Back in 1982, the Mile High City-set series Dynasty was the most popular show on TV, but only establishing shots were regularly filmed here. So what was Denver really like back then? We stumbled upon a regular time-machine of a book that shows us: Denver Now, described as "Denver's Business Showcase."
Unfortunately, many of the places highlighted below are long gone -- but the photos left behind are amazing in their beautiful cheesiness. Set the WAYBAC Machine for three decades ago and check out the results below.
Hills Gallery Formerly at 3113 East 3rd Avenue, Hills Gallery boasted "a varied inventory of traditional and contemporary images from masters such as Ansel Adams, Eliot Porter, the Westons and selected regional photographers." Like, for example, the person who shot this image of the sexiest man who ever lived, in the most erotic pose imaginable. Seyfer Engineering "Pride and distinctiveness are not the only benefits to owning a classic car," begins the pitch for Seyfer Engineering, which could be found at 7000 Raleigh Street back in the day. Presumably another one of the perks of piloting a Rolls was attracting the sort of models seen here. They're presumably waiting with exquisite boredom for animal-rights activists to splash red paint all over them. Heritage Square Opera House These days, the performance space at Heritage Square is known as a music hall, not an opera house. But that doesn't mean La Traviata was the sort of thing regularly found on the bill during the Reagan era. The Denver Now item reveals that "the heart and ham of it is their outrageously 'revised' melodramas -- classic melodramas of the likes of 'Billy the Kid' or 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' turned upside down by the hilarious pen of G. William Oakley." Do you think he's the bug-eyed bartender, or the guy in front of him who looks like a cross between Kurt Vonnegut and Gallagher? Continue to see more Denver Now business photo showcases from 1982. 7News Like Heritage Square, 7News has survived the vicissitudes of time, not to mention what looks like a discount computer desk that four badly dressed people (including future KCNC weather forecaster Larry Green, resplendent in a sweater vest at the far right) were made to share. Wall Beds Unlimited Apparently, there was a limit to this wall bed business, at 1961 Wazee, since it no longer exists. Love the way the woman in the picture is color-coordinated with the incredibly blah decor. A perfect match! Tamarac Square These days, Tamarac Square is all about "value" shopping. But back in 1982, says this blurb, it offered "elegance, intimacy, and thoughtful consideration of the shopper," transforming the center into "an oasis of restaurants, one-of-a-kind shops, and theaters" -- not to mention severe looking women holding doves. Continue to see more Denver Now business photo showcases from 1982. Jonas Bros., Inc. No, not those Jonas Brothers! We're talking about the furriers who did business at 1037 Broadway, in a gorgeous, 1923-vintage building, complete with its trademark sign, less than a block north of Westword's offices. Unfortunately, the animals rendered into the luxurious outfits seen hanging here are long gone.... Pollyanna Lingerie & Accessories Does the outfit this woman is wearing -- from a business that was located in Tamarac Square -- qualify as lingerie? If so, about thirty different examples of 21st Century lingerie could be made from the fabric, with plenty to spare.... Colorado Rockies Yes, you recent arrivals: The Colorado Rockies was the name of our hockey team more than a decade before Denver got a Major League Baseball franchise. And some of the team members did indeed sport rockin' porn-star-quality mustaches. Slick! Continue to see more Denver Now business photo showcases from 1982. Celebrity Sports Center No jokes about Celebrity Sports Center, which once dominated 888 South Colorado Boulevard. We still miss it! The Sporting Club Now known as the Cherry Creek Athletic Club, this workout-centric space at 500 South Cherry Street (there was also a branch in the Tech Center that was swallowed by T-REX in 2011) has moved forward with the times. Meaning no one looking like the four people in this shot has been seen there in about a quarter-century. Aurora Athletic Club The old club, at 2953 South Peoria, no doubt hosted plenty of scenes like this one, in which a horndog is putting the make on a woman who clearly wants nothing to do with him. Continue to see more Denver Now business photo showcases from 1982. Aero Executive "Whether you charter or own your own aircraft, Aero Executive Charter Services is your complete corporate flight department," boasts the text accompanying this shot. And that's especially true if you're trying to look foxy while slowing being choked to death by a bow large enough to swaddle a mummy. Swensen's This venerable ice cream company remains in existence, but there are no more branches in Colorado. (During the early '80s, there were three -- one near Havana at Yale, another across the street from the now defunct Villa Italia mall in Lakewood, and another at Southglenn Mall.) And that's probably fine by the three women seen here, who seem like the most miserable employees of all time -- maybe because of those outfits they were made to wear. By the way, here's the Denver Now cover... ...which gives several Tech Center buildings a look that's simultaneously tacky and foreboding. Those were the days.
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More from our Lists & Weirdness archive: "Photos: Top celebrity weddings in Colorado -- and how many couples are still together."