Continental 10

3635 S. Monaco Parkway,
Denver, CO 80237

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jmg24601
jmg24601 on July 8, 2013 at 7:09 pm

When the theater reopened in October after the fire, it hosted the premier for Brainstorm.

jmg24601
jmg24601 on July 8, 2013 at 7:08 pm

When the theater reopened in October after the fire, it hosted the premier for Brainstorm.

Rich Vincent
Rich Vincent on May 26, 2012 at 2:58 am

I managed the Continental during most of the 1990’s including the first remodel and there are a couple of inaccuracies I want to correct. I know nothing about 35mm replacement lenses being inadequate and replaced for Shawshank Redemption. The same lenses were used throughout my tenure. Part of the design of D-150 was that other film formats were never allowed to come close to filling the screen, 35mm in particular. We did at one time experiment with using a different lens size to enlarge the picture but it was too washed out.

Indeed, the D-150 lenses were still in the booth when I left although they wer extremely scratched and unusable from years of neglect.

The D-150 screen was removed after the fire in 1983. The replacement screen was shorter in height by several feet and quite a bit shorter in length since the format was obsolete, although it retained quite a bit of the D-150’s belly. The original D-150 screen literally extended around the front rows of the theatre, similar to Cinerama.

Auditorium #5 is indeed the original auditorium, which I fondly referred to as “Old Main” after the remodel.

The 70 mm presentations did make the Continental a powerhouse in Denver. The Continental actually grossed over 50% of the Denver area gross out of 10 theatres on “The Abyss”.

Logan5
Logan5 on February 19, 2012 at 10:46 pm

According to the book Future Noir: The Making of “Blade Runner” by Paul M. Sammon, the first sneak preview of “Blade Runner” was held at the Continental on Friday, March 5, 1982. Other sneaks were at the Northpark in Dallas (3/6/82) & the Cinema 21 in San Diego (5/8/82).

CapnRob
CapnRob on August 8, 2011 at 6:23 pm

I loved the original Continental. Saw a worn red print of Wrath of Kahn there about 2 years ago. It made me really miss the old days of giant single screen theaters.

JRed
JRed on February 11, 2011 at 3:20 pm

Auditorium #5 is the D150 screen (not sure if it still has that curve after the RPX retrofit). It is showing the Justin Beeber concert movie. The large screen will now always be identified by the “RPX” tag.

I’d also be curious to hear first-hand impressions.

JoelWeide
JoelWeide on February 11, 2011 at 6:31 am

On Regal’s web site they do not list which auditorium has the huge D-150 screen. It is just a standard listing of whats showing and at what time. Since adding the stadium seating I’ve always wondered how that auditorium turned out. Any comments would be appreciated.

JRed
JRed on February 11, 2011 at 6:09 am

UPDATE: Yup, digital projection has been installed as well as 3D.

JRed
JRed on February 11, 2011 at 6:05 am

Today the Continental will have a soft opening of the big screen as an “RPX” auditorium, Regal’s proprietary name for “movies dun rite”. First and foremost this means you will be paying more for any ticket to the #5 auditorium.

New features include leather seating to enhance your moviegoing enjoyment, replacing the screen with “something larger”, all QSC amps (which it already had as do most auditoriums in the entire Denver metro area) and a 102 speaker system (please note that this won’t be 102 actual speakers, they are counting the individual drivers in each speaker. So a single 3-way speaker would count as 3 speakers with Regal’s deceptive math).

No word yet on if they are still showing film or if they put digital in. Screen illumination has always been an issue at this theater so I would think they’d have to put in something really nice for a new, bigger screen. No word if the new screen will retain the D150 curve.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 21, 2009 at 8:37 pm

I believe the architect’s name is currently misspelled above. It should be Garrett, with a double t. Calvin Garrett wrote an article about the original Continental Theatre in Oklahoma City for the March 21, 1966, issue of Boxoffice Magazine.

While Boxoffice did sometimes (well, ok, frequently) misspell people’s names in articles, it would have been an extraordinary event for them to have misspelled an author’s name in a by-line.

Knighthart
Knighthart on May 21, 2009 at 6:39 pm

Having moved to Colorado in 1994 and not seeing a movie at this theater until 1996’s Independence Day, I never had the pleasure of seeing a movie in the original Continental. I regret not rushing out in 1994/95 and seeing a film before the remodel.

I want to thank Kevin Dennis for posting photos of before and during the big 1996 remodel.

Does anyone have any photos from inside the lobby?

I have seen some publicity photos of the OK city lobby but I am curious what the lobby of the Denver Continetal appeared in 1980s/1990s. I have recently become obsessed with the history of this theater and would be honored if anyone emailed me with documentation.

kpdennis
kpdennis on April 26, 2009 at 12:30 am

Interesting comments on the recent additions to the Continental – I haven’t been since they were completed. I was working for United Artists corporate in Denver when the theatre was first remodeled and added auditoriums in 1996.

At that point, the Continental could still draw a big crowd for a big film, but it often went many weeks without a hit, and that enormous room was expensive to heat/cool/maintain etc. UA had a good relationship with the landlord and the decision was made to completely revamp the entire area – new theatre, new restaurants, new retail, etc.

Unlike most remodels, there didn’t seem to be any question that the big room would remain intact – distributors liked putting their film in what was by that time the last remaining deluxe auditorium in town.

Here are a dozen views of the 1996 remodel – the link takes you to the first shot, and hopefully the remaining 11 are in chronological order.
View link

COCowboy
COCowboy on April 21, 2009 at 12:17 pm

What I miss the most is how close everyone was. It really was like family. Yet I have been in contact with no one. It makes me so happy to see past employees checking on places where they were, and how much those places still mean to them… even if most of them are nothing more than a reminder.

Are the changes, for better, or worse? I don’t believe the changes really matter to me one way or the other. I am stuck in knowing that I was there in one of the best times of my life, and nothing could bring that back anyway. My first day was the day before we opened “Die Hard”, we had a few small sleepers after that… “The Mighty Quin”, and “She Devil”, before we opened “The Abyss”. Seeing the pictures on the link above, of the “Identical” Continental, gave me shivers. I received the etched glass Common Wealth logo from the Box Office, the day we were acquired by United Artists. We did wear Tux shirts, carried flashlights, and in a 917+3 Seat auditorium we HAD to seat people. The tickets were not computerized, and could be torn with one hand. I can still hear the sound of the ticket machine. We loved to tell stories of what the lobby looked like before the fire, and how the fire started (I believe that it originated from the janitors closet.) I don’t remember if our “Ghost” had a name, but I do remember telling stories of our ghost, and how he came to live there.

Mom and Dad managed a small theatre in a mall in Arvada off I-25 and what is now Thorton. When I returned to Denver for college I was also worked at several of the theatres in Denver. I was employed by the Continental, while under Common Wealth. I was then “Lent” out to various Denver Theatres from the Cooper5 to the Cooper7, and every Cooper between them. Yes even the Copper Twin. After getting to know several employees, union projectionists, Managers, and District Managers, I moved to CA and worked at a Fox theatre for 2 years. When I moved back, I worked again at the Continental, before opening the Greenwood Plaza 12 (as an assistant). After a few years there I transferred to The UA Corporate Offices. I moved back to CA and Managed the “Golden State” theatre (Complete with Pipe Organ), until UA sold it to become a historical landmark.

I would like to be found by those who I’ve come to miss. Those who remember me and those worked at the same theatres, around the same time. I would even like to hear from someone who has worked at “My” theatres before, or after, me.
You can e-mail me from the email on my profile by clicking my Username.

Jonesy
Jonesy on November 6, 2008 at 9:26 pm

Short version: I have seen two films in the remodeled auditorium, and I was very pleased. In my opinion, they have done an excellent job. I’d love to hear other opinions.

Long version: www.OnTheBigScreen.net

Jonesy

Jonesy
Jonesy on November 2, 2008 at 9:00 pm

As part of their re-opening, they are showing a few past hits on the Giant Screen this week. Details here:

www.OnTheBigScreen.net

Jonesy

Jonesy
Jonesy on November 2, 2008 at 9:00 pm

As part of their re-opening, they are showing a few past hits on the Giant Screen this week. Details here:

www.OnTheBigScreen.net

Jonesy

JRed
JRed on October 25, 2008 at 2:40 am

I had the opportunity to see how the big screen at the Continental is coming along last night.

First, the booth: The booth has been raised about 8 feet or so and is now very small in a tiny little room up a narrow flight of stairs with barely enough room for the projector, platter and sound rack. The old booth is still there, partially walled off to make room for the new booth and is now unused. The toilet is still in the old booth with the small privacy curtain which everyone loves. The old CP500 has been replaced with a CP650. The Norelco projector sits in the back room (which would have been the left booth), any hope of ever running 70mm in that house again is gone forever. The UA bar code automation has been replaced with a Strong CNA-150. The assistant manager was saying how he was glad to see the bar code automation go away because it would always shut down when the credits start. I wanted to tell him this was likely because it is generally a good idea to put a LIGHTS MID cue at the start of the credits instead of a SHOW END cue, but hey… that’s just me. No other equipment has changed… same old cassette deck from the single screen days is on top of the sound rack and the old Dolby mag pre-amp is still in there as well for some odd reason. The little room the booth is in now has a linoleum floor, just like the booth for the four new screens. Fortunately it does not contain Strong equipment like the four new screens do. Projector is still the 35mm Christie. They may have even went all out and changed the belts. Spare no expense!

The auditorium: The seats have been tiered off into four sections and the aisles are still on the side. As one would imagine, the incline is not tremendously steep. The seats are now your typical Regal-style seats with the moveable cupholder armrests, etc. They did a surprisingly decent job with the conversion, much better than I thought they’d do. However now it looks just like all other Regal auditoriums, only bigger. Not much uniqueness left to it. The curved screen is still there, but they got new curtains which they will rarely use. Supposedly the curtain motor is new as well (the old curtains really squeaked). It’ll be interesting to hear how this room sounds once the re-EQ is complete. They said they plan to use the curtains from time to time.

I was the projectionist at the Continental when it re-opened as a 6-plex, on loan from Greenwood Plaza 12. I built up the first movie to show during the re-opening… “Eraser” (assembled at Greenwood). I have some video from those days taken from my camcorder and some pics as well. THX was in auditoriums 1 and 6 only. They never bothered to renew the license so nothing is THX any more. The large screen was not capable of being certified for THX, didn’t meet the requirements. There is a silver screen in new a new auditorium, number 8 I believe, for digital 3D showings eventually. Don’t get any hopes up for 70mm since it is no longer capable of happening. Even if they did manage to install a Century JJ projector (the Norelco is obsolete and quite useless), the staff of this theater simply could not handle the task or responsibility of running 70mm. They can’t even handle 35mm without scratching the prints and getting them noticeably dirty. The Continental is just a typical multiplex run in the same fashion as others, unfortunately.

Jonesy
Jonesy on October 23, 2008 at 12:33 pm

Tickets are on sale for Madagascar 2 on the Giant Screen starting 11/07/08. (Fandango listings specify the “Giant Screen.”) Quantum of Solace is also booked for the big screen according to Theatre Staff.

The entrance to the main auditorium is temporarily dry-walled closed (like in Dawn of the Dead!) but there is a large display behind the box office with photos of the remodel progress. The display is titled “Preserving the Giant Screen” or something similar. The screen is covered with plastic in some of the photos.

It looks like the new stadium configuration doesn’t slope all that much more than it used to except for the back quarter of the auditorium.

Those are my notes from a less-than-perfect visit to see The Jerk on 10/22. (Details at my blog)

Jonesy
www.OnTheBigScreen.net

MontyM
MontyM on August 7, 2008 at 11:32 am

Thank you Jonesy!

Jonesy
Jonesy on August 6, 2008 at 5:28 pm

I don’t know how things looked in ‘99 or '02, but in '08 the image did not appear to be cropped at all for Wall-E. (And I’ve seen plenty of cropped presentations.) I’m sure I’m not the pickiest moviegoer to ever post here, but I’m am on the picky side, and I found the sound and projection to be excellent.

Regal’s current operations at the Contintal are not perfect, but I think they are a far cry from a “sad end.” For a sad end, see the Cooper or Century 21 on CO BLVD, or any other giant screen theatre anywhere that has been torn down or twinned. I look forward to seeing more films at the Continental when the big screen re-opens, and promise to complain to mgmt if I notice any problems. :)

Cheers,
Jonesy
www.OnTheBigScreen.net

at2000
at2000 on August 6, 2008 at 7:27 am

From your description of the last 18 years of projection problems — between micro 35 MM images, and now projection so out of proportion that images are cropped enough that subtitles are a problem — it seems that stadium seating is the least of the Continental’s problems. This is the “outstanding job” Regal is doing with the Continental Theatre? It’s been a quarter century since the fire destroyed the original lenses, and this is the best that Regal can accomplish? The bar has been set quite low indeed. What a sad end to have this theater in these hands.

Cliffs
Cliffs on August 6, 2008 at 1:59 am

I’m not sure which drive-in lenses were used, I just remember having the conversation with one of the union techs that serviced the Denver theaters (I worked with United Artists at the time). I also know that, while the new lenses improved the screen size compared to the micro-machine 35mm of the late 80s/early 90s, they were not without problems. There was quite a bit of image masked on all four sides with the image projected larger than it should be. I wouldn’t be surprised if the subtitles seen when the Chinese speak in The Dark Knight ride dangerously close to the bottom masking with the image framed higher than usual to accommodate. It was a problem they had when they ran Episodes I & II in 99 and 02.

at2000
at2000 on July 22, 2008 at 11:35 am

I’m also curious about the lenses…
Drive-in screens are flat… the original Continental screen was D-150 and curved, which is why it had specially ground lenses to accommodate the curvature. If they are now using old drive-in lenses, has the screen been re-configured at the Continental as a flat surface? Or is there major distortion and edge focus issues as such use would typically cause?

MickeyDal
MickeyDal on July 22, 2008 at 11:09 am

Just curious, when the lenses were taken from a Drive-In that closed in 93/94, was this the North Star? It had the largest screen, and longest projection of all the drive-ins, and closed in 1993.