A dome-shaped building in Colorado Springs stands out among the rest of the city's infrastructure, not just for its unique architecture but also because of its legendary history in the community.

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Google Maps

The distinct building at 10 Parkside Drive in Colorado Springs was originally built in 1969 as a state-of-the-art United Artists Cinerama 150 theatre. Woody Allen was the first performer featured on the theatre's big screen, with his “Take the Money and Run” comedy show. An advertisement for the grand opening highlighted the theatre's luxury decor and super stereo sound.

Via CinemaTreasures.org (CC BY 3.0 DEED)
Via CinemaTreasures.org (CC BY 3.0 DEED)

The theatre was designed by prolific architect, Vincent G. Rainey, who built over a dozen of these types of establishments at the time. However, many of the theatres that Rainey designed have since been demolished, or have ceased operations.

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Since so many of Rainey's theatres are no longer in existence, it makes the entertainment venue in Colorado even more significant. For those interested in his architecture, another remaining example of Rainey's work is the Cinerama Theatre on the famous Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.

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Google Maps

The Colorado Springs establishment operated as the UA Cinerama Theatre for about 15 years, but the building has had several incarnations since originally opening in 1969. It's been a Dollar Movie Theatre, a Country Western venue called Colorado Opery, A Rock and Roll Heavy Metal Venue called The Colorado Music Hall, and then it even operated as a church for some time. Although the dome looks like it would have been a planetarium at one point, that's one use it's never had throughout the last 50+ years.

In 2008, the Hooton family purchased the Parkside Drive structure and completed 10 months of extensive renovations. Every inch of the facility's interior was polished, painted, cleaned, and improved, including some much-needed infrastructure upgrades.  The original 1969 theatre seats on level 3 were replaced with new ones, but despite the renovations, much of the theatre's original character remains intact to this day.

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The business re-opened in February 2009, as Stargazers Theatre and Event Center. It now includes a stage, theater screen, and concessions area.

Since starting fresh 14 years ago, the Stargazer Theatre has hosted thousands of live music concerts, film screenings, and a wide variety of other stage performances. With over 150 events a year, the Hootons make an effort to book talented local, regional, and national acts that will get the Springs community excited.

Many Coloradans have fond memories of events at the Stargazer. From weddings to concerts, comedy acts, and beyond, this treasured site is renowned in the Colorado Springs community, and will hopefully remain that way for years to come.

Photos of Stargazers Theater from CinemaTreasures.org (CC BY 3.0 DEED – no changes made)

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