Theaters in Denver with Rich History

Like A Local Guide • 28 Jun, 2019

Of all the places that outdoor enthusiasts are drawn, Colorado seems to make everybody’s top 10. Denver is a beautiful place to live and to visit with some of the country’s best skiing, mountain biking, and renowned music venues — including the world-famous Red Rocks Amphitheater. There is plenty to see in do in this beautiful state capitol, including its vibrant music and performing arts scene.

Denver is home to some of Colorado’s best theaters, some have rich and vibrant history that bring concerts and performances to life, year after year. Several of these historic theaters were demolished and replaced with modern businesses like Aladdin Theater and the Rainbow Theater, both of which stand today as Walgreens pharmacies. The historic Denver Theater is now an H&M and even the Federal Reserve Bank of Denver was once the Tabor Grand Opera House.

That doesn’t mean that the city’s rich theatrical history is just that — a thing of the past. In fact, there are four historic theaters in Denver that are still standing strong, decades after their inception. Veronica’s list will help you find these historical buildings.

Ogden Theatre

Located in the heart of downtown Denver, the Ogden Theatre has been a pillar of the city’s bustling music scene for 100 years. Since it was established in 1917, the venue has hosted hundreds of world-renowned bands, DJs, and artists. Back in the day, the Ogden showcased vaudeville shows and the historic mind behind Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. These days, the venue is home to big time acts like Drake, Lettuce, and The Lumineers.

Even with contemporary pop artists gracing the halls of the Ogden Theatre, the venue was named a National Historic Place in 1993. Any music lover in Colorado is guaranteed to love the historic architecture and backstory at the Ogden.

ogden_theatre_denverPhoto credit: Wikimedia

Paramount Theatre

The Paramount Theatre isn’t as old as the Ogden, but this venue is another staple in Denver’s music and arts scene. Built in 1930, and just a stone’s throw from Denver’s infamous 16th Street Mall, the Ogden Theatre can host just over 1,800 attendees. From the outside looking in, this venue seems smaller but it still hosts some of Denver’s largest acts today. The Paramount Theater was added to the National Register of Historic Places after in 1980 and is home to one of the last two remaining Wurlitzer theatre organs left in the United States.

paramount2_-_flickr_-_socialgalavantPhoto credit: Wikimedia

Oriental Theater

The Oriental Theater was the third theater to be listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. This venue first opened its doors in 1927 and was initially built to showcase movie films. Today the theater hosts some of Denver’s more intimate musical acts. After closing its doors in 1960 due to little interest from the Denver community, the Oriental Theater sat dormant for nearly half a century before re-opening its doors in 2005. It has a max capacity of just over 700 attendees and is one of Denver’s easiest-to-miss pieces of history.

oriental_theatre_denverPhoto credit: Wikimedia

Historic Elitch Theatre

Located in northwest Denver, the Historic Elitch Theatre is the oldest on our list and perhaps the most unique. Inspired by Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, it was opened in 1890 to house both local and national vaudeville acts. Just six years later, it showed some of the states first motion pictures. 

The Elitch Theater thrived for just over a century before closing its doors in 1991. Fortunately, nearly 20 years later the theater re-opened its doors in 2007 with plans to make the Elitch Theatre a year-round multimedia performing arts hub for the Denver community. The venue offers film, live music, theater, and educational programs.

elitch_theater_denver_coPhoto credit: Wikimedia

Finding top notch live music events in Colorado’s capital is never a challenge. There are exciting events happening in Denver every day of the week, and some take place at downtown venues where famous artists have been performing for over a century. Find an experience that combines both history and music at one of Denver’s historic theaters.

Like A Local Guide
Like A Local Guide is about stepping off the tourist trail and finding cool and cosy spots where locals like to spend their time. We built a website and mobile app to bring insider recommendations from around the world to your fingertips.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Write a comment

Popular posts
Like A Local Guide 25 Jun, 2019
Martin Liivand 31 May, 2016
Like A Local Guide 11 Nov, 2013
Like A Local Guide 1 Nov, 2013