Cooper Theatre

960 S. Colorado Boulevard,
Denver, CO 80246

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Showing 1 - 25 of 105 comments

MSC77 on October 20, 2022 at 11:29 am

A chronology of Denver’s 70mm presentation history has recently been published. The Cooper, of course, is mentioned numerous times.

kennyjames on September 10, 2020 at 9:38 am

I’ve put together a booking history for the Cooper, from 1961 up to 1978 so far, in case anyone might like to know when a particular movie played there. I’ll be happy to share my research with you. Take care – Ken Mitchell ()

kucharsk on July 7, 2020 at 4:15 pm

The saddest thing I remember is trying desperately to be allowed to photograph the interior when they announced it was closing.

UA management denied all access saying it would violate company rules on photography and somehow stealing aesthetic design concepts (!).

I can’t imagine B&N wanting the location because it was near the Tattered Cover, as the Tattered was actually miles away in the Cherry Creek neighborhood.

MSC77 on July 31, 2019 at 8:53 am


Porgy and Bess
Lawrence of Arabia
The Longest Day
The Sound of Music
The Sand Pebbles
Song of Norway
Fiddler on the Roof
Man of La Mancha
Last Tango in Paris

Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines
Thoroughly Modern Millie
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Sweet Charity

The Happiest Millionaire
Half a Sixpence
Tora! Tora! Tora!
Nicholas and Alexandra

The Agony and the Ecstasy
The Bible
Doctor Dolittle
Funny Girl
Hello, Dolly!

This is Cinerama
Seven Wonders of the World
Cinerama Holiday
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm
How the West Was Won
It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
Circus World
The Greatest Story Ever Told
The Best of Cinerama
Grand Prix
Far from the Madding Crowd
Custer of the West
2001: A Space Odyssey
Ice Station Zebra
Krakatoa, East of Java
Paint Your Wagon

The Taming of the Shrew

The Ten Commandments
El Cid
King of Kings
West Side Story
Mutiny on the Bounty
The Fall of the Roman Empire
Mediterranean Holiday
My Fair Lady
Doctor Zhivago
Gone with the Wind (’67 re-issue)
Finian’s Rainbow
The Shoes of the Fisherman
Goodbye, Mr. Chips
Ryan’s Daughter
The Great Waltz

The Blue Max
Is Paris Burning?
The Lion in Winter
Young Winston

Cheyenne Autumn
The Hallelujah Trail
Holiday in Spain
Mediterranean Holiday
Battle of the Bulge
Russian Adventure

Around the World in 80 Days
South Pacific

kennyjames on July 30, 2019 at 11:45 am

The note in your introduction about the Cooper Cameo theatre being added in February 1977 is about a year off. The Cameo opened on Christmas Day, 1975. I am currently putting together a series of books on the history of the Denver area’s drive-ins – and indoors as well. If anyone has a question on the subject, please feel free to contact me at and i’ll be happy to share my research with you. See you at the movies ! – Ken Mitchell

bigjoe59 on July 5, 2019 at 3:15 pm

Hello from NYC-

during the prime roadshow period of (1952-1972) which Denver theaters did the studios regularly use for their roadshow engagements? Manhattan had 7.

MSC77 on May 6, 2019 at 8:47 pm

Opened March 9, 1961

Chazzmania on August 22, 2018 at 8:20 am

Rich Vincent. Janet Townley and I are in communications with each other. She is asking about you. Is there are a way for us to connect outside this message board so I can get you her information?

Chazzmania on July 5, 2018 at 9:08 am

Rich. One more question… is Jim buried in Boulder, CO? We found a listing for James D. Townley, 08 Oct 1950-07 Dec 1993, interred at Green Mountain Cemetery in Boulder. Chris and I are touched at the news of Jim’s passing and would like to pay our respects to him if this is his final resting place. Thanks!

Chazzmania on July 5, 2018 at 6:00 am

I understand your thoughts about Jim being the finest person you’ve ever known, I feel the same way. Chris and I have remained friends all these years. Jim comes up in conversation often as we both were touched by him in our lives, by his passion & humor. We had suspected that Jim was no longer with us but had no way of verifying that. Thank you for helping us bring closure to our search. Hope you are happy and well!

Rich Vincent
Rich Vincent on July 5, 2018 at 3:24 am

Chazzmania – Yes, Jim was my best friend and the finest person I have ever known and dearly loved the Cooper. We literally grew up in the industry together. You and I must have met because I managed the Century 21 when he was at the Cooper. Sadly, he passed away about 20 years ago. I recall Chris as well. Where is she these days?

Chazzmania on July 3, 2018 at 4:54 am

Rich Vincent. I worked for Jim Townley at the Cooper in 82. I believe the two of you were friends. Do you know where Jim is today? He would contact me when he’d come to Denver through the late 80’s then I lost touch. I was his assistant manager along with Chris Delanoy who worked for you later at Imax.

Rich Vincent
Rich Vincent on July 3, 2018 at 12:30 am
 Wanted to add some comments to the description at the top.  It is correct that the Cooper was one of the trio of theatres built by the Cooper Foundation.
                 However, the article fails to mention that these 3 theatres were designed and built to be "Super Cinerama" theatres.  Up until that time, Cinerama was a film format that was retrofitted into existing theatres, which inevitably required some compromises.  The Cooper was designed to present Cinerama in an ideal situation, complete with a stepped stadium seating area much like an IMAX theatre to maximize the impact of the "you are there" experience.  Attention was paid to every detail, including repeating the curved theme of the screen and round auditorium with a round smoking area at each side of the auditorium, a bubble design in the carpet, a circular concession stand and even a round ticket box.
                 I was the city manager for United Artists Theatres when the Cooper closed (a heart breaking day...)and recall standing in the center of the auditorium just after the screen, curtain and seats were removed and was struck by the fact that even bare the room felt like a perfect place to see a film.
                Ironically, the theatre was never an unsuccessful theatre although UA had problems booking it in its last years.  Its demise came because UA had a real estate department that functioned separately from theatre operartions, and they realized that the land was more valuable than the profit the theatre was generating.  Hence the property was placed on the market, to be purchased by Barnes and Noble, who wanted a location near the legendary Tattered Cover bookstore in Denver (one of the largest in the country) for a flagship store.
DanaQualley on April 30, 2018 at 10:34 pm

The Cooper in Minnesota had a Cameo also.

MSC77 on April 10, 2018 at 9:55 am

Fifty years ago today, Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” premiered here.

To celebrate the occasion, I’m sharing the link to a new retrospective article on “2001.” This and many other cinemas get a mention in the piece.

Coate on October 8, 2017 at 12:23 pm

Anyone recall which big summer 1978 movie played here at the Cooper? “Grease”? “Jaws 2”? “Heaven Can Wait”? Other?

Chazzmania on July 6, 2017 at 7:48 pm

Tron did not play at the Cooper. I am fairly certain I saw Tron at The Century or The Continental.

Coate on July 6, 2017 at 10:27 am

Does anyone remember if Disney’s “Tron” played here in summer 1982 and/or during its autumn ‘82 re-release?

tkpms85 on August 21, 2016 at 11:59 pm

I was 13 or 14 when 2001 A Space Odyssey was playing at the Cooper. I kept begging my parents to let me see it. They never let me go. One day I told my Mom I wouldn’t be home for about six hours then my friend and I walked to the theater, it took us about two hours and when we arrived they had changed the movie I was so mad. We stayed and watched Mckenna’s Gold which was a great movie to see in cinerama. It was years later that I finally saw 2001 A Space Odyssey. I still wish I could have seen it at the Cooper Cinerama.

DenverNative on December 23, 2015 at 8:55 am

The Cooper Theatre in Denver was (is?) my all-time favorite movie theater. One of the earliest movies I saw there was “Paint Your Wagon” (which must have been in 1969). I saw Close Encounters with my family and I remember my dad commenting that the Mother Ship would make a nice chandelier. I saw Alien, Grease, The Wall and even “The World According to Garp.” The last movie I saw there was 2001: A Space Odyssey during a special showing in the 90s.

When I was 13 I saw Star Wars with my younger brother the second weekend after it opened. We sat in the balcony, behind a woman and her son. After the 20th Century Fox fanfare faded out up came the words, “A long time ago…”, the woman whispered to her son, “a long time ago?”

I still remember exactly how excited I was the first time I saw the words “Star Wars” appear on the screen. We sat through the movie twice that day. The next weekend they were clearing the theater between showings.

It is a pitiful shame that we lost the Cooper, and for that matter, Century 21 and the original Continental. (The latter is still with us, albeit grossly modified from its original beauty.) I must make a trip to Casper to see how their tribute to the Cooper turned out. Perhaps someday a new Cooper theater will be built in Denver.

I jokingly tell the young folks working at Barnes and Noble that I watched Star Wars “right here, in this exact spot.”

Brad68 on June 27, 2015 at 9:24 pm

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.

MichaelGraham on April 5, 2015 at 7:09 pm

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).

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

stebernfox20 on January 6, 2015 at 4:33 pm

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

Denvercary on March 22, 2014 at 6:31 pm

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.

Lincolnman on October 4, 2013 at 9:56 pm

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.