July 18, 2012

Video: Get a glimpse of Tattered Cover’s onetime theatre location


Tattered Cover's "Theater of Ideas" in the former Bonfils Theatre

Denver independent bookstore Tattered Cover released a video this week that offers a tour of their location on Colfax Avenue, the onetime Bonfils Theatre, which still has elements of its former life as a movie house.

Opened in 1953, the Bonfils Memorial Theatre was renamed after Henry Lowenstein in 1985 but shut its doors in 1986. It remained vacant and unused for nearly twenty years, until Tattered Cover turned the space into a bookstore, which they call the “Theater of Ideas,” in 2006. The shop maintains a lot of the Bonfils’ original components, including the stage, orchestra pit, and original seats—and the main lobby’s retro lighting fixtures and its original etched windows. The downstairs area once used as a cabaret now hosts Tattered Cover’s author readings and signings.

Tattered Cover released this video on July 16, and you can see reminders of the store’s history all over, little touches and flourishes in the architecture and décor that evoke the spirit of Hollywood’s golden age, when it was first built as a theatre.


Nick Davies was a publicist at Melville House.