July 22, 2024

Denver, a city known for its stunning mountain views, vibrant arts scene, and a rich history, also boasts a thriving movie culture. From historic theaters that transport you back in time to modern multiplexes offering the latest blockbusters, Denver’s cinematic landscape is as diverse and exciting as the city itself. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, here’s a guide to experiencing movies in Denver.

Historic Theaters: A Glimpse into the Past

Denver is home to several historic theaters that have been meticulously preserved and continue to offer unique movie-going experiences.

1. The Paramount Theatre

Located in downtown Denver, the Paramount Theatre is a stunning example of Art Deco architecture. Opened in 1930, this theater originally hosted silent films and vaudeville shows. Today, it serves as a multi-use venue, offering everything from classic movie screenings to live performances. Its beautifully restored interiors, complete with intricate designs and a vintage Wurlitzer organ, make watching a film here a journey back in time.

2. The Mayan Theatre

The Mayan Theatre, built in 1930, is another historic gem. Located on Broadway, this theater is one of the few remaining examples of the exotic revival style popular in the 1920s. The Mayan’s atmospheric design, featuring elaborate Mayan motifs and murals, creates an immersive experience. Operated by Landmark Theatres, it showcases independent, foreign, and documentary films, making it a favorite among cinephiles.

Modern Multiplexes: Cutting-Edge Cinematic Experiences

For those who prefer the latest in cinema technology, Denver’s modern multiplexes offer state-of-the-art facilities and a wide range of film choices.

1. AMC 16th Street Mall

Situated in the heart of downtown, the AMC 16th Street Mall provides easy access to the latest Hollywood releases. With IMAX and 3D screens, plush reclining seats, and a variety of food and drink options, this theater ensures a top-notch movie-going experience. Its central location also makes it perfect for combining a movie outing with shopping or dining in the bustling 16th Street Mall area.

2. Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

Known for its unique approach to the movie-going experience, the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Sloan’s Lake offers in-theater dining with an extensive menu of food and drinks. This cinema chain is celebrated for its strict no-talking and no-texting policy, ensuring an immersive viewing experience. In addition to mainstream films, Alamo Drafthouse hosts themed screenings, special events, and interactive movie parties.

Indie and Art House Cinemas: For the Discerning Viewer

For those who appreciate independent films, documentaries, and art house cinema, Denver has several venues that cater to more eclectic tastes.

1. Sie FilmCenter

Operated by the Denver Film Society, the Sie FilmCenter on Colfax Avenue is the city’s premier destination for independent cinema. It hosts a variety of film festivals, including the renowned Denver Film Festival. The Sie FilmCenter offers a curated selection of films from around the world, along with special events, filmmaker Q&As, and educational programs.

2. Landmark’s Esquire Theatre

The Esquire Theatre, part of the Landmark Theatres chain, is another favorite among Denver’s indie film enthusiasts. Located on East 6th Avenue, this theater specializes in independent, foreign, and classic films. Its intimate, two-screen setup and retro vibe provide a cozy and personal movie-going experience.

Outdoor and Special Screenings: Embracing Denver’s Spirit

Denver’s beautiful weather and scenic locations also lend themselves to unique outdoor and special movie screenings.

1. Film on the Rocks

A beloved summer tradition, Film on the Rocks takes place at the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheatre. This series features popular movies screened under the stars, with the stunning natural backdrop of the Red Rocks formations. Pre-show entertainment, including live music and local comedians, enhances the festive atmosphere.

2. Movies at Infinity Park

Infinity Park in Glendale hosts free outdoor movie nights during the summer months. Families and friends gather on the lawn with blankets and picnic baskets to enjoy a variety of films, from family-friendly animations to classic favorites. This community event captures the essence of Denver’s friendly and laid-back vibe.


From the opulent halls of historic theaters to the cutting-edge technology of modern multiplexes, Denver offers a diverse array of cinematic experiences. Whether you’re a history buff, an indie film lover, or someone who enjoys the latest blockbusters, Denver’s movie scene has something for everyone. So, next time you’re in the Mile High City, take some time to explore its rich and varied film culture—you won’t be disappointed.

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