Cooper Theatre

960 S. Colorado Boulevard,
Denver, CO 80246

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Showing 51 - 75 of 83 comments

TerrySol
TerrySol on October 2, 2005 at 3:30 pm

I was one of the lucky ones who managed the Cooper/Cameo in the late 70’s. I would love to trade any phots of the Cooper. Please email me at

Thanks in advance

JimS
JimS on September 14, 2005 at 3:27 pm

I, too, saw “2001, A Space Odessey” in the summer of 1968 at the Denver Cooper theatre. I was spending the summer in Aspen doing an art summer school. Some buddies of mine drove down to Denver to see the film. While we were inside, being blown away by Kubrick’s amazing film – there began a forest fire on nearby Mount Evans! When we exited the theatre – we were stoned on the film – we walked into a hazy, smoky landscape. We were in hardly any shape to drive back to Aspen until we pulled ourselves together. Great theatre – they don’t, and never will, make ‘em like that anymore.

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on August 30, 2005 at 8:22 am

Cliff:

The strip screen you refer to was not unique to the Cooper but was essential to proper showing of the original Cinerama films; such screens were installed in all of the original theaters that showed 3-projector Cinerama and in many that showed so-called single lens Cinerama. The angled strips prevent light from bouncing off the left side of the screen to the right (thus partially washing out the image)and vice versa; it did not have anything to with screen bowing. A fine discussion of this phenomena can be found at:
http://www.redballoon.net/~snorwood/book/
where the original Cinerama souvenir book is reproduced; there is a picture of a man behind the screen taken from an angle that reveals the strips. There is also a (sad) picture at:
View link
showing the tattered remains of the strip screen that was at Chicago’s Cinestage Theatre (nee Selwyn) which was Chicago’s third Cinerama house as well as a link to another picture that shows the anchoring plates and the precise angle at which each strip had to be set.
When the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood was restored and remodeled, many of us Cinerama purists were disappointed that the decision was made by Pacific Theaters not to restore the original strip screen. If you ever have the chance compare seeing “How the West Was Won” at the Dome versus seeing it at the restored Cinerama theatre in Seattle, you will see the difference. They are both great places to see a film though.

Cliffs
Cliffs on August 29, 2005 at 10:34 pm

One of the interesting things about this theater (or maybe not as I don’t know how common this was) is that the screen was actually made up of hundreds of 2" ribbons of screen hung top to bottom. During the late 80s, early 90s I worked for United Artists and all managers were invited down to the Cooper for special early exhibitor screenings (Black Rain, Total Recall, Die Hard 2). At one of these screenings we were taken all over the theater and up close to the screen where you could more easily see these ribbons (at normal viewing distance they were invisibly blended). It was explained to us that because of the Coopers' deeply curved screen, it had to be fashioned from these ribbons in order to not have the screen bow in the center. I’ve never seen that in any other theater, but perhaps it is more common than I know.

Coate
Coate on June 19, 2005 at 8:27 am

The Cooper was among the theatres included in the original limited-market launch of “Star Wars.” The Cooper’s 5/25/77 opening-day gross, according to Daily Variety, was a house record $7,966.

Coate
Coate on June 14, 2005 at 9:38 pm

“I transferred over to the Cooper/Cameo that same summer as the manager (Star Wars had been playing about a month). I honestly do not remember upgrading to 70mm; to the best of my recollection it was 70mm throughout the time that I was there.” (GaryJB)


Well, if you tranferred to the Cooper during the month of August, then by then the theater would have been running the 70mm print of “Star Wars.”

I wonder if perhaps you thought I implied the theater upgraded to 70mm that summer, whereas I was referring to the print of “Star Wars.” (The theater, of course, had had 70mm projection capability dating back to the mid ‘60s.)

GaryJB
GaryJB on June 14, 2005 at 3:07 am

No, I was not a projectionist. In the summer of ‘77 I was the manager of the Continental. I transferred over to the Cooper/Cameo that same summer as the manager (Star Wars had been playing about a month). I honestly do not remember upgrading to 70mm; to the best of my recollection it was 70mm throughout the time that I was there. I left the theatre business in November of that year.

There was a startup paper in Denver in ‘77, WestWord (it is still published). The feature story for the inagural edition was on the toll that the Star Wars crowds had on the theatre and staff. I have a copy stashed somewhere — if you contact WestWord, they may have photos in their files.

Coate
Coate on June 14, 2005 at 1:16 am

“I worked at the Cooper during the 1977 Star Wars frenzy. I have some great memories of the theatre and staff. If there are other photos of the interior, I would also enjoy seeing them.” (GaryJB)


Did you work in the projection booth? Do you recall the Cooper upgrading to a 70mm presentation in August 1977, then giving up the print to the Continental in December to make way for “Close Encounters”?

I don’t have any photos of the theater’s interior, though I do have a copy of the Denver Post from the day after “Empire” opened which included a great picture of a massive line of fans with the theater and its marquee visible in the shot.

xtsubarublazin
xtsubarublazin on June 13, 2005 at 10:11 pm

There was a Cooper 7 south of Columbine High School, near Coal MIne and Pierce. It has since been converted to a church but if anyone wants to drive over there, the circular roof is still visible, but it’s blue now.

dmacp
dmacp on May 31, 2005 at 3:19 pm

I saw the first “Star Wars” at the Cooper. I walked there from Lowry Air Force Base when I was stationed there. I hadn’t yet learned the finer points of public transportation, coming from a rural area where the only buses I knew took you to school. This past Saturday, I saw “Revenge of the Sith” at the UA Colorado 9, just a few blocks. Kind of nice, because they have the big IMAX type tall format curved screen like the Cooper used to. Just 35mm projection though I think, not 70mm.

davequ
davequ on May 23, 2005 at 8:39 pm

I was lucky enough in the summer of ‘68 to have seen the 70mm Denver premier of Stanley Kubricks “2001” at the Cooper. It was unforgettable. I also saw “How the West was Won” and other Cinerama films there. What a shame it is gone. The inside lobby and the theater itself was also gorgeous. Much thanks to Cary (above) for sharing the link to the beautiful photographs. http://cinerama.topcities.com/ctcooper.htm
Thanks Cary! and thanks to owners and webmaster of this site.

GaryJB
GaryJB on May 22, 2005 at 4:58 pm

I worked at the Cooper (actually the Cooper/Cameo at that time) during the 1977 Star Wars frenzy. I have some great memories of the theatre and staff. If there are other photos of the interior, I would also enjoy seeing them.

Jesse Hoheisel
Jesse Hoheisel on January 8, 2005 at 11:40 pm

Are there any other pictures of the Cooper that anyone has ahold of? That above mentioned website is great, but I’d like to see more of the lobby. Anyone?

cloeser
cloeser on December 2, 2004 at 6:19 pm

Pictures of the Denver Cooper Cinerama can be found at the following link:

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

Have fun!

veyoung52
veyoung52 on November 28, 2004 at 1:54 am

Hi, whatever happened to the photos of the exterior & interior of the Denver Cooper that were mentioned here late last year?

Quato
Quato on November 6, 2004 at 11:51 pm

I remember seeing “Empire Strikes Back” on opening day at the Cooper, and winning a contest and t-shirt (as my ticket) to get to see “Return of the Jedi” on opening day. People camped out around the building, it was great.

I was the projectionist at the Colorado Plaza 6 that opened down the street in June of 1988. The Colorado 4 was still around then too. While the Colorado Plaza 6 + Colorado 4 added some competition to the area, the Cooper still got the “big” pictures because of the bigger house, and could run 70mm easier. We only ran one film at the Colorad Plaza 6 in 70mm, which was Backdraft and it didn’t draw any additional revenue because it was in 70mm. Most “70mm” pictures back then were acutally shot through an anamorphoc lens and then “blown up”. I remember hearing that “Blues Brothers” was the last real picture shot in 70mm, but I could be wrong.

Anyway, the addition of the Colorado Plaza 6 in 1988 and the Mann Cherry Creek 8 in 1990 lead to the demise of both the Cooper and the Century 21 (a real THX house that is now a Sountrack electronics store). They just couldn’t compete for bookings, and the land got too expensive.

Gone are the days of going to a movie at the Cooper, then walking down a block to Celebrity Sports Center to play some video games.

BTW, my favorite theatres in Denver were the Cooper and the Century 21. I remember seeing movies at the Century 21 in THX such as Gettysburg that sounded awesome. Never was a big fan of the Continental, the screen always seemed so far away.

blkstarunicorn
blkstarunicorn on October 27, 2004 at 8:57 pm

I remember the HUGE line that wrapped around the theater when Star Wars premiered Memorial Day weekend 1977. Afer the movie we would go up the street and grab a burger from the ‘oldest McDonalds west of the Mississippi’, then pop back down the hill and go to Celebrities' Sport Center for some bowling and video games.

BobWasserman
BobWasserman on October 20, 2004 at 10:45 pm

What a treat to go to The Cooper. Humongous screen, magnificent sound, great sight-lines. My friend and I would go frequently just to watchtthe drapes move. My favorite experience there was watching “Thats Entertainment” playing to a full house and participating with the audience as we broke out into spontaneious applause during the film while watch scenes like Gene Kelly splashing around in “Singing in the Rain” etc. etc. I’m filled with gratitude for having had those moments. BobnDenver

cloeser
cloeser on August 12, 2004 at 8:25 pm

I would absolutely love to see your pictures of the Denver Cooper being constucted. Could you email me at to discuss? Thanks.

compassdriveins
compassdriveins on July 13, 2004 at 2:14 am

The Denver Cooper was on Colorado Boulevard. I grew up with the Cooper and have 8x10 professional photos of it during construction. I would be happy to share them (scan them) with all the other Cooper fans if there is any interest.

lthanlon
lthanlon on March 29, 2004 at 6:15 pm

Even unpretentious 35mm films often had a sense of presence at the Cooper. I can recall seeing Clint Eastwood’s “White Hunter, Black Heart” there in 1990 or so and some POV shots from an out-of-control an airplane managed to generate some oohs and ahhs.

An even better participatory sequence occurred when “The Empire Strikes Back” played at the Cooper in 1980. An over-the-shoulder POV from within a Rebel rescue ship produced dizzying results as the ship sped roller-coaster style down an undulating series of snow-capped hills.

peterdamian
peterdamian on March 25, 2004 at 6:46 pm

It seems that Syossett, NY, Denver, and Minneapolis have all been blended here. Isn’t this page about the Denver Cooper only?

I remember seeing “Silence of the Lambs” at the Denver Cooper, in 1991. Even that late in the theater’s life, it was well-maintained and felt very “cool” and beautifully designed.

Orlando
Orlando on March 10, 2004 at 9:18 am

Seeing Titanic at the D-150 was awesome, especially in the front row of the balcony, when the boat made it’s final plunge into the ocean, you felt like you were on board for the ride. I worked the theatre in 1977 during the “Coma” engagement. An ice storm which knocked out power on Long Island for several days left me snowbound at the nearby Syosset Theatre. When checking up on the Cinema 150 property, I entered the lobby and remember the promotinal cardboard corpse’s that were suspended from the ceiling. It was ice cold due to no heat and it was an eriee feeling to the place. I also saw the place being totally gutted except for the exterior walls which were punched with holes for the office building that will be occupying the theatre site. In this case, it is possible that the landlord did not want to extend the lease because of his developement plans for his property. I understand businesses in the industrial park where also asked to vacate. However, any chance of seeing Cinerama movies now that “How The West Was Won” was re-issued is completely lost in all New York. What a shame and tragedy this is.

RobertR
RobertR on March 10, 2004 at 8:23 am

Had the 150 been treated like The Dome, it could have survivied. So many people had no idea what the theatre was and would gasp when they walked in. I introduced it to friends who lived in the city and they used to take the LIRR out there after that. There was no Manhattan theatre that was finer, including The Ziegfeld.

Orlando
Orlando on March 9, 2004 at 5:07 pm

The Cinema 150 which took on the Syosset name after that fine RoadShow and Cinerama Theatre was triplexed and then closed and demolished. The Broadway Multiplex led to its' demise. The National Amusements Theatre chain (Redstone Theatres) have descimated the Main Street moviehouses in towns and villages on Long Island that were our neighborhood theatres. The seem to rule the Island now with their bland and non-descript multiplexes. Even their Cinema-du-Lux in Holbrook is a joke, Who goes to the movies where the focal point is the food court incorporated into the lobby concession stands. The director’s seat theatres are a little more money for what you should be getting for the regular admission price in the first place. I was glad to see their Brookhaven Multiplex fail and close. Brookhaven lost a few theatres when they opened that multiplex. Fighting crowds for movies playing in 250 seat theatres or less, parking delays and quickly sold out popular movies is not my idea of a night out at the movies.