The Boulder Theater, operated by Z2 Entertainment, LLC. is an anchor to the downtown, providing a venue for events ranging from concerts to business meetings, to film festivals and private parties. The building is like a cat with many lives over its 116-year history.
It opened in 1906 as the Curran Opera House but expanded its programming to include ballet, church festivals, orchestral concerts, early silent films and even children’s shows. It was a sure sign that Boulder was becoming civilized. Political campaigns used the theater too. Franklin Roosevelt, a vice-presidential candidate in 1920 spoke here. In 1936 the Curran was reborn with a new structure; as a movie palace renamed the Boulder Theater. The architecture was cutting edge for its day, inspired by the new courthouse across the street. The entry marquee, tile façade and elaborate murals inside are among the best examples of the Art Deco style in all of Colorado.
By the 1980’s the theater couldn’t compete with the movie multi-plex at the Crossroads Mall so it was converted to a night club and changed ownership several times. One of the owners was Historic Boulder. Yes that’s right! There was a threat to tear down the building along with others. Historic Boulder stepped in to broker a deal to safeguard the building and get it landmarked.
The Boulder Theater has brought national attention here, featuring terrific musical artists such as country star Johnny Cash, rock stars Gregg Allman, Lindsey Buckingham, and Stephen Stills, jazz greats Pat Metheny, Chick Corea, and Esperanza Spalding, Bluegrass legends Ralph Stanley and Hot Rize, Blues artists BB King, Bonnie Raitt and Buddy Guy, and folk heroes Richard Thompson and David Bromberg.
The Theater has survived the COVID shutdown and is once more gracing downtown with amazing acts. Historic Boulder encourages you and your friends to see a show and support this cultural treasure.