For fans of San Jose's domed movie theaters on Winchester Boulevard, the day many hoped would never arrive is finally on the calendar.

The lease is up for the Century 21, 22 and 23 theaters and their movie projectors will go dark March 31, just months shy of the Century 21's 50th birthday.

A demolition permit is awaiting the city's approval, but like any good movie thriller, this one might have one good twist left.

The Preservation Action Council of San Jose -- which has collected nearly 5,400 signatures on a Change.org petition urging the San Jose City Council to save the theaters -- is backing an effort to list the Century 21 theater on the National Register of Historic Places as a rare example of midcentury Modern architecture.

The three theaters, with their huge screens and stadium seats, have drawn generations of moviegoers looking for big-screen thrills, whether it was "2001: A Space Odyssey," "Star Wars" or Disney's current blockbuster "Frozen."

The State Historical Resources Commission will consider the nomination at its April 22 meeting and forward its recommendation to the National Park Service. At this point, PACSJ has set aside its efforts to have the theater declared a city landmark, but San Jose's Historic Landmarks Commission will look at the nomination at its meeting Tuesday night and provide comments for the state commission.

Of course, any historic designation won't necessarily prevent the theater site across from Santana Row from being redeveloped, but it could lead to the preservation of the Century 21 in some form. The families that own the property -- as well as the adjacent Winchester Mystery House -- oppose making any of the iconic theaters landmarks and would prefer to see the land used otherwise.

"As long as one or more of the theaters is still standing, there is still hope and we will continue our efforts," said PACSJ Executive Director Brian Grayson.

So grab that bag of popcorn soon. It might be your last at the domes.

'DOCUMENTED' COMES TO SJSU: Journalist and immigration activist Jose Antonio Vargas will bring "Documented," his film about the experience of undocumented immigrants like himself, to San Jose State on Monday.

Vargas, who grew up in Mountain View and was a reporter for the Washington Post, also will receive the William Randolph Hearst Foundation Award from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Vargas revealed in a 2011 New York Times article his own status as an undocumented immigrant who came to the United States from the Philippines as a child.

He's been spending much of the past three years circling the globe and talking about his own experiences, advocating for immigrant rights and working on the film about America's undocumented immigrants.

Following the screening and award ceremony, Vargas will take part in a discussion with School of Journalism Director Bob Rucker and SJSU Professor Lloyd LaCuesta, both of whom had careers as television reporters.

Vargas, who was in the South Bay in October to receive an award from People Acting in Community Together, will spend the day talking to San Jose State journalism students and other members of the campus community.

The event, which is free and open to the public, starts at 6 p.m. at the Morris Dailey Auditorium.

POP-UP PLAYGROUND: There's a new playground in San Jose thanks to the San Jose Sharks and the San Jose Parks Foundation and more than 100 volunteers who worked with KaBOOM! to complete it on Friday.

The Pueblo Play Playground, housed by Pueblo de Dios Church on Payne Avenue just west of Winchester Boulevard, was based on designs that some of the kids who will use it submitted at a special event in January. A ribbon cutting held Friday afternoon included city officials and Sharks players.

MEET THE NEW LAUREATE: The public is invited to meet David Perez, Santa Clara County's new poet laureate, at a reception March 15 at the community room of the Campbell Library.

The 3 p.m. event, emceed by spoken word artist Mike McGee, should be a good introduction for Perez, who will talk about his vision for the next two years and read from his book, "Love in a Time of Robot Apocalypse," as well as newer works.

HISTORIC FASHIONS: There are plenty of spring fashion shows, but not many will show you what was haute couture more than 100 years ago. But History San Jose and Portraits of the Past are teaming up to do just that with "Reflections of Old San Jose," a fashion show fundraiser March 15 at History Park.

There won't be any gender discrimination at this show -- I'm sure both the men's and women's clothes and accessories being modeled will be equally uncomfortable for the volunteers who'll present vignettes in character as local historical figures.

Tickets to the 2 p.m. show inside the park's Pacific Hotel are $25 and that includes a reception of light refreshments, dessert and champagne. To buy tickets online, go to https://historysanjose.ejoinme.org/fashion.

Contact Sal Pizarro at spizarro@mercurynews.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/spizarro.