In 1928 the Aladdin Theater opened at 2000 East Colfax Ave in Denver. Large plush seats, luxurious carpet, Arabian painted walls and an auditorium ceiling, functioning nursery, large fountain, exotic smoking lounge and grand waiting room made this theater a sight to be seen in its day. The auditorium had a large orchestra pit and a 14 rank electric theater organ making this theater adaptable for different forms of entertainment.
“Opening night featured a short organ concert…”
“Opening night featured a short organ concert followed by a soprano solo of ‘Allah’s Garden of Roses‘, which was written especially for the premier. That was followed by ‘A Dream of India‘, and several numbers played by Dahl’s Arabian Nights Orchestra. A stage show included a bevy of girls in blond wigs and black shorts and tops dancing the Black Bottom. The first movie shown at the Aladdin was “Across the Pacific”, starring Monte Blue and Myrna Loy.“1
Unfortunately in 1984 the theater met its fate after a few attempts to reignite the reestablishment with renovations and attempts at live theater. The building was leveled after many attempts by locals to preserve the site as a historic landmark. Currently the lot hosts a Walgreens adjacent to a small strip mall.
Instances of discovering historical sites and vintage architecture through photos allows us to remember and appreciate the past. It gives us an opportunity to see what history lies within the areas we live. Unfortunately in the past artistic embrace and repurposing architecture was tabled for innovative (1980’s innovation) design and new construction. As Denver and Colorado continue to grow we are seeing a drastic amount of new building and expansion. At the same time, this not only highlights, but motivates people to continue conservation of the foundations that our city was built on.
One Cinema Treasures user commented that this was “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.”
It is our hope that we can enable persons both local and far an opportunity to see unique areas of Colorado, Denver, and Colfax whether that be through historical photos, written features, current photos, or just conversation.
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