By John Wenzel, The Denver Post | Denver’s historic Esquire Theatre will reopen on May 21, operator Landmark Theatres announced today, preceded by Landmark’s Greenwood Village Theater on May 14, as well as a quartet of Front Range Regal UA locations.
However, the Esquire comes first in several ways: Neighborhood residents and preservationists feared the worst for the classic movie house, which opened in 1927 as the Hiawatha Theatre, when Landmark stopped exhibiting movies there after a damaging utility outage that one former employee described as a burst water pipe.
Less than a year after their pricey, six-month renovation — which saw them open starting in June 2020 — the pandemic hit. It was a fast trip to the bottom for the Esquire, as Landmark stopped paying rent on the property in April 2020, according to commercial real estate firm Unique Properties, which then tried to sell the building for $3.3 million in August.
Landmark appears to be back in good standing, however, with building owners Downing Street (the family LLC that controls the property) and screenings will resume May 21. (Officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.) Titles have not yet been announced.
“At present, we are working with a very small staff, so thank you for bearing with us,” Landmark officials wrote on the company’s Denver website. “We are here for you and appreciate receiving your requests, press clippings and feedback. When we are able to send individual media alerts for each theatre, we sure will!”
By the end of the month, all of Landmark’s Denver locations, including the Mayan Theatre, will have reopened except for the Chez Artiste.