The Ogden Theatre
The Ogden Theatre is a music venue and former movie theater in Denver, Colorado. It is the longest running theatre in the State. Located on the lively Colfax Avenue in the neighborhood of Capitol Hill. It has hosted everyone from Harry Houdini to Prince. The twin towers and terracotta roof make it stand out as an architectural staple.
Backstory and Context
Motion pictures came out in the early 1900’s. So, movie houses popped up all over the U.S.
This is one of the oldest operational theaters in Denver. It has featured a century plus of shows, from vaudeville performances to concerts.
J.A. Goodridge and John Thompson founded The Ogden in 1917. Together they owned a company called The International Amusement Company. Their company founded two other theaters in the Denver Area. In its early days the Ogden hosted organ recitals, dances, lectures and vaudeville acts. Even the legendary Harry Houdini paid a visit. In 1937 it was converted to a movie theatre.
It was designed by the Harry W. J. Edbrooke. The building itself has French Beaux-Arts style. It is a two story building displaying twin octagonal towers with false windows, and a geometrical frieze. Complete with a Mediterranean-style terra-cotta roof.
In 1993 it was restored and renovated into a concert venue. The interior seating was replaced with nightclub table and seats, 3 bars and a dance floor. Shortly after it reopened, it was placed on the National Historical Register. In 2013 the venue hosted the iconic Prince, to play two shows in one night. Right before he played his song “Purple Rain” he addressed the audience,
“'Colorado, listen to me. Strange times in America now, huh? We gotta try to get along. You've heard before, but now more than ever, that's what we need. We also need your voice. You can sing if you want to.”
- Owens, Dylan. The Know, Denver Post. Accessed June 10th 2020. https://theknow.denverpost.com/2017/09/21/denvers-ogden-theatre-turns-100-years-2017/157511/.
- The Ogden Theatre. Accessed June 14th 2020. https://www.ogdentheatre.com/about.
- Noel, Thomas J. Wharton, Nicholas. Denver Landmarks and Historic Districts. University Press of Colorado, 2016.
- The Ogden Theatre, History of Colorado. Accessed June 14th 2020. https://www.historycolorado.org/location/ogden-theatre.