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Mayan Theatre

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

110 N Broadway, Denver, CO 80203, USA

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps

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expert
Colm
Local tour guide
"Visit the Mayan Theatre on a weekday evening to avoid the weekend crowds; often you'll have a better selection of seats and a more intimate viewing experience. Also, make sure to explore the upstairs lounge before or after your show — it's a cozy spot that not all guests notice, and it offers a unique perspective of the theatre's ornate interior."

What is Mayan Theatre?

The Mayan Theatre is a treasured gem nestled in the bustling neighborhood of South Broadway in Denver, Colorado. This unique venue operates as a movie theater, but it's not just any movie theater—it's one of the few remaining relics of the art deco Mayan Revival architecture in the United States. It boasts a distinctive decor that transports you to another era, offering a captivating cinematic experience that is enhanced by the theater's rich visual ambiance.

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Inside, movie enthusiasts can indulge in a diverse range of films, from indie flicks and foreign films to limited-distribution movies and cult classics, that are not typically shown in mainstream theaters. The Mayan Theatre's intimate screening rooms coupled with a cozy lobby bar make for a perfect blend of entertainment and relaxation. But beyond its role as a cultural hotspot for film lovers, the theater is a piece of Denver's history, standing as a steadfast pillar of the city's architectural and artistic legacy.

History of Mayan Theatre

Opening its doors in 1930, the Mayan Theatre has a storied past that has been carefully woven into the fabric of Denver's cultural developments. Designed by architect Montana Fallis, the theater initially kicked off as a grand movie palace, exhibiting the glitz and glamour of the roaring twenties and early thirties. The interior showcased elaborate Mayan motifs, vibrant stuccowork, and iconic pre-Columbian artistry that echoed a forgotten era.

Throughout the years, the theater faced several threats of demolition, especially during the 50s and 60s when the trend of multiplex cinemas rose to dominance. The local community's outcry and support for this architectural marvel saved it from the wrecking ball numerous times. It was officially saved and restored in the late 1980s, cementing its status as a historic landmark and regaining its position as a centerpiece of Denver's artistic scene.

Today, the Mayan Theatre operates under the Landmark Theatres chain and continues to serve as a symbol of Denver's resilience and commitment to preservation of its storied past. This journey from a luxurious movie palace to a beloved independent film center is a testimony to the city's evolving cultural narrative and the community's unwavering dedication to its heritage.

Why is Mayan Theatre Important?

Mayan Theatre's importance is multifaceted—it's an architectural masterpiece, a cultural institution, and a gathering place for Denver's diverse communities. As one of the few theaters of its kind left in the country, it is a rare living exhibit of Mayan Revival architecture, a style popular in the early 20th century that is sparsely represented in today’s architectural landscape.

This rare venue is also a bastion of independent film culture, offering a haven for artists, directors, and moviegoers who seek stories that diverge from the mainstream narrative. It serves as a critical platform where thought-provoking, daring and innovative cinematography finds a voice, filling a gap that big-box theaters often overlook.

Beyond the reels and art deco aesthetics, the Mayan Theatre plays a pivotal role in creating a sense of community amongst its attendees. It's a preferred meeting spot for film buffs, inspiring dialogues and building connections over shared cinematic experiences. The Mayan's continued survival and vitality speak volumes about Denver's priorities, showcasing the city's appreciation for artistic diversity and historical conservation.

Things to Do & See at Mayan Theatre

While the primary allure of the Mayan Theatre is its selection of offbeat and indie films, the venue itself offers a plethora of experiences. The intricate architectural details are a sight to behold; visitors often arrive early or linger after screenings to admire the stucco reliefs, wall murals, and statues that hark back to an ancient civilization.

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Guests can also enjoy specialty cocktails, fine wines, and craft beers at the theatre's lobby bar, which adds to the luxurious experience of a night out at the movies. In the spirit of community and cultural exchange, the Mayan often hosts special events such as film festivals, limited screenings with directors' Q&A sessions, and themed movie nights that engage its audience beyond the typical movie-going experience.

For those who cherish souvenirs or collectibles, there's always something unique to find in the lobby, whether it's vintage film posters or limited-edition memorabilia related to the current cinematic offerings. And, if you're inclined to dig a little deeper into Denver's culture, combining your visit with a walking tour of South Broadway before or after your film can round out a perfect day of exploring the city's vibrant arts scene.

Frequently asked questions

What is the Mayan Theatre?

The Mayan Theatre is a historic movie theater located in Denver, known for its elaborate Mayan Revival architectural style and for showcasing independent and foreign-language films.

Where is the Mayan Theatre located in Denver?

The Mayan Theatre is located in the heart of Denver on Broadway and has been a staple of the city's historic landmarks since its opening.

What kind of films can I expect to see at the Mayan Theatre?

Visitors to the Mayan Theatre can expect to see a carefully curated selection of independent, documentary, foreign, and arthouse films that are not typically shown in mainstream cinemas.

Is the Mayan Theatre architecturally significant?

Yes, the Mayan Theatre is architecturally significant as one of the country's three remaining theatres designed in the Mayan Revival style, featuring pre-Columbian Mesoamerican motifs and decor.

Are there any special events or screenings at the Mayan Theatre?

The Mayan Theatre often hosts special events, including film festivals, director Q&A sessions, themed movie nights, and other cultural events that enhance the movie-going experience.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

110 N Broadway, Denver, CO 80203, USA

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps