muddy's coffeehouse,elitch theme park, golda meir

 

Denver Colorado

I tried to divide Denver by particular areas or neighborhoods. These images are from all around the city and documents various buildings and my observations of them. There are many different buildings; I will not list all of them and will keep the descriptions as brief as possible.

Most importantly, back in the 1980's, an energy began to emerge in Denver to rebuild itself. I honestly do not know how it got started, I do know Denver had slowly ground to a crawl.  With some history lost, and its infrastructure obsolete and stagnant, it had no where to go, but up. Denver picked itself up and moved forward with optimism !

Not all my photographs show a happy ending of a structure.  They do represent a dream by those who, none the less, contributed to Denver. Some photographs show buildings in positive transition, moving forward from one era into another.

So, without further ado, let's get the in car, see some places, climb some fence's, and enter some buildings.

The Mayan Theatre was, and is, a movie theatre with a long history pf entertainment for the entire city.  My Mother, pregnant with me and accompanied by my Father, went to the Mayan the evening of February 20,1955.  Experiencing labor pains, they left for Presbyterian hospital (now demolished) and the following morning I was born.  Many years later, I captured the theatre on film before it was sub divided into smaller theatres in the balcony.

The Golda Meir home, where she lived for some of her formative years, was moved several times in "storage" and is now at its current and final home on 9th Street on the Auraria campus.

I cannot remember the name of the building located on the 16th Street Mall and now the Pavilion's.  It caught fire and was going to be demolished. Inside, from a top floor window looking west, I photographed the future Sage Building on the mall.

The Changing Scene Theatre kind of says it all.  I photographed if from a location that is now on the other side of a 15 foot fence.

Then there was the implosion of Montgomery Wards department store  south Broadway. We used to call it "Monkey Wards" - I do not know why -but  I wanted the large sculpture in the photo and the people's view of the implosion.

I had my first ever Greek salad at Muddy's Coffeehouse and was hooked. Muddy's was comprised of the coffeehouse, a small theatre named "Slightly Off Center," a high quality, previously-owned clothing store, named "Rethreads," and a used book store named "Left Bank Books." The mix of business and people was Bohemian.
 

There was a wonderful vibe inside the Elitch Theatre - to walk into the theatre, be on that stage, see huge photographs of past performers on the walls, to look out at the seats, then turn and look around - I could feel the whole scene unfold.  It was truly an experience.

Stevie Wonder was always one of my favorite musicians back in the day; an amazing musical icon of the 60's, 70's and 80's.  Although I was bummed that I did not have a ticket, I went to photograph the marquee. The lights were bright and excitement outside was "electric".  I focused on taking some images that I liked a lot and then I heard "do you want to buy a ticket?"  Well brother I was in, and taken to "Higher Ground."

A group of artists were doing a photo shoot for a card invitation for their exhibition. Although another photographer had the deal, I was asked to come along too.  The scene was photographing the artists below a partially demolished viaduct. After the photographer got his shot and left, we all went up onto the top of the viaduct and I got my shot!

- Kim Allen

 

 

 

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ęCopyright 1983 Kim Allen Denver Photo Archives