Cooper 1-2-3 Cinemas

17 S. Nevada Avenue,
Colorado Springs, CO 80903

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Commonwealth Amusement Corp., Cooper Foundation

Architects: Mel C. Glatz

Firms: Knight & Rorman, Mel C. Glatz & Associates

Previous Names: Cooper 70

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Opening of Cooper 1-2-3 Theatres, December 24, 1970

The Cooper Foundation opened the Cooper 70 theatre on November 22, 1963 with James Stewart in “Take Her, She’s Mine” with James Stewart appearing ‘in person’. It was built on the site of the old Tompkin Theatre. The single screen Cooper 70 had 832 seats. Two additional screens were built and it re-opened as a triple screen theatre on December 25, 1970, with seating capacities of 406 & 418 in the new screens.

The Cooper 1-2-3 Cinemas was closed December 17, 1987.

Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 13 comments)

shanebo on February 10, 2012 at 8:57 pm

Ah, the Cooper 1,2,3. My grandmother took me to see movies there in the early 80’s. It did close its doors in the late 1980’s, about 87' or 88' I believe. The building sat vacant in its original state, being used only for Postal Vehicle parking, until the late 90’s when it was completly remodeled into a small shopping center with a fast food restaraunt. In 2008 it was completly demolished minus a few walls and the foundation and is now a high end buisness plaza.

kornpopper76 on August 22, 2013 at 10:40 pm

See Boxoffice magazine for August 30, 1971, for more details in the Modern Theatre Section beginning on page 12. This is for the Cooper 1,2,3 Theatre complex.

Hhc632 on December 14, 2013 at 8:27 am

Does anyone in the Colorado Springs area remember a single screen theater that showed off beat movies at midnight on weekends? I think it was on upper Platte near the Citadel. I was stationed at Carson 73-75 and went there quite often. Is the building still there? I do know Cooper 1-2-3 was our theater of choice being near the bus station made in convenient but I also seem to remember a multi screen theater at the Citadel mall. Am I right on that? I enjoyed my years in the Springs and look forward to coming back to visit in the near future.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 14, 2013 at 3:10 pm

Hhc632: I’m not from Colorado Springs, but could the theater you recall be the Cinema 70, located on Chelton Road just off of East Platte?

As for the multiplex at the mall, the only one we have listed is Picture Show at Citadel Crossing, which is actually across the street and apparently didn’t open until the early 1990s, so it probably isn’t the one you remember. I’ve seen a couple of references to a theater having operated in the mall in the 1970s, but haven’t found any details about it, other than that it has been closed and probably demolished for the expansion of a department store. It isn’t listed at Cinema Treasures yet.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 14, 2013 at 3:29 pm

Here is a clickable link to the 1971 Boxoffice article kornpopper76 cited about the conversion of the Cooper 70 into a triplex. The seating capacity of the Cooper 1-2-3 was 1,656, with 832 seats in the original theater and 406 and 418 in Cinemas 2 and 3, respectively. Theater designer Mel C. Glatz collaborated with the architectural firm of Knight & Rorman on the expansion project.

kornpopper76 on December 22, 2013 at 6:56 pm

Hhc632: The multiplex at the mall belonged to General Cinema Corporation (GCC). They sold all their Colorado theatres several years ago. I worked at several in the Denver area from 1976-1978.

Timgovikes on June 14, 2014 at 8:41 pm

I was hired in December 1974 (by “kornpopper76”!!) as an usher at the Cooper 1-2-3. Over the next ten years, I managed several Colorado Springs theatres, including the Cooper from January 1983 to July 1984. I have numerous photos of the Cooper that I’ll upload soon. I do have some additional info about the theatre:

  • Grand opening of the Cooper, scheduled on Friday, November 22, 1963, was to be a benefit for the March of Dimes. “Take Her, She’s Mine” was to be shown that evening with its star, James Stewart, in attendance. As mentioned previously, the benefit was cancelled due to President Kennedy’s assassination.

  • Grand opening of the new Cooper 1-2-3 was Christmas Day, 1970. Cooper 1 played “Tora! Tora! Tora!”, Cooper 2 played “Catch-22” and Cooper 3 played “I Love My…Wife”.

  • Cooper Foundation leased its theatres, including the Cooper and Ute in Colorado Springs, to Highland Theatres in January 1975. The company operating the theatres became known as Cooper-Highland.

  • Cooper Foundation sold its theatres, including the Cooper and Ute in Colorado Springs, to Commonwealth Amusement Corp. in October 1979.

  • The Cooper’s final day of operation was December 17, 1987.

  • The Cooper building was used briefly as a church. In October 1997, developers announced that the Cooper building would be remodeled and renamed “One City Centre”. It would house offices, retailers and a small restaurant.

  • “One City Centre” was short-lived. On the site today is a 2-story office building.

DENNISMAHANEY1 on December 8, 2015 at 7:28 pm

I was a D.M. for General Cinema, when visiting my theaters in this city a number of times took in a show here, it was a wonderful theater to see a film in

rivest266 on April 1, 2021 at 2:49 pm

Opened on November 22nd, 1963. Grand opening ad posted.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 11, 2022 at 1:17 pm

I wonder if the grand opening of this house actually took place on schedule? It seems unlikely to me. The ad would have appeared in the morning papers, but by evening things would have changed all over America. November 22, 1963 was the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, and many events scheduled for that day and a few subsequent days were cancelled or postponed. If the Cooper 70 did go through with the plans, I can’t imagine the event was very well attended.

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