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Name Golden Gem Theater
Details Golden, Colorado’s historic movie house was first built in 1911-12 as a dual-use facility featuring the Gem Theatre on the first floor and Golden Athletic Club on the second. The theater opened on June 1, 1912 and had 300 seats. A Photoplayer theater organ was installed here in 1926. The Gem, later renamed the Golden Gem, soon took over the whole building and joined the Atlas Theatre Company, a Denver-based chain, in 1935.

Sister theaters in Atlas included the Oriental, Gothic, Federal, Holiday and Ritz. In 1948-49 the theater was doubled in size and completely remodeled into a beautiful Art Moderne palace designed by Charles Dunwoody Strong and executed by Art Moore, featuring towering twin parapets of tile made by the Denver Terra Cotta Company, a "Golden" script marquee advertising its new identity as the Golden Theatre, and an interior of feather motif decor with a purple and aqua color scheme. Its new capacity was 900 seats, including the balcony.

After a brief conversion to showing pornographic films it closed in 1970, was reopened as a family film theater in 1972, and then closed permanently in 1976. Afterward the interior was greatly remodeled to accommodate retail business, eventually completely taken over by Steve’s Corner western wear store.

Around 2001 it was completely gutted but exterior largely restored (except for the long-gone marquee) and is now home to several restaurants and offices.

Associated Records

Image of 2015.016.001 - Narrative

2015.016.001 - Narrative

"A Vacation in Colorado: July 4, 1941 to August 1, 1941" as written by Harold A. Miner with William Miner. A 47 page narrative about their vacation to Colorado and Golden in 1941.

Image of 2011.003.014 - Postcard, Picture

2011.003.014 - Postcard, Picture

Black and white picture postcard of Washington Avenue viewed toward the Northwest with several cars parked diagonally along the street. The Holland House is located on the left side with "Hotel, Cafe" sign hanging on the front of the building. The Conoco Gas Station, Foss Drug Store, and Alpine Drug Store are seen on the left side of Washington Avenue. The Golden Gem theatre and the Linder Block are located on the right side of Washington Avenue.

Image of 2000.012.082 - Print, Photographic

2000.012.082 - Print, Photographic

Black and white photograph taken for Golden Days on August 14-15, 1941. A convertible car is parked in front of the Gem Theater on Washington Avenue in Golden, CO. Three young women dressed in cowboy attire and hats are seated around the car and with a crowd of people gathered in the background. The marquee is advertising the movie, "Devil Dogs of the Air" and "Scotland Yard". The woman on the hood of the car is Dorothy (Thomas) Herron. At time of photo she had just finished her freshman year at Golden High School and was 14 years old. Standing on the runner of the car is her sister Mary Kay (Thomas) Fleming. S

Image of 2006.009.017 - Print, Photographic

2006.009.017 - Print, Photographic

Black and white circuit photograph of the intersection of 13th Street and Washington Avenue in Golden, CO. The view is looking north with various business, cars, and people throughout. From left to right are the Tramway Depot, Foss Drug, the Opera House Block The Linder Block, Castle Rock, and the Gem Building. Original photograph is mounted to foamcore.

Image of 2011.099.551 - Print, Photographic

2011.099.551 - Print, Photographic

Black and white photograph of the men in the hose cart team pulling the fire wagon on Inspection Day in 1924. A man is running along the side of the team. Several cars are parked along the side of the street. Linder Hardware is located on the Northeast corner of Washington Avenue with the Gem Theater on the Southeast corner. Jefferson County Courthouse is located in the background of the photograph. Written on the bottom of the photograph: May. 16. 1924.

Image of 2009.005.024 - Print, Photographic

2009.005.024 - Print, Photographic

Black and white photograph of Washington Avenue facing 13th St and the welcome arch. Visible in the image are Slick's Bar, Dean Studio Portraits, Gem Theatre, painted map mural, Golden Nugget, VFW, Kellogg Hardware, Colorado Central Power, First National Bank, Foss Drug, and Conoco. Cars are parked in angled parking spots on Washington Ave. Taken in NOvermber 1955.