Cooper Theatre

960 S. Colorado Boulevard,
Denver, CO 80246

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

A couple of not-so-great shots of the exterior of the late Cooper Twin in Denver, circa 1993. The main auditorium was something to see…
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COCowboy
COCowboy on April 21, 2009 at 11:37 am

GaryJB, and Other Employees of the Denver theatres,

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 love the Motion Picture theatre business, or at least I did.

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 they still mean to them… even if most of them are nothing more than a reminder.

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.
Tim Quealy

William
William on August 28, 2008 at 1:48 pm

You can obtain by researching the local newspapers on microfilm at the library or newspaper. That’s how many people here find that info out.

MontyM
MontyM on August 28, 2008 at 12:51 pm

Does anyone know were I can obtain a list of what movies played at the Denver Cooper Theater during it beautiful existence?

jgenung
jgenung on August 28, 2008 at 11:01 am

Somehow, the topic has strayed away from The Denver Cooper Theater. Cen we return our comments to where they belong?

MontyM
MontyM on August 27, 2008 at 10:34 am

I never had seen a movie at the Towne. I only remember the outside of the theater. I think it was a porn movie house late in it’s life.

lthanlon
lthanlon on August 26, 2008 at 7:12 pm

I well remember the Towne.

During the mid- to late 1970s, I attended Metropolitan State College and frequently took in shows at the Towne. The theater had the feeling of a small-town cinema. I remember few of the films I saw there, but I know I saw “Slither” with James Caan and “Wicked, Wicked” with Tiffany Royce. The latter is an interesting movie that I’ve never seen since. It was presented in “Duo-Vision” — a scope ratio image split down the middle throughout almost all of the picture.
What I remember most about the Towne is that a number of aisle seats were double-sized — presumably for couples.

Aparofan
Aparofan on May 22, 2008 at 6:51 am

Here’s a scan of a book I bought I bought a few years ago with a bunch of Star Wars ticket stubs stapled inside. Most are from the Glenwood Theatre in Overland Park, KS but one is from the Cooper.

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MontyM
MontyM on April 21, 2008 at 1:51 pm

Lynne,

I do remember a movie theater in downtown Denver called The Towne. It was located on Welton Street between 15th and 16th street. I never seen any movies there but do remember it. I was demolished sometime in the mid to late 70’s.
The Denver public library may have some pictures of the building.

Monty-Denver

lrostochil
lrostochil on April 20, 2008 at 4:49 pm

Okay, I have a question for those of you who are from Denver. My grandfather was an Oklhahoma City architect back in the late 40s – 50s, and I found an old resume of his that states that he designed the Tower Theater in Denver. I haven’t found that theater on this website. His resume says that he designed it in 1949, and he describes it as follows:

“Economical utilitization of steel rigid frames and roof system of standard manufacture for wide auditorium span” and “First moving picture theater with television projection booth”

It seated 1,000 patrons and cost $90,000 to build, so I don’t think that it was a big glamour palace — maybe just a small suburban theater.

Does anyone know of this theater, have photos of it, etc.?

lrostochil
lrostochil on April 20, 2008 at 4:39 pm

What a fantastic theater, and how sad that it’s gone — for yet another same-as-it-ever-was strip center. Blah! When will people realize that mid-century modern architecture, such as the Cooper, is worth preserving, and, if Barnes & Noble wanted the site so badly, why couldn’t they have revamped the old theater? Sad.

kucharsk
kucharsk on January 13, 2008 at 5:58 am

I have incredible memories of seeing Die Hard 2 and a revival showing of Ben Hur at the Cooper in its later years when it went by the name “United Artists.” The interior was absolutely spectacular, including the semi-circular apparent one-time smoking lounges located to the sides of the main seating area as seen here:

http://cinerama.topcities.com/ctcooper.htm

My strangest memory is when I tried to get permission to take pictures of the interior when they announced it would be closing, and was DENIED permission to do so by UA management! I’ve no idea what they were concerned about or why they had an issue with my request.

Since that time I’ve learned to just take photos at palaces after the last showing of the night as there is usually no one around and if there are the 18 year-olds working clean-up couldn’t care less. :–)

CaptainBazzark
CaptainBazzark on November 10, 2007 at 11:38 am

I’ve been told that Cooper Cinerama Chain was vaguely connected to Paramount/Publix.
Oklahoma City also had a Cooper Cinerama with a ribbon-strip screen. This operation was a remodel of the old (Publix) Liberty Theatre, which was an easy conversion process since the original projection booth was located on loge level, a necessity for 3 strip/70mm equipment.
http://cinerama.topcities.com/coopercinerama.htm
Vintage views
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Seen on Robinson Ave. looking North (Ramsey Tower was designed by W.W. Alschlager who created the NYC Roxy Theatre)
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1926 exterior shot of old Liberty
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compassdriveins
compassdriveins on September 15, 2007 at 10:07 pm

Hi KPRESTON, The other theatre you are thinking of is the Century 21 which was also on Colo. Blvd. The Century 21 building actually is still standing but has been converted to the Soundtrack store which is next to Hooters restaurant. In my opinion the Century 21 was OK but couldn’t hold a candle to the fabulous Cooper.

KevinPreston
KevinPreston on September 14, 2007 at 8:03 pm

What great memories of that theater.

I too saw 2001 at that theater, twice. It made me totally fall in love with movies (well, back then, not now.) We lived in southwest Denver so going to the Cooper was not an every day thing, but we would always then go over to some place like Furr’s Cafeteria or all the way down to Top of the Rockies to cap off a matinee.

I think I saw Krakatoa East of Java (sp?) there, although sometimes I get confused between films I saw there and another theater that is gone, which I think was called the 21st Century.

Aparofan
Aparofan on June 13, 2007 at 1:24 pm

I saw Return Of The Jedi here in 1983 and was completely blown away. What a magnificent theater. It’s a shame it was torn down for a bookstore.

MNBluestater
MNBluestater on May 25, 2007 at 8:06 am

With regard to the Cooper in St. Louis Park, Minnesota (Minneapolis): The building was torn down in 1992 for an Olive Garden, which was so worth the demolition of building of historical significance in the film industry. I say that sarcastically….Last presentation was “Dances With Wolves” in January, 1991.

MNBluestater
MNBluestater on May 25, 2007 at 8:05 am

With regard to the Cooper in St. Louis Park, Minnesota (Minneapolis): The building was torn down in 1992 for an Olive Garden, which was so worth the demolition of building of historical significance in the film industry. I say that sarcastically….Last presentation was “Dances With Wolves” in January, 1991.

Coate
Coate on January 25, 2007 at 2:49 pm

Monty-Denver:
Sounds like you’re a “Star Wars” fan. I predict you’ll enjoy this article:

View link

MontyM
MontyM on January 24, 2007 at 8:22 am

Michael Coate

I forgot that Empire opened on Wed May 21st, 1980 and not the 20th. (Thanks for the correction) I do remember, and I was 13 at the time, Empire opened in 70mm.
In 1977 when I seen Star Wars, I did see it in both formats, 35mm and 70mm.
Thanks Monty-Denver.

neeb
neeb on January 23, 2007 at 11:39 pm

I’ve not seen this posted:

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Richard Crowther; Denver architect; 96

Denver architect and author Richard Crowther, who died Dec. 26 in Denver, achieved international renown for his progressive holistic compositions, particularly his pioneering designs employing passive solar energy. He was 96.

Mr. Crowther designed the Cinerama Cooper theaters in Denver, Minneapolis and Omaha, Neb. All were the first theaters designed around the then-new Cinerama technology, with cushioned seats on curving risers.

mca2
mca2 on January 23, 2007 at 6:09 pm

I too had a highly enjoyable experience watching Empire Strikes Back at the Cooper. I was 13 at the time(seemed to be the perfect target age for the “Star Wars” series)and was invited by my cousins who could pull some strings. Coming from a place where an auditorium is no more than 300-400 seats and seeing a film on 70mm was unheard of. It was an unforgettable experience, even by todays standards. Experiencing a movie as great as Empire in the Cooper with the sound and visual effects and to pull them off on such a huge screen is something that is not soon forgotten.
Hearing later in my adult life that the Cooper had been torn down was no less than a travesty.

Coate
Coate on January 23, 2007 at 4:38 pm

Monty-Denver:
“The Empire Strikes Back” opened on May 21, 1980, not the 20th (although some cities ran benefit screenings on the 20th). Also, if you saw the original “Star Wars” at the Cooper in its first three months, you saw it in 35mm; they didn’t get a 70mm print until August ‘77.

MontyM
MontyM on January 23, 2007 at 3:15 pm

Being a native of Denver and lived here all my life, I am very lucky as a young boy to see a wide variety of films at the Denver Cooper Theater.
The first film I remember seeing at the Cooper in 1974 was
That’s Entertainment! I was eight or nine years old, sitting in the balcony with my mother and was blown away by the experience. The screen was enormous and seemed that it never ended. The sound was coming from all areas of the auditorium. By the way, does anyone know if this presentation was 70mm 6-track? I was too young to know the difference.
Over the years I seen the original Jaws, Lucky Lady, Airport 1975, Silent Movie,
Star Wars (70mm 6-track), Close Encounters (70mm 6-track) the original Alien (70 mm 6-track) the Empire Strikes Back (70mm 6-track) I seen it the first day, first showing at 10:30am May 20th, 1980,
Return of the Jedi (70mm 6-track) it was also showing at the Continental before it caught fire, the Die Hard movies, and many more before we lost it to a Barnes and Noble book store.
I pass by the old Cooper theater site every so often and can’t help but reminisce and remember how lucky I was to be introduced to the world of cinema in such a first class way. By far this was, and will always be my favorite movie theater in Denver.