Denver’s Film Extravaganza: Exploring Movie Theaters and Film Festivals

Denver, a city known for its breathtaking mountain views and vibrant cultural scene, also boasts a thriving film community that caters to movie enthusiasts of all tastes. From historic movie theaters to internationally acclaimed film festivals, Denver’s film scene offers a diverse array of cinematic experiences. Join us as we embark on a journey through Denver’s movie theaters and film festivals, celebrating the magic of the silver screen in the Mile High City.

**1. Landmark’s Mayan Theatre

  • Location: 110 Broadway, Denver
  • Atmosphere: Historic Charm
  • Special Features: Art Deco Architecture

Overview: Nestled in the Baker neighborhood, Landmark’s Mayan Theatre is a Denver landmark known for its historic charm and distinctive Art Deco architecture. Built in 1930, this theater screens a mix of independent, foreign, and mainstream films. The Mayan provides a unique and intimate setting for film enthusiasts to enjoy a cinematic journey surrounded by rich history.


  • Art House Films: Experience a curated selection of independent and foreign films.
  • Architectural Gem: Admire the intricate Art Deco details of the theater’s interior.
  • Cultural Events: The Mayan hosts various cultural events and film festivals throughout the year.

**2. Sie FilmCenter

  • Location: 2510 E Colfax Ave, Denver
  • Atmosphere: Indie Film Hub
  • Special Features: Multiple Screening Rooms

Overview: Sie FilmCenter, operated by the Denver Film Society, is a hub for independent cinema in Denver. This venue boasts multiple screening rooms, allowing it to showcase a diverse range of independent, international, and documentary films. The FilmCenter actively contributes to Denver’s film culture with events like Q&A sessions, filmmaker discussions, and themed film series.


  • Independent Cinema: Sie FilmCenter is dedicated to showcasing independent and thought-provoking films.
  • Film Society Membership: Consider becoming a member for exclusive screenings and discounts.
  • Educational Programs: The venue offers educational programs and workshops for aspiring filmmakers.

**3. Red Rocks Amphitheatre Film Series

  • Location: 18300 W Alameda Pkwy, Morrison (Near Denver)
  • Atmosphere: Outdoor Cinema
  • Special Features: Iconic Venue

Overview: While not a traditional movie theater, Red Rocks Amphitheatre’s Film Series offers a unique outdoor cinema experience. Set against the stunning backdrop of the red rocks, this series features classic films, cult favorites, and family-friendly movies. The iconic venue provides a memorable setting for film lovers to enjoy their favorite flicks under the starlit Colorado sky.


  • Al Fresco Cinema: Watch movies in the open air, surrounded by the natural beauty of Red Rocks.
  • Concert-Like Experience: The amphitheater’s acoustics enhance the cinematic experience.
  • Interactive Atmosphere: Join in sing-alongs and interactive screenings for a lively movie night.

**4. Denver Film Festival

  • Location: Various Venues in Denver
  • Frequency: Annual (October-November)
  • Special Features: International Showcase

Overview: The Denver Film Festival, held annually, is one of the city’s premier film events. This festival showcases a diverse selection of films from around the world, ranging from independent gems to international blockbusters. With screenings, panel discussions, and red carpet events, the Denver Film Festival offers an immersive and culturally enriching experience for cinephiles.


  • International Films: Explore a rich tapestry of films from different cultures and perspectives.
  • Celebrity Appearances: The festival attracts filmmakers, actors, and industry professionals.
  • Awards and Recognition: Films featured in the festival often go on to receive critical acclaim and awards.

**5. Five Points Film Festival

  • Location: Five Points Neighborhood, Denver
  • Frequency: Annual (Spring)
  • Special Features: Local Filmmaker Spotlight

Overview: Celebrating local talent, the Five Points Film Festival is an annual event that highlights the work of Colorado filmmakers. This festival provides a platform for emerging talents to showcase their creations and connect with the local film community. With a focus on diversity and inclusion, the Five Points Film Festival contributes to Denver’s growing reputation as a hub for independent cinema.


  • Local Filmmakers: Discover the talents of Denver’s emerging filmmakers and storytellers.
  • Community Engagement: The festival fosters community engagement and support for local cinema.
  • Varied Genres: Explore a mix of short films, documentaries, and narrative features.

**6. CU Denver Film Series

  • Location: University of Colorado Denver
  • Frequency: Throughout the Academic Year
  • Special Features: Student Showcases

Overview: The CU Denver Film Series, hosted by the University of Colorado Denver, provides a platform for student filmmakers to present their work to a wider audience. This series often includes screenings, discussions, and showcases of films created by students pursuing degrees in film and media arts. It offers the public a glimpse into the emerging talent nurtured by Denver’s academic institutions.


  • Student Showcases: Witness the creativity and innovation of young filmmakers.
  • Engage with Future Filmmakers: Attend discussions and engage with students passionate about the craft.
  • Film Industry Insights: The series occasionally features talks and panels with industry professionals.

Denver’s Film Odyssey Continues: A Deeper Dive into Cinematic Delights

**7. Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

  • Location: 4255 W Colfax Ave, Denver
  • Atmosphere: Movie-Goer’s Haven
  • Special Features: In-Theater Dining

Overview: For a unique movie-watching experience, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema stands out as a haven for cinephiles. This theater not only offers a diverse range of films but also provides in-theater dining, allowing patrons to enjoy a full meal while watching their favorite flicks. The Alamo Drafthouse experience emphasizes a respectful and immersive environment for true movie enthusiasts.


  • Dine-In Cinema: Enjoy a meal and drinks served directly to your seat during the movie.
  • Special Events: Alamo Drafthouse hosts special events, themed screenings, and interactive movie nights.
  • Strict No-Talking Policy: The theater enforces a strict no-talking and no-texting policy, ensuring an uninterrupted movie experience.

**8. Denver Silent Film Festival

  • Location: Various Venues in Denver
  • Frequency: Annual (April)
  • Special Features: Silent Film Showcase

Overview: The Denver Silent Film Festival is a celebration of a bygone era, showcasing silent films accompanied by live music. Held annually, this festival transports audiences to the early days of cinema, featuring classics and rare gems from the silent film era. The event pays homage to the art of storytelling without words and brings a unique cinematic experience to Denver.

Highlights: - Live Musical Accompaniment: Experience silent films accompanied by live performances from talented musicians. - Educational Programs: The festival often includes educational sessions on silent film history and restoration. - Nostalgic Atmosphere: Immerse yourself in the nostalgic charm of silent cinema with like-minded enthusiasts.

**9. Sci-Fi Film Center

  • Location: Denver
  • Atmosphere: Sci-Fi Enthusiast’s Dream
  • Special Features: Sci-Fi Film Screenings

Overview: For those who revel in the wonders of the sci-fi genre, Denver’s Sci-Fi Film Center is a haven of intergalactic adventures. This venue caters specifically to science fiction enthusiasts, showcasing classic and contemporary sci-fi films. Dive into the realms of futuristic landscapes, extraterrestrial encounters, and mind-bending narratives at this niche film center.


  • Sci-Fi Cult Classics: Explore iconic sci-fi films that have left a lasting impact on the genre.
  • Themed Events: The center hosts themed events, discussions, and sci-fi film festivals.
  • Community of Enthusiasts: Connect with fellow sci-fi lovers and share your passion for the genre.

## **10. Denver Horror Collective

  • Location: Denver
  • Frequency: Various Horror Events Throughout the Year
  • Special Features: Horror Film Showcases

Overview: For fans of the macabre and spine-chilling tales, the Denver Horror Collective is a gathering of horror enthusiasts and creators. This collective organizes events, film showcases, and festivals that celebrate the horror genre in all its forms. From psychological thrillers to supernatural horrors, the Denver Horror Collective brings the thrill of fear to the forefront of Denver’s film scene.


  • Local Horror Creations: Discover horror films created by local filmmakers and storytellers.
  • Interactive Events: The collective often hosts immersive and interactive horror-themed events.
  • Year-Round Horror: Experience the frights beyond Halloween with horror events throughout the year.

**11. Denver Jewish Film Festival

  • Location: Various Venues in Denver
  • Frequency: Annual (February-March)
  • Special Features: Jewish Cinema Showcase

Overview: The Denver Jewish Film Festival is a cultural celebration that focuses on films exploring Jewish heritage, identity, and history. Held annually, this festival showcases a diverse array of Jewish cinema, including feature films, documentaries, and shorts. The event provides a platform for storytelling that reflects the richness and diversity of the Jewish experience.


  • Cultural Exploration: Engage with films that delve into Jewish history, traditions, and contemporary life.
  • Guest Filmmakers: The festival often features discussions with filmmakers, adding depth to the cinematic experience.
  • Inclusivity: The festival welcomes audiences from all backgrounds to enjoy the diversity of Jewish cinema.

**12. Denver Underground Film Festival

  • Location: Various Venues in Denver
  • Frequency: Annual (Late May)
  • Special Features: Avant-Garde and Experimental Films

Overview: For those with a taste for the avant-garde and experimental, the Denver Underground Film Festival is a platform that celebrates boundary-pushing cinema. This festival screens films that challenge conventions, explore unique narratives, and showcase unconventional storytelling methods. It’s a haven for film enthusiasts seeking experiences beyond the mainstream.

Highlights: - Experimental Cinema: Explore films that defy traditional storytelling norms and experiment with the medium. - Filmmaker Discussions: Engage with filmmakers during post-screening discussions and gain insights into their creative processes. - Cinematic Diversity: The festival embraces a wide range of genres and styles, providing a diverse cinematic experience.

As we delve deeper into Denver’s film scene, the city’s cinematic kaleidoscope expands, revealing niche film centers, specialized festivals, and unique showcases catering to diverse tastes. Alamo Drafthouse Cinema invites you to dine while immersing yourself in movies, the Denver Silent Film Festival transports you to a silent era with live music, and the Sci-Fi Film Center and Denver Horror Collective offer specialized experiences for genre enthusiasts. The Denver Jewish Film Festival and Denver Underground Film Festival contribute to the cultural mosaic, showcasing the richness of Jewish cinema and avant-garde experimentation. In Denver, the film odyssey continues, inviting cinephiles to explore, discover, and celebrate the boundless wonders of the silver screen.

Denver’s film scene, with its diverse array of movie theaters and film festivals, weaves a cinematic tapestry that appeals to film lovers of all tastes. Whether you prefer the historic charm of Landmark’s Mayan Theatre, the indie spirit of Sie FilmCenter, or the unique outdoor experience at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Denver offers a cinematic adventure for every movie enthusiast. Engage with local and international films through festivals like the Denver Film Festival, celebrate local talent at the Five Points Film Festival, and witness the future of filmmaking at the CU Denver Film Series. Denver’s film scene is a vibrant and evolving landscape, inviting you to explore, connect, and celebrate the magic of storytelling on the silver screen.