Regal Continental Stadium 10 & RPX
3635 S. Monaco Parkway,
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United Artists' Continental Theatre stands as Denver’s last remaining giant screen movie house. Along with the Cooper and Century 21 theatres, The (then) Commonwealth Continental was one of Denver’s premiere showcase theatres when it opened January 26, 1966 with Charlton Heston in “The Agony and the Ecstacy” and continued throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s, with a screen that measured 35'x 83'. Seating for the theatre was originally 916.
The theatre played host to dozens of large screen 70mm presentations over the decades including “Die Hard”, the original “Star Wars” trilogy, “The Abyss”, and “Terminator 2”. With the right booking, the Continental Thetare could be responsible for 35% of a film’s business in the city of Denver.
In 1983, during its run of “Return of the Jedi”, the theatre fell victim to a fire that destroyed part of it. The following day’s Rocky Mountain News contained a front page photo of theatre workers rushing the 70mm print of “Jedi” out of the theatre to safety. During the fire, all of the projector lenses (except the 70mm lens, which was in use) were destroyed. The new lenses for 35mm put to use after the fire were inadequate for the theatre’s long throw distance and, because of this, all 35mm presentations on the screen would require severe masking on all four sides to accommodate the smaller image size. The estimate is that 35mm reduced the screen size to 23'x 55'.
In 1994, for an exclusive engagement of “The Shawshank Redemption”, lenses from a recently closed drive-in were put to use at the Continental Theatre for the 35mm presentation and all films shown since 1994 have again utilized the full screen size.
In November 1995, the Continental Theatre closed for an extensive remodel/expansion. The theatre reopened in June of 1996 with five new screens (several THX approved) built around it. During this remodel, the seating was reduced to 869 to accommodate new handicap accessible seating. In 2008, the number of screens was increased to ten.
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