Music - Communication breakdown by Led Zeppelin
Denver Arena - Auditorium photographed in 1987 and 1994 using film and again in 2008 using digital. Denver Coliseum photographed in 1987, 1994 and 2004 using film and again in 2008 using digital.
Denver Arena - Opened on July 7, 1908 and demolished in 1990. It was reopened as the Temple Hoyne Buell Theater in 1991. Denver Coliseum - Opened in 1952 and is still in use.
Known as Denver Municipal Auditorium 1908 - 1953, Denver Auditorium Arena 1953 - 1990.
Location - Denver Arena, 13th St., Champa St., 14th St. Denver, Colorado
Location - Denver Coliseum, 4600 Humboldt St. Denver, Colorado -- Bounded by Arkins Ct., 44th St., I-70
At the corner of 13th and Champa in downtown Denver sits a building that was constructed in 1908. It has a place in the history of the old American Basketball Association. This bland looking structure was the original home of the old Denver Rockets of the ABA. It was also the site of the first ever US concert by Led Zeppelin in December of 1968. Photos for this old building are very rare, and I was fortunate to get inside in 1987 before they gutted the old arena.
It was constructed as the Denver Municipal Auditorium and was opened on July 7, 1908. The buildings first big event was the 1908 Democratic national convention. With a seating capacity of 12,500, the arena was at the time of its opening the second largest in America to Madison Square Garden in New York City.
As stated, the building hosted the Denver Rockets from 1967 thru 1975. The Nuggets as they are now known left for McNichols arena for the 1975 season. The Rockets were not the first pro basketball team to call the arena home. In 1948, the Denver Nuggets of the NBL / NBA played there. The team lasted two seasons before disbanding in 1950. The Nuggets were also the first pro sports team in the city of Denver and state of Colorado.
After the Nuggets left, the building was gutted on the inside in 1990. It was reopened as the Buell theater. The old arena lives on, but instead of basketball games, Broadway shows and musicals fill the hall now.
Just north of downtown Denver and Coors field sits the Quonset hut shaped building known as the Denver Coliseum. Located at 4600 Humboldt Street, the building was opened in 1952. With a seating capacity of 10,200, it is a mid size arena that is perfect for ice shows, circuses and other events. It was also a part time home to the Denver Rockets / Nuggets of the old ABA. Even though the Pepsi Center takes most of the big name concerts and shows, the Coliseum is still a vibrant and useful arena.
Map showing the Denver Arena. From internet.
The entrance in March of 1987.
Same view 21 years later in November of 2008.
Inside the Denver Rockets locker room. 3/87
2008 view of the old arena from 13th and Champa.
Denver Coliseum just north of downtown Denver. 3/87
Map of Denver Coliseum. From internet.