Chief Theatre

21 E. Pike's Peak Avenue,
Colorado Springs, CO 80903

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Chief Theater Interior

The Burns Theatre was opened in December 1911. By 1931 it had been renamed Paramount Theatre and was operated by Publix Theatres. By 1934 it had been renamed Chief Theatre. The Chief Theatre operated into at least the early-1970’s.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 15 comments)

kencmcintyre on July 12, 2009 at 8:57 pm

This was in Boxoffice magazine, December 1951:

COLORADO SPRINGS-Sid Cox, assistant manager of the Chief for the past year, has been named manager of the 8th Street Drive-In, succeeding Ed Kelly, who has been transferred to Pueblo by Westland Theaters Co. Cos started his career as an usher at the Chief.

rivest266 on August 17, 2011 at 5:10 pm

I believe that it stopped showing movies in 1972.

SamBrown on February 28, 2012 at 6:25 pm

I went there often in the 60s then in the 70s urban renewal wanted everything modern in the springs so they said the building was unsafe so they tor it down and believe it the put up a parking lot

Anthony L. Vazquez-Hernandez
Anthony L. Vazquez-Hernandez on March 20, 2014 at 7:14 am

Seated 1,363 according to the Film Daily Yearbook of 1942

Nick on September 9, 2014 at 5:47 pm

Sidney Cox was known as an “opener” for Westland as I remember it. In 1952 he moved to Grand Junction to open Westland’s “Chief” Drive-In at 2868 North Ave. After a short time (maybe a season to two) he left and Forrest Litsey took over as manager of GJ’s Chief.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 11, 2014 at 8:42 am

The December 2, 1911, issue of The Billboard said: “The elegant new Burns Theatre at Colorado Springs will soon be finished and it is reported there will be a large delegation of Denver people who will attend the opening performance.”

DavidZornig on August 22, 2015 at 7:21 pm

1961 photo added courtesy of The Denver Eye Facebook page.

JPowers on August 30, 2016 at 5:47 pm

Does anyone have interior pictures of this theater? I saw some of my first Disney films here, and I remember the decor as rather ornate and colorful around the proscenium. I also remember a large marble stairway to the balcony. But I never see photos posted from the inside.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on May 18, 2019 at 1:01 pm

Ken – that interior is amazingly distinctive for 1911. To my eye it says the architect was intimately familiar with the designs of Louis Sullivan or early F.L. Wright. I’d give you good odds the architect for the interior was George Elmslie who was working in the mid-west during the early 20th century.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 18, 2019 at 8:55 pm

The interior does have some elements reminiscent of Elmslie’s designs, but the facade is way too classical for him. The Burns Building and theater were actually designed by Douglas & Hetherington (Walter Farquhar Douglas and Thompson Duncan Hetherington.) I’m now digging up a bit more information about them.

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