Aladdin Theatre

2000 E. Colfax Avenue,
Denver, CO 80206

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MSC77 on December 25, 2021 at 3:19 pm

Here’s a new 4-page 50th anniversary FIDDLER ON THE ROOF retrospective featuring a roadshow playdate chronology and historian Q&A. The Aladdin’s 57-week run is mentioned in the piece.

kennyjames on September 10, 2020 at 9:35 am

I’ve put together a booking history for the Aladdin, from 1947 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 ()

MichaelKilgore on November 25, 2019 at 5:16 pm

Boxoffice, June 1982: “The Aladdin Theatre located in East Denver was closed by Mann Theatres. The 1,000 seat facility is the last of the luxurious theatres built in the early Thirties in the downtown Denver area.”

bigjoe59 on August 5, 2019 at 2:14 pm


no intro can be perfect but it doesn’t mention that this theater was one of the leading roadshow houses in the 1952- 1972 period.

EnnisCAdkins on September 4, 2018 at 9:49 am

I recently read that on August 5, 1960, John Wayne’s company Batjac held the first preview of THE ALAMO at the Aladdin in Denver prior to it’s premiere in San Antonio, TX in late October. Can anyone verify this?

Coate on March 24, 2015 at 10:32 am

It was 50 years ago today that “The Sound of Music” premiered at the Aladdin. With a reserved-seat run of 112 weeks, it’s almost certainly the long-run record holder for this venue. (Anyone know of something that ran longer?) It was one of ten runs in the United States and at least 24 globally that ran the movie continuously into a third year.

“The Sound of Music” also was, I believe, the second of two consecutive long-running Julie Andrews movies to play this venue between 1964-67. That 31-month period must’ve been bliss or hell for local moviegoers depending on whether or not they were a fan of Julie!

Also, on a related note, I would like to mention my new 50th anniversary retrospective for “The Sound of Music” can be read here. It includes a film historian Q&A and a list of the film’s roadshow engagements. I hope fans of the movie and/or theater buffs enjoy the article.

Lucretia on April 3, 2013 at 6:39 pm

Wishing there was a way to favorite Rich Vincent’s comments – the insights round out a lot of questions for someone who grew up with Denver’s amazing-but-now-gone theaters but wasn’t old enough to know the backstories.

bbfarmer on February 5, 2013 at 10:08 am

Saw “The Omen” here when it was released.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 23, 2012 at 12:22 am

The LakeRidge Theatre is not yet listed, Tinseltoes. Most of the sources I’ve found say it was in Lakewood, Colorado, though one source says it was in Wheat Ridge. The Boxoffice article says it was on Wadsworth Boulevard, and an item in a 1973 issue of the magazine Science of Mind says that the Denver Church of Religious Science was holding Sunday morning services at the Lakeridge Theatre, on Wadsworth and W. 17th Avenue. That puts it in the Edgewood district of Lakewood, just south of Wheat Ridge.

Rich Vincent
Rich Vincent on May 27, 2012 at 2:55 am

The information from the 1970’s on in the article contains a few inaccurcies and omissions. I want to correct these, especially since there is an important lesson here for anyone concerned about historic preservation.

It is true that the Aladdin was the first theatre in the region to offer sound. A new, much larger screen, was added in front of the stage and the sound system was updated in the mid 1950’s to offer 70mm and 6 track stereo sound and it became one of the premier roadshow houses in the region. It presented “The Sound of Music” in the mid 1960’s for several years because it was so successful. It had many successful runs going into the early 1980’s including showing “Earthquake” in Sensurround and “Star Trek”.

During that time it was leased by National General Corp., which later became Mann Theatres, from the heirs of the owner that built the theatre. When the lease expired Mann theatres chose not to renew it, seeing the trend towards suburban multiplexes.

The theatre was dark for a while until it was leased by a local live theatre impressario named Robert Morise. Morise removed the sound system and screen to reveal the stage for live performances (including revealing the fountains on either side of the stage which were concealed by the screen). This made it costly to reinstall a film system. That proved to be the theatre’s undoing when Morise’s company, the Aladdin Theatre Co. folded several years later.

The theatre sat dark, now owned by a new individual who had purchased from it from the heirs in the intervening years. He was approached by an architect who had a vision of creating an apartment building with small efficiency apartments on the site.

An organization called Friends of the Mayan had successfuly obtained a landmark designation from the Mayan Theatre sometime earlier, not CHUN (Capital Hill United Neighborhoods) as mentioned). I assisted them in that effort with the understanding that they would assist me in saving the Aladdin after that. When we learned of the plan we spoke in front of the Denver City Council in an attempt to have the Aladdin designated a landmark to preserve it. The council was concerned that there was no future for inner city theatres but, as I pointed out to them, the Aladdin has always done well when it had a successful film and someday new theatres would come back into downtowns, but never build a theatre like the Aladdin again. (This proved to be true when AMC Theatres built a multiplex downtown some years later.)

The landmark designation was eminent but there was a 90 day waiting period before it would take effect. During that time the owner, realizing he would lose his ability to redeveloping the land, razed the theatre with no notice to avoid public outcry. We learned about it at the last minute and were able to take some final photos (in near darkness inside) before some the artifacts were removed and the building was demolished.

A tragic and senseless end to what was the most beautiful atmospheric theatre in the Rocky Mountain region. Had the Aladdin survived, I’m confident it would be a unique and successful showplace for Denver today.

Around 2006 a small multiplex was built on east Colfax, not too far from where the Aladdin once stood, which currently shows art films. on February 2, 2012 at 10:29 pm

This one should be tagged as demolished.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 14, 2011 at 5:14 pm

The title of this photo of the Aladdin Theatre from the Denver Public Library attributes the design of the theater to the architectural firm Ireland & Parr. The records of the Northwestern Terra Cotta Company, suppliers of polychrome terra cotta for the project, also list Ireland & Parr as the architects.

Click on the name Aladdin in the title line on the photo page to see three additional photos of the theater from the Denver Library collection (for some reason, if you click on the name Aladdin Theatre in the subject line, it fetches only two of the photos.) I think these are probably the same photos Philbert Gray linked to earlier, but his links are dead.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on June 15, 2008 at 8:48 am

A 1980 view of the Aladdin Theater in Denver.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on June 13, 2008 at 3:07 pm

Hello compass drive ins. Take a photo of the mural and the domes, email the photos to I will and post them on my flickr site, link them to this posting on Cinema Treasures and credit you with the photos.


philbertgray on November 6, 2007 at 9:02 am

Interior and exterior of Aladdin Theatre
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compassdriveins on September 15, 2007 at 10:26 pm

I have one of the original hand painted wall murals from the Aladdin as well as the cast iron “onion domes” which were on the corners of the marquee of the Aladdin. I would be happy to post a photo of them but I am unsure how to do this.

MontyM on June 26, 2007 at 2:58 pm

I remember seeing Earthquake in senserround their in late 1974. It truly was an event.

William on March 8, 2007 at 9:26 am

The Aladdin Theatre seated 1400 people and was operated by Fox Intermountain Theatres, Inc.

muckey898 on March 7, 2007 at 5:29 pm

Here is a photo of the Aladdin Theater auditorium.
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