I really hoped to share with you the historic details of how this awesome lettering and sign were created and who was responsible, but after a solid 15 minutes of internet research I could not.
Instead I’ll update you on the life of this historic Denver landmark. I think that would be way more interesting to most folks anyway.
Opened in the 1920s, the Gothic is said to have shown the first ever talking picture, or “talkie” in Denver. Imagine that marvel for a moment… Needless to say, this would have been a popular attraction for cinema lovers across Denver.
In the 1940s the theatre was sold. The exterior was updated by the new owners in a style which we now call Mid-century modern. Not sure if they called it that then, but today’s vintage shopping yuppies would have been drooling. Thankfully, they left the interior alone. More on that in a few…
The theatre continued to show movies throughout the post-war years (including a stint where it became an adult movie house) But by the 1980s it had fallen into a sad state of disrepair.
In 1998 a couple of local folks bought the building from foreclosure and took on the restoration project as a service to the community, virtually saving it from being bulldozed out of public memory. The beautiful wrap-around balcony, acoustically enhancing bezeled walls and highly ornamented banisters and deco-aztec porticos were restored to to their former glory. On the exterior, broken windows were replaced, cracked stucco as repaired and repainted and the marvelous marquis was (presumably) re-fashioned after the original. Again the 15 minutes of internet research I fed to prepare this little tidbit revealed no obvious information about who was responsible for the handiwork, but nonetheless is the reason your eyes find themselves here now.
Initially there was talk of creating a Christian centric venue, which would have been somewhat popular in the early 90s. Its unclear to me why that didn’t come to fruition, but ultimately the venue would be open to all sorts of touring acts. Now operated by AEG the Gothic is considered one of the most intimate venues in Denver and hosts acts from across the world.
So if you find yourself wayyyyy down on South Broadway, anxiously hustling to the box office (because I promise you underestimated how far down Broadway it actually is and you’re late) make sure to take a moment. Admire the craftsmanship and consider the history of this Denver original.