Nov 8, 2017

Unique Denver Four-Theater Complex May Get Upgrading Support


Upon its opening in the fall of 1979, the Bonfils Theater Complex was regarded as proof by the New York Times that Denver had joined “the theatrical big leagues.”

Located in downtown Denver at 1101 13th Street, the complex hosts a variety of Shakespearean productions, Broadway plays, and independent films.

But it is most known for being the home to four separate theatres: the Stage, with 750 seats arranged in a semi-circular design; the Space, a pentagonal theater with 450 seats; the Ricketson Theater with 195 seats; and the Glenn R. Jones Theater with 150 seats.

Connecting the four venues is a spacious glass lobby praised for its architectural design.

Bonfils officials have in recent years overseen the upgrading and renovation of three of the four theaters within the complex, and now would like to see that work completed with the upgrading of the Stage Theater.

That work, as planned, will include the renovation of dressing rooms, green rooms, and storage rooms in the facility, as well as the building of a new observation booth.

The work will also be geared to making the theater more Americans with Disabilities Act compliant.

Altogether, what is regarded as the final phase of the Bonfils complex upgrading is expected to cost $19 million to complete.

That money is included in the larger $937 million general obligation bond that will be decided by Denver voters this week.

The complex is named in honor of Helen Bonfils, a local philanthropist, theater enthusiast and former co-owner of the Denver Post.

By Garry Boulard

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