The Varsity Theater - one of the most iconic buildings on University Ave, Palo Alto: It was constructed as a movie theater during the early days of Stanford University, when the valley between San Francisco and San Jose was more famous for its apricot orchards than for its technology innovation. Yet, the people of Palo Alto forced the building to adapt to it's environment without taking away the original charm.

We want to bring those people together, who shaped the Varsity Theater during the last 90 years and maintained it as a go-to place for the community. This includes the architects who converted the iconic building from a movie theater to the Borders bookstore mainly used by Stanford students and local families;

We also want to talk about the ongoing digital disruption in the consumer world and how it has shaped our downtown neighborhoods - particularly in Palo Alto. Finally, we want to address the visionary concept of HanaHaus which not only helped revive and restore the beautiful mission style building but also inspires every one of our guests today, who will shape our future.




Terry Beaubois, Architect, Adjunct Lecturer Stanford University. Terry has practiced architecture in Silicon Valley since 1976.He had offices on University Avenue from 1985 - 2005 and is currently adjunct lecturer at Stanford University.


Conversion from Theater to Bookstore:

Tony Carrasco founded his office in 1982 in Palo Alto. Carrasco & Associates has established a reputation for award -winning designs for environments that harmonize with the contemporary landscape. Their extensive portfolio includes commercial and mixed-use, custom single family and multi-family housing, 
private and public institutions, as well as urban design and development.


Conversion from Bookstore to HanaHaus

Sanjay Shirole, Vice President and Global Head of HanaHaus, works for software giant SAP. The company's Co-Founder and Chairman Prof. Dr. Hasso Plattner recruited Sanjay to execute his vision of a public startup workspace, anchored by a world-class coffeeshop in 2013. HanaHaus opened in early 2015 in the fully restored Varsity Theater. 

Brian Corbett, Studio Director of Gensler - a global design firm that was put in charge to apply SAP's concepts to the ground floor and courtyard of the Varsity Theater. Gensler won numerous awards for this conversion and has brought several of their teams of architects to experience the historic building and the vibrant athomsphere created by the HanaHaus customers.


More speakers and agenda to be confirmed