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Built as a movie theater in 1927, the Oriental Theater showed films daily for decades, but it hit a rough patch in the ’50s, during the flight to the suburbs. In an effort to boost attendance in the ’60s, the theater was updated with plush seating, new carpeting, fresh paint and a bigger projection screen. That screen soon went dark, however, and over the next few decades, the Oriental slid into disrepair. Although a few attempts were made to revitalize the space in the ’90s, none of the owners had the vision or staying power to capitalize on the theater's substantial assets. But in 2005, new owners took over the venue and gave it an overdue facelift, later installing professional sound and lighting systems. These days, the Oriental brings in a diverse stream of local and national entertainment.
The Oriental Theater is much more than a music venue.It is an anchor of the bustling Tennyson Art District and a hub of Denver's burgeoning cultural scene.