Colorado Theatre History

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DINNER THEATRES

There are two dinner theatres still producing shows today - they are Boulders Dinner Theatre (also known as BDT Stage) and Candlelight Dinner Playhouse located in Johnstown.

During the height of their popularity, dinner theatres and cabaret venues in the 1970s and '80s were all the rage in the Denver area and in several other cities in Colorado. Venues included: The Crystal Palace in Aspen which ran for 5 decades and closed in 2008, Taylor's Supper Club in Denver which was a hot spot on West Colfax Avenue, known for great food and live entertainment -- click the link to see some priceless 1960's footage of "The Taylors" singing group starring actor Buddy Greene (in the middle between Kenny Smith and Frank Burg) who starred in many shows at the Bonfils Theatre on East Colfax in Denver in the 1970s. Established in the 1950s by Sam Toole, Taylor's Supper Club hosted many different entertainers from around the country, including famous stage and screen actress/comedienne Kaye Ballard.

There was Gabriel's Dinner Theater/Cabaret in Denver (located atop the Holiday Inn in a revolving restaurant) and Ascot Dinner Theatre in Littleton which opened its doors in 1982. Opening its doors in 1970, Denver celebrity Kit Andrée's club called Kit's, was located in Larimer Square in downtown Denver, and the popular Mario's Restaurant on Broadway in downtown Denver (known for hosting opera singers) promoted a slogan of "they sing while you dine." The first Mario’s was in Aspen; then it was at 655 Broadway in Denver and finally at 18th and Tremont.

Other dinner theatres included: The Chuckwagon Dinner Playhouse in the 1970s in Greeley, Colorado Music Hall Dinner Theatre in the 1970s (later changed to Eugene's Dinner Theatre) on Smith Road in Denver, and Scarlett's Dinner Theater in Aurora (a former Old Spaghetti Factory Restaurant location) and of course, the perennial favorite Country Dinner Playhouse (see a separate category for Country Dinner on this website) which opened in south Denver in 1970 and after 220 productions over 37 years, it closed its doors in 2007. Heritage Square Amusement Park was home to melodrama dinner theatre at the Heritage Square Opera House later known as Heritage Square Music Hall (see a separate category for Heritage Square on this website).