Isis Theater

1716-26 Curtis Street,
Denver, CO 80202

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New Isis Theater

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Opened in 1913 and demolished sometime after 1953 per Denver Public Library.

Contributed by TC

Recent comments (view all 25 comments)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on July 9, 2007 at 3:38 pm

I heard that the CT book is given free of charge to prolific but impecunious contributors. Hint hint.

paulomalley
paulomalley on July 28, 2007 at 5:47 pm

I have just completed by profile of the Isis Theater at 1724 Curtis Street. It contains all the information I have been able to gather about the theater from it’s opening in May 1913 thru the early 1920s, taken from local newspapers, trade magazines, etc. It contains a list of all the photos I have been able to identify, a list of employees taken from the City Directories, etc. If anyone would like a copy of this profile, I can provide it in either Word or PDF format. The file is about 650kb. This is one of five profiles of the movie theaters in the 1700 Block of Curtis Street that I can provide. If interested please contact me at and I will email it to you.

MontyM
MontyM on November 13, 2007 at 3:26 pm

Trying to reach Paul O'Malley regarding pictures.

paulomalley
paulomalley on November 13, 2007 at 4:49 pm

Monty-Denver – What can I help you with. I have a good collection of photos, both hardcopy and in jpg. format of most of Denver’s early theaters. Most were obtained from the Denver Public Library and the Colorado Historical Society. I can be contacted by email at or phone at (303) 692-1137. If you live in the Denver area I would be happy to show you what I have and share anything I can. I live at Leetsdale & Quebec in Denver and am home most days of the week. So you can send my an email or give me a call (just leave a message if I am not home) and I will get in contact with you.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 4, 2010 at 4:30 am

Here are two photos of the Isis from a 1913 issue of the trade Journal The Moving Picture World. The pictures are rather small, but the interior photo gives an idea of just how big this theater really was. For such an early movie house the place was vast.

roundgrandma
roundgrandma on August 9, 2011 at 7:31 pm

Mr. O'Malley, I’ve searched, in vain, for images of the Rococco interior of the Denver Theater, demolished not long after extensive and expensive renovations, including gold leaf work, mirror replacements, etc. My late husband worked there for years and took me through nearly the entire building in the very early 70’s after his Army stint. I never could figure out WHY they literally provided the idea for “They Paved Paradise”, leaving only the compass on the sidewalk, destroying a grand lady from the past,leaving the much less glamorous but more functional Paramount across the street.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on June 9, 2012 at 4:12 am

From the Estey organ company I find record of them selling an organ to the Isis Theatre, Denver CO in 1910, 3 years before this building opened. Then the Wurlitzer records show THEY sold an organ to the Isis Theatre, Denver CO, in 1915, 2 years after this theatre opened. Certainly theatres upgraded their organs – and believe me, if you had a theatre with an Estey, you needed an upgrade. I can even understand maybe Estey using a contract date rather than an installation date, but 3 years is too long for that. Any suggestions? Was there a previous Isis Theatre?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 9, 2012 at 9:20 am

There is an article about exterior lighting on Denver’s theaters in the October 19, 1912, issue of Electrical Review (Google Books scan) with a drawing of this Isis Theater captioned “How New Isis Theater Will Be Illuminated.”

The text of the same article has this information:

“The history of the illumination of Curtis Street is rather interesting and dates back a little more than four years. At that time one of the enterprising theater managers of Denver opened the Cameraphone Theater and installed some very elaborate illuminating effects. This was when the moving-picture business was in its infancy in Denver, and although the illumination on the Cameraphone gave it tremendous advertising, the quality of the shows presented were not on a par with the illumination on the outside and it eventually became unprofitable to operate. Later it was taken over by Samuel Baxter and renamed the Isis. Under the new management the lighting was discontinued and the quality of the shows bettered, but without the pulling force of the light it did not do a paying business. In the course of time the illumination which had been displaced was again installed and later increased, until today the theater has a total of 2,200 lamps and a candlepower of 8,500, and it is now one of the best payers of the several first-run houses.”
The article indicates that the New Isis was under construction, while the existing Isis was one of the seven movie theaters already in operation on Curtis Street between 14th and 18th Streets. So far I’ve been unable to discover what became of the first Isis when the new house opened. Possibly it was kept open under a new name.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 13, 2012 at 9:02 am

An article in The Moving Picture World of January 1, 1916, indicates that the Strand Theatre (later the State), opened in 1915, had been built on the site of the first Isis Theatre. The article doesn’t say whether or not the first Isis operated under another name between the opening of the new Isis in 1913 and the old theater’s demolition.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 13, 2012 at 2:13 pm

this card in the Denver Public Library’s Western History Subject Index says that when the State Theatre was closed and demolished in 1953, its owners bought the Isis Theatre and changed its name to the New State Theatre.

Another card from the Index cites a January 1, 1955, item in the Rocky Mountain News saying that the Isis Theatre building was to be demolished. The Isis must have had the aka New State for less than two years.

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