From opera to movies to disco to rock – the historic Boulder Theater has a diverse and colorful past that is being continued with a thriving present and is primed for an exciting future. Opened in 1906 as Curran Opera House by wealthy billboard sign owner James Curran, the venue featured opera, musical productions and silent movies. In 1927 the first talkie,” The Jazz Singer”, was presented by Warner Brothers. During the Depression, the theater kept going with double features and “Country Store Nights”, when sacks of groceries were given away to those in the lucky numbered seats. The Fox Theater Company purchased the building in 1935 and created the Boulder Theater. The building as it stands today was designed by Robert Boller of Kansas City and had it’s Opening Night on January 9, 1936. The construction included an expansion of the Opera House and was finished in the art deco style of the day. The façade is designated as a Colorado Historic Landmark.
In 1981, the theater was once again renovated, this time into a state-of-the-art concert hall by Mountain Productions. It featured such diverse acts as Bonnie Raitt, the Plasmatics, Jeff Lorber and Timothy Leary. Mountain Productions operated the theater for 15 months, but the rigid movie house style seating restricted a diversity of activity and the theater was forced to close 1983. In 1988 the theater saw it’s second transformation into a multi-use venue under the ownership of Livingston and Edwards with Dick MacLeod as manager who continued to book concerts, E-towns, and private events. The building was sold to Dick MacLeod in 1992 but had a short run until the theater closed in July of 1993. Doug Greene of New Hope Communications, purchased the theater in 1994 and reopened its doors in 1995 honoring it’s movie house history with “Some Like It Hot”. For over 13 years now the theater has been hosting close to 250 events each year with the most respected national, international and local artists performing today. It also hosts the Boulder International Film Festival, Warren Miller films, Boulder Adventure Film Festival and a variety of host of community events such as E-town’s live radio show tapings.
In June 2009 the Boulder Theater and Fox Theatre, Boulder two top entertainment venues, merged to form Z2 Entertainment, which now operates both venues. Many people in our community have over the decades contributed to the caring transformation of the Boulder Theater from movie house to concert hall. We would like to acknowledge that the Boulder Theater would not be what it is today without the part each person played in keeping the spirit of the Boulder Theater alive for the past 75 years and for generations to come. Thank you.