Although that project has now hooked up with United Artists, earlier drawings show the AMC logo: the theater chain has been shopping around for some time, flirting with Trillium and assorted developers before cutting the deal with AHEC. And it's a good one. Says Kaplan: "Had Metro known in 1991, when it supported the purchase and conversion of the Tivoli into the Tivoli Student Union, that to cover a small part of the Tivoli's continuing operating deficit the campus would be asked to eliminate 20 percent of its athletic fields so that a mega movie mall could be constructed, we would have rejected the proposal outright." For that matter, three decades ago we might have rejected the whole notion of creating Auraria--and dislocating one of Denver's oldest neighborhoods, along with its 5,000 residents--had we known it would end like this. Die Hard 9, now showing at a taxpayer-subsidized campus near you.

Next week Denver City Council is scheduled to consider changes in the Platte River Valley zoning code, which would allow flashing signs in a neighborhood that has fought hard against them. The Rockies already want to put an electronic message board on the back of the Rockpile. But for the bottom feeders who prey on the "innocence" of this city, Denver has already put out the welcome mat.

Step right up, suckers.

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