Cooper Theatre

960 S. Colorado Boulevard,
Denver, CO 80246

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Cooper Theatre

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The Cooper Theatre was the first of three Cinerama theaters built by the Cooper Foundation in the early-1960’s. Known as the Golden Triangle, the three theaters were located in Denver, Omaha, and Minneapolis. Complete with massive screens and the latest sound technology, all three were designed to exhibit films made in the 3-strip Cinerama process.

Renamed as the Cooper/Cameo by the 1970’s, the theater later became part of the Commonwealth Theatres circuit, who franchised the Cooper name. They also built the Cooper 5, Cooper 6, Cooper 7, and Cooper Twin (none of which were Cinerama theaters), which were constructed to mimick the round, elevated roofs of the existing Cooper theaters.

Visitors came from all over to see the Cooper Theatre and its wonderous screen. But after several years of delighting audiences and packing full houses, the Cooper Theatre began to draw fewer crowds.

After Commonwealth Theatres, the Cooper Theatre was run by United Artists, who continued to operate the theater until it was sold. Like Cinerama itself, the Cooper Theatre in Denver did not last forever. After years of changing hands, the massive theater was finally sold to Barnes & Noble, who razed it in 1994 to build a new store.

Recent comments (view all 85 comments)

jmg24601
jmg24601 on July 9, 2013 at 3:05 am

To comment further on MichealAD Bad-I saw Hudson Hawk there. Good-I saw Star Wars, Empire, Jedi, Close Encounters, Roger Rabbit, and the Flamingo Kid next door at the Cameo, so I guess that makes up for Hawk

Chazzmania
Chazzmania on July 15, 2013 at 6:22 pm

I worked at The Cooper/Cameo in the early 80’s. It was a magical place for a young guy from Nebraska. I was there for Blade Runner, The World According to Garp, Pink Floyd The Wall, Airplane the Sequel just to name a few. I would love to reconnect with Jim Townley the Cooper’s manager or any staff from that time.

I have a very warm place in my heart for that theater and am saddened every time I drive by the Barnes & Noble that replaced it on Colorado Blvd.

kornpopper76
kornpopper76 on August 23, 2013 at 7:05 am

My first movie at the Cooper Cinerama was in 1965, “Its a Mad Mad World”. I was with my high school senior class on the senior class trip from the San Luis Valley to the big city.

The last movie I saw there was “Gettysburg” on Thanksgiving Day, 1993. Shortly after that, the theatre was closed and then demolished.

darrenparlett
darrenparlett on August 23, 2013 at 7:26 am

These are stories i love reading about…peoples own cinema experiences (instead of petty corrections as I commonly see happen often on this site. Keep those stories coming…i want to know :–)

DShevlin
DShevlin on August 31, 2013 at 7:18 pm

Chazzmania – I worked a the Cooper/Cameo beginning in 1984. If you are Dave L., then I remember you. I have very fond memories of working there. Even though the staff changed frequently, there was always a lot of laughter and fun. My husband and I met there, though I think that was after you left. Anyway, if you are interested, you can contact me on Facebook. – Deb

Lincolnman
Lincolnman on October 5, 2013 at 5:56 am

My first experience at the Denver Cooper was to see “How the West Was Won”, really the last three strip commercial movie shown. At the time I was a 15 year old farm kid from Nebraska. To say I was impressed would be an under statement. I managed to see that movie twice at the Cooper and my memories are rich and wonderful. It is hard to believe that it and the other two Cooper’s were all destroyed and lost forever. The one in Omaha was purchased by the Methodist Hospital and although many organizations attempted to save it, it became a parking lot for the hospital. Sad as they were all magnificent theaters.

Denvercary
Denvercary on March 23, 2014 at 1:31 am

I have three Cinerama projectors and a Cinerama sound reproducer like the ones that were installed at the three Cooper Cinerama Theaters during the three-strip Cinerama days. If anybody would like to see them, please contact me at . I would be happy to show them to you. Or, I’ll be happy to send photographs to you.

stebernfox20
stebernfox20 on January 7, 2015 at 12:33 am

this a good cinemarama or we can say theater i hope i can watch here soon.

MichaelGraham
MichaelGraham on April 6, 2015 at 3:09 am

The owners (Movie Palaces) of a new Theater (Studio City® Mesa + ARQ® (West)) here in Casper, WY that opened on March 27, 2015 included one auditorium named after this theater. IT was built to emulate the Denver Cooper (it even features a glass showcase with memorabilia from the Denver Cooper). It features a large curved screen that is 65ft wide X 30ft tall. It also has large oversized leather seats. Tickets are reserved, rather than on a first-come-first served basis. This auditorium also features sound from Meyer Sound. The Movie Palaces has trademarked the technology in this auditorium as ARQ (Arc).

http://www.kcwy13.com/home/headlines/Behind-the-Scenes-A-Look-at-the-new-Studio-City-Mesa-Theater-295863201.html

Not sure how it compares to the Denver Cooper, as I never watched a movie there.

Brad68
Brad68 on June 28, 2015 at 5:24 am

DShevlin- I worked at the Cooper/Cameo from 1986-89?

That was a fun place to work while in high shool. Mickey was the manager and Japhy was the asst.

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