Jazz Theatre

1751 Larimer Street,
Denver, CO 80202

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The Jazz Theatre was open in 1926 when it seated 498. An office building is now at this address.

Contributed by chrisphilip1982@yahoo.com

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

Chris1982 on April 30, 2014 at 2:26 pm

At one time this theatre was also known as the Zarra-Jazz.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 1, 2014 at 4:29 pm

The 1928 and 1929 FDYs list a Zazza-Jazz Theatre and a Jazz Theatre, both with the address 1751 Larimer Street. (I recall having seen the name Zarra-Jazz somewhere on the Internet, too, but I can’t recall exactly where.) However, I think it’s likely that the FDY made a mistake, conflating two theaters.

There was another house called simply the ZaZa Theatre, located down the block from the Jazz (at 1727 Larimer Street according to this web page.) The ZaZa was one of the childhood haunts of Neal Cassady in the 1930s. The FDY didn’t include addresses for Denver theaters in 1930, and while the Jazz Theatre is not listed that year the ZaZa Theatre is. In 1931 the Jazz is listed as closed, and the ZaZa is open. In 1932, both theaters are open again. 1933 is the last year the Jazz is listed, and it is again listed as closed. The ZaZa was last listed in 1941.

An out-of-print book called Denver’s Old Theater Row: The Story of Curtis Street and Its Glamorous Show Business, by Forrest Johnson, mentions both the ZaZa and Jazz Theatres in a brief passage that is cited in one of Paul O'Malley’s papers on Denver theaters. In 1922, a Mr. Frank A. Milton took over operation of the Rivoli Theatre, and O'Malley quotes Johnson thusly: “For about two years, Milton had been running the Folly, ZaZa and Jazz [theaters], as Girlie-Girle shows….” So the Jazz Theatre could have been in operation by 1920, and was certainly in operation by 1922, but had either closed permanently or perhaps gone back to some sort of live performances by 1933.

In any case, while there was a Jazz Theatre and there was a ZaZa Theatre down the block from it, odds are that there never was a house called the Zazza-Jazz (or Zarra-Jazz) Theatre, but if there was it was most likely the house later called simply the ZaZa, not the Jazz.

Chris1982 on May 2, 2014 at 12:01 am

My error, in my comment it should have been Zazza-Jazz

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