Orpheum Theater

1513 Welton Street,
Denver, CO 80202

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RKO Orpheum Theater

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Originally built in 1903 as a vaudeville theatre. It was taken over by RKO and modernised several times. In 1955 after a modernisation by architect John J. McNamara, the seating capacity was for 2,600.

Remodeled again in around 1964, the seating capacity was reduced to 1,200 when it reopened as the RKO International 70. It was closed in 1976, and subsequently was demolished.

Contributed by TC

Recent comments (view all 15 comments)

Patsy on November 1, 2006 at 4:52 pm

ken mc: Thanks for all of the great b/w photos, but especially of the photo showing the interior as so many times photos are shown of the exterior, only.

Ron3853 on February 15, 2007 at 10:50 am

Wasn’t the Orpheum renamed the RKO International 70 around 1964? Or was that another theater in Denver?

William on March 8, 2007 at 9:50 am

Yes, I believe so about the remodel and renaming. During the mid 40’s the RKO Orpheum Theatre seated 2600 people.

William on March 9, 2007 at 6:08 am

After the remodeling into the RKO International 70 Theatre the seating capacity was reduced to 1200 people. The theatre closed 09/10/1967.

William on March 11, 2007 at 12:12 pm

The RKO Orpheum Theatre went through a remodel in 1955, the architect was John J. McNamara. The seating capacity was still 2600 seats till it was remodeled for the International 70.

Ziggy on May 7, 2007 at 10:14 am

The fourth photo that ken posted on March 5, 2006, shows the original marquee just before opening day. It also shows someone being hung if effigy! Any ideas on who it might be? “Old Man Depression” maybe? Guesses anyone?

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on March 2, 2008 at 9:03 am

Some Mighty WurliTzer Theater Pipe Organs must have been “Born under a wondering star”! As best as can be figured out from incomplete 94 year old records, Opus 34 first went out as Opus 16 to an unknown place in Cincinnati, Ohio, was reposessed and then went to this theater. It became Opus 34 and was a 2 Manual/7 Rank and it somehow became Opus 57. At least that’s as best as I can figure it out! At any rate it is not known what happened to the organ.
Opus 1764 was also a 2/7 and it is not known what happened to it either.
If you know anything about what happened to either organ, please email us!

“Gee Dad, they were both WurliTzers!”

Coate on July 30, 2009 at 8:22 am

While known as the International 70, this theater showed (single-strip) CINERAMA during 1965-66.

Denver’s complete CINERAMA exhibition history has been included in the “Remembering Cinerama” series and is posted here.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 21, 2010 at 4:52 am

Here is a Boxoffice magazine spread on the theatre, with eight photos, from the issue of February 4, 1956:
View link

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on August 20, 2010 at 6:38 pm

1964 photos show what the real theatre business was all about.sadly.that is gone today.

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