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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.