Orpheum Theater

1521 Welton Street,
Denver, CO 80202

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rivest266 on April 5, 2024 at 12:21 pm

Reopened as the RKO International 70 on December 27th, 1963. Grand opening ad posted.

rivest266 on April 4, 2024 at 1:24 pm

Closed in 1953 and reopened on August 31st, 1955. Grand opening ad posted.

rivest266 on April 3, 2024 at 4:20 am

1903 and 1932 grand opening ads posted.

kennyjames on January 25, 2020 at 1:35 pm

you can reach me at . – Ken Mitchell

kennyjames on January 25, 2020 at 1:32 pm

The theatre reopened as the International 70 on Christmas Day, 1963. I’m currently putting together a series of books on the Denver area drive-ins and indoor theatres, including some booking histories. If anyone has any questions on the subject I’ll be happy to share my research with you. See you at the movies ! – Ken Mitchell

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on January 10, 2015 at 4:54 am

Anthony L. Vazquez-Hernandez: I have added a page for the original 1903 Orpheum Theatre.

Anthony L. Vazquez-Hernandez
Anthony L. Vazquez-Hernandez on January 9, 2015 at 8:05 pm

The original Orpheum, that was on this very same site (1537 Welton Street in those days) opened in October of 1903 at the cost of $200,000. It was completely demolished in 1930 and was subsequently replaced with the last Orpheum to occupy the site which opened on February 11th, 1932.

Obviously, this existing description needs to be changed and a few of the photos are of the original Orpheum while a few are from the new.

How should this be handled-a case where a theater was closed, demolished and completely rebuilt as a theater with the same name. Should a new listing for the old Orpheum be created? What do you all think???

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on August 20, 2010 at 6:38 pm

1964 photos show what the real theatre business was all about.sadly.that is gone today.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 21, 2010 at 4:52 am

Here is a Boxoffice magazine spread on the theatre, with eight photos, from the issue of February 4, 1956:
View link

Coate on July 30, 2009 at 8:22 am

While known as the International 70, this theater showed (single-strip) CINERAMA during 1965-66.

Denver’s complete CINERAMA exhibition history has been included in the “Remembering Cinerama” series and is posted here.

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on March 2, 2008 at 9:03 am

Some Mighty WurliTzer Theater Pipe Organs must have been “Born under a wondering star”! As best as can be figured out from incomplete 94 year old records, Opus 34 first went out as Opus 16 to an unknown place in Cincinnati, Ohio, was reposessed and then went to this theater. It became Opus 34 and was a 2 Manual/7 Rank and it somehow became Opus 57. At least that’s as best as I can figure it out! At any rate it is not known what happened to the organ.
Opus 1764 was also a 2/7 and it is not known what happened to it either.
If you know anything about what happened to either organ, please email us!

“Gee Dad, they were both WurliTzers!”

Ziggy on May 7, 2007 at 10:14 am

The fourth photo that ken posted on March 5, 2006, shows the original marquee just before opening day. It also shows someone being hung if effigy! Any ideas on who it might be? “Old Man Depression” maybe? Guesses anyone?

William on March 11, 2007 at 12:12 pm

The RKO Orpheum Theatre went through a remodel in 1955, the architect was John J. McNamara. The seating capacity was still 2600 seats till it was remodeled for the International 70.

William on March 9, 2007 at 6:08 am

After the remodeling into the RKO International 70 Theatre the seating capacity was reduced to 1200 people. The theatre closed 09/10/1967.

William on March 8, 2007 at 9:50 am

Yes, I believe so about the remodel and renaming. During the mid 40’s the RKO Orpheum Theatre seated 2600 people.

Ron3853 on February 15, 2007 at 10:50 am

Wasn’t the Orpheum renamed the RKO International 70 around 1964? Or was that another theater in Denver?

Patsy on November 1, 2006 at 4:52 pm

ken mc: Thanks for all of the great b/w photos, but especially of the photo showing the interior as so many times photos are shown of the exterior, only.

paulomalley on November 1, 2005 at 9:05 am

The Orpheum Theater (1513 Welton Street) opened on October 5, 1903 as Denver’s premier vaudeville house. It was remodeled several times and became a movie house in the 1920, and part of the RKO chain about 1930. There are a number of good photos of the Orpheum available in the Western History Collection of the Denver Public Libray. They can be accessed online through the DPL’s website. There was an earlier Orpheum Theater (1746 Curtis Street) in Denver in the 1890s, but it there was no connection with the Orpheum theaters run by Martin Beck. Prior to the opening of the Orpheum Theater on Welton Street, Orpheum vaudeville was presented at the Empire Theater at 1717 Curtis Street in 1902.

bruceanthony on September 24, 2005 at 8:15 am

I have a photo of the RKO Orpheum showing 1955’s “Its Always Fair Weather”. It looks like it was a large theatre along with the Paramount and the Denver. It also has a nice marquee. brucec

atmos on February 10, 2005 at 9:01 pm

According to the website,www.coloradohistory.org,the theatre was built in 1930 and demolished in 1967.There is also an exterior photo,unless it is another Orpheum theatre.