents family shows geared toward all ages, we do not recommend live theatre performances for children under the age of 4.

Are there booster seats available?

  • If you or a family member have difficulty seeing above taller patrons seated in front of you, booster seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis, just ask your ushers!

Can I get my ticket refunded if I don't use it?

  • Unless told otherwise by a Hammer staff member, consider all sales final, no refunds or exchanges.

Are service animals allowed in the theatre?

  • We welcome service animals, but no pets please! While Emotional Support Animals or Comfort Animals are often used as part of a medical treatment plan as therapy animals, they are not considered service animals under the ADA and are therefore not permitted in the theatre. Thank you for your understanding.

Is wheelchair seating available?

  • Wheelchair seating is available in both our Orchestra and Balcony sections.

Do you have Assistive listening devices available?

  • Assistive listening devices are available for patrons with impaired hearing, free of charge, at the Box Office window. Patrons are asked to leave a photo ID to check out the listening device.
  • Smoking is not allowed in the theatre or lobby areas.
  • No food or drink is allowed in the theatre, except in approved containers. Water bottles, with caps, are always permitted.  Concert Cups are available at the concessions counter.
  • All electronic devices should be turned off before entering the theatre.
  • The use of any recording device, either audio or video, and the taking of photographs, either with or without flash, is strictly prohibited.  
  • Coat check is provided at limited performances.  Inquire about availability with a theatre usher.
  • CONDUCT: We reserve the right to refuse admission or eject any person whose conduct is deemed unbecoming or interferes with the audience’s ability to enjoy the performance in the manner in which it was intended, without a refund on their ticket purchase or exchange to another performance.  
  • PARCELS, BAGS: Theatre Management reserves the right to require you to open personal bags and knapsacks for inspection as a condition of entry to the theatre. We may require that some items not be allowed into the theatre for security concerns.

If you like the arts in Downtown San José and want to make a difference, we would like to meet you! Usher volunteers get validated parking when they serve at the Hammer, and the opportunity to meet new people and share the love of theatre, music, dance, film, great authors, social issues, and more! Go online to sign up at hammertheatre.ivolunteer.com, or contact Maria Bones, Director of Patron Services at 408-924-8510. New events are listed every month so check back often!

Need more help?

Please call us or email at

Phone: (408) 924-8501
Email at hammertheatre@sjsu.edu

For additional information about San José : City of San José’s Visitor Webpage