Bonfils Theatre Photos - 1953-1986
The Bonfils Theatre - note the side of the building that says: The Denver Civic Theatre. The entrance faced Elizabeth Street. 1475 Elizabeth Street, Denver, Colorado. The right side of the building faced East Colfax Avenue.
The Bonfils Memorial Theatre during the daytime in the 1950s. The word Memorial was removed years later.
In the early 1950s, an announcement was made regarding the "new" (the old one was located at the University of Denver) Denver Civic Theatre (Bonfils Memorial Theatre) being built.
Benefactor - the theatre was financed by and named after Miss Helen Bonfils. She dedicated the theatre to her parents.
Letter written by Helen Bonfils for the opening of her theatre in 1953 where she says the theatre was dedicated to her parents.
Inside the commemorative program for the opening of The Bonfils Memorial Theatre in 1953 (also referred to as the Denver Civic Theatre which was originally located at the University of Denver).
Henry Lowenstein - Producer/Designer of the Bonfils Theatre is considered to be the father of Denver theatre.
The Bonfils Theatre box office was located in the foyer of the theatre's main lobby entrance. This side of the theatre faced Elizabeth Street. The photo was taken during the 1979-1980 season. The walls were made of travertine.
Here is the entrance into the main lobby through the glass doors from the foyer/box office area. This photo was taken during the 1979-1980 season (show boards for the current season's shows were posted up above the doors).
An early 1950s black and white photo of the Bonfils Theatre main lobby (looking from the west side of the lobby to the east) - note the ship design in the middle of the carpet.
Inside the front lobby of the Bonfils Theatre. Entrances to the Mainstage theatre were located to the left (the stairs leading up on the left led to a box seat). Also located in the middle of the lobby on the left hand side were the stairs leading downstairs - you can see the gold curtains there. St...
Portrait of Miss Helen Bonfils that hung in the main lobby of the theatre in the middle of the gold curtains.
Another view of the main lobby of the theatre. Beautiful etched floor to ceiling windows faced to the north (Colfax Avenue). Please note that to the right there are promotional show boards displayed on easels. This photo was taken in the 1980s.
Seating area on the west side of the main theatre lobby. Some awards and tributes were located there in addition to the framed artwork of comedy and tragedy masks. One of the awards on the left wall (in the middle) was in honor of Larry Tajiri - Denver Post drama critic/entertainment columnist begin...
An early black and white photo taken in the 1950s of the inside of the Bonfils Theatre Mainstage - seating and the stage.
View of the auditorium Mainstage theatre seating. The house could accommodate 550 patrons. The windows on the back wall were where the technicians' booth was located.
Entrance to the downstairs blackbox theatre called Bo-Ban's Cabaret (named after well renowned theatre director, Bob Bannister). There were large black and white photo collages of past shows that adorned the walls of this lobby/bar area.
Wide shot facing to the east of the downstairs lobby area. The Bo-Ban's Cabaret marquee is lit up on the top left. Note the large silver ashtray cans around the seating -- yes, people smoked cigarettes indoors in those days.
Facing to the south, the bar area in the downstairs lounge area. Women's restroom located to the right beyond the pillar.
Inside Bo-Ban's Cabaret (Bonfils Theatre's blackbox theatre) located downstairs. The audience sat on three sides of the stage.
Another view of the stage and seating areas inside of Bo-Ban's Cabaret located downstairs at the Bonfils Theatre.
View of the old Bonfils Theatre (now called The Tattered Cover Bookstore which opened in 2006) and its neighbor the Sie Film Center.
The Bonfils Theatre was revived in 2006 and became the home of The Tattered Cover Bookstore which was owned by Henry Lowenstein's dear friend Joyce Meskis. Pictured here is Henry Lowenstein with artist Barry Rose. They are standing in the outside esplanade with Rose's "Helen, Harvey and Henry" sculp...
Here is an announcement of The Tattered Bookstore's grand opening activities in July 2006 which included a presentation by Henry Lowenstein, former producer of the Bonfils Theatre. Henry gave owner Joyce Meskis his blessings for the location of her bookstore. "I'm happy to see it used," said Lowenst...
View from the old proscenium on the Mainstage to the old seating area of the theatre which now houses shelves of books.
The Tattered Cover Bookstore honored the heritage of the Bonfils Theatre by including theatrical elements throughout, such as a reading area with some of the seats from the house of the Bonfils' Mainstage.
There were two box seats in the back of the house of the old theatre. The architect kept those in tact in the bookstore. They are now reading areas. Pictured here is Helen Bonfils portrait hanging over the seats of one of the box seats.
Looking into the lobby at the gorgeous windows in the main lobby. Note the comedy/tragedy masks etched into one of the top windows on the right.
In this album you will find a selection of photos from the Bonfils Theatre from 1953 when it opened, until 1986 when it closed. Located at Colfax Avenue and Elizabeth Street near downtown Denver, The Bonfils Theatre was the brainchild of philanthropist and Denver Post Newspaper owner, Helen Bonfils. The Bonfils Theatre grew out of The Denver Civic Theatre, based at the University of Denver which had presented shows since 1929. Prior to the theatre's closing, in 1985, the Bonfils Theatre was renamed the Lowenstein Theatre after longtime designer/producer, Henry Lowenstein. At its peak, Bonfils Theatre was "the" theatre in the 1950's and '60s and '70s -- each Mainstage opening night was one of the big social occasions of the year!