Dial straits: It's tough keeping up with all the changes in Denver's mercurial entertainment scene, but the Rocky Mountain News could at least give it a try. Its "Radio Log," published weekly in the Spotlight section, is woefully behind the times--in fact, this log is just so much dead wood. For example, it still lists KHOW2-AM/1190 as talk radio (the station was silenced months ago), KKYD-AM/1340 as "kid radio" (that frequency grew up and changed formats) and KJMN-FM/92.1 as "hip-hop"--even though it hasn't hopped for over a year. But maybe the News doesn't have the time, or the interest, to ditch the dead wood. After all, it has a fab new Friday Spotlight feature to focus on: Alex Marvez's "On the Mat" column on professional wrestling, considered so flaccid by the sports editors that they booted it over to the arts section.
Venue news: After languishing for years on Welton Street, the resurrected Casino Cabaret deserves a chance to blow its horn. Late last month the jazz joint celebrated its first anniversary with a sellout crowd for Stanley Clarke. And if the area around the Casino isn't quite as jumping as it was in Five Points' jazz heyday fifty years ago, at least it's a start.
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Now comes news that the old Gothic Theatre, at 3263 South Broadway, was purchased last week at auction by the City of Englewood--for $1 over the foreclosure amount of $153,881.48. Like many of the area's other old movie theaters, over the past two decades the Gothic was the focus of several revival attempts. But unlike the efforts that saved such treasures as the Paramount, the Ogden, the Mayan and even the Bluebird (a porn palace in the late Seventies), nothing ever took at the Gothic. (The peanut-butter-filled egg rolls at the China House next door, however, were quite an unusual taste treat.)
Englewood's move isn't all good news: There's nothing to guarantee that the city won't tear down the building that it's dubbed an "eyesore." But at least the dilapidated theater is certain to stay standing through May 18--which is the deadline by which the previous owners, Acts on Broadway, must redeem the property or give it up altogether. Will it be curtains for the Gothic?
It's a frame: After almost twenty years of doing business in the 1900 block of Market Street, Platte River Art Services is leaving the area for a still up-and-coming arts district: Santa Fe Drive. The new neighborhood is "much like the LoDo of old," according to Platte River's Bob Pietlock. As for the new LoDo, he says, "The advent of major-league baseball places Coors Field just over 100 yards from our front door. The resulting growth, parking and traffic problems in LoDo have become a daily, untenable nuisance. Our business profile doesn't fit down here anymore."
And then there's that other factor: The building Platte River bought ten years ago is suddenly very valuable as a "restaurant and entertainment venue." And although Pietlock says he hasn't yet found the right buyer, he decided to get out while the getting was good. The new Platte River Services opens this month at 350 Santa Fe Drive--just blocks from the Rivertree Theatre, Museo de Las Americas and, of course, El Taco de Mexico. In addition to the framing, shipping and other art services that Platte River's known for, Pietlock plans to host "no-cost" salons on assorted aesthetic subjects in the new building's back room.