Refurbished Esquire Theatre opens with new amenities

The Capitol Hill theater was previously closed due to water damage

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Independent movie theater fans flocked to Capitol Hill last month for the much-awaited reopening of the Esquire Theatre.

The beloved theater at 590 Downing St. reopened June 14 with its two screens showing “The Dead Don’t Die,” a newly released comedy-horror film featuring Bill Murray, Adam Driver and Chloë Sevigny.

David Grivette, who is home in Denver for the summer after completing his second year of a three-year graduate screenwriting program at the University of Texas, attended the matinee.

“The movie was funny and ironic. I enjoyed the cadence and timing of Adam Driver,” said Grivette. “I want to go read all about the making of the movie now.”

The theater reopened exactly six months after its closure due to water damage, said Troy Lasley, building manager for 12 years. “We had to close for utility issues and water damage, and we just decided to rehab the whole place.”

Inside the theater, there is new stadium seating, floors and carpeting throughout, and a new concession stand offering nachos and fresh pretzels along with the usual popcorn, candy and soda.

“We have a lot more food and beverage optionsm,” Lasley said, “and will soon be offering draft beer and wine, too.”

Built in 1927, the Esquire is the longest continuously operating theater in Denver, according to Lasley.

“We beat the Mayan Theatre by three years,” he said. “Rumor has it there was a brief time in the 1950s when the building closed and operated as a church, but other than that, we’ve always been a movie theater.”

Landmark Theaters took over the building in the late 1980s, and has owned and operated the independent theater since that time. Free parking is available behind the building.

Esquire shows daily matinee and evening movies and also offers “Midnight Madness” movies on Friday and Saturday nights. First up this summer is the 1979 classic, “Alien,” running July 5 and 6. Not to fear, fans of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” the show returns at midnight on Saturday, July 27. The Esquire also shows classic movies a couple of times a year on Wednesdays at 2 and 7 p.m. In recognition of the reopening and its heritage, Esquire plans to show movies from 1927 later this year.

Emmanuel Luna and Lucia Gomez are among the Esquire floor staff. “I also help make the place look good,” added Gomez, who is a recent hire. Luna has worked at the theater just over a year.

Laurie Daniels, who lives in Platt Park, recently took in an afternoon show.

“I’m so happy to see it open again,” she said. “It is so easy to get to.”

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