Movie House of Worship: Denver’s Sie FilmCenter

By  · Published on February 24th, 2013

“Movie Houses of Worship” is a regular feature spotlighting our favorite movie theaters around the world, those that are like temples of cinema catering to the most religious-like film geeks. This week, writer/producer Jason Cangialosi highlights one of his favorite theaters. His comments are those quoted. If you’d like to suggest or submit a place you regularly worship at the altar of cinema, please email our weekend editor.

Sie FilmCenter

Location: 2510 East Colfax, Denver, CO

Opened: “The original home for the Denver Film Society’s theater was opened in 2002 with the support of Starz, and served as a temple of cinema tucked away on Denver’s Auraria Campus. In 2010, just in time for the Starz Denver Film Festival, the Society relocated its theatrical location to what became known as the Denver Film Center/Colfax. It was a stylish upgrade into a state of the art theater in the Lowenstein Cultureplex ‐ a bastion of independent culture anchored by the theater, Tattered Cover Book Store, Twist & Shout Records and the Denver Art Gallery. During the 2012 Starz Denver Film Festival, the Anna and John J. Sie Foundation donated $2.5 million, enabling the Denver Film Society to own the building of their new home.”

No. of screens: 3

Current first-run titles: John Dies at the End; Beasts of the Southern Wild; Oscar-Nominated Documentary Shorts

Repertory programming: “The Theater boosts a programming feat of over 600 titles a year. It includes DOCNIGHT, hosting guest filmmakers at screenings [this week: Drop City], a free classics series of American and Foreign cinema, often shown on 35mm prints, a Cinema Q series and festival featuring one of the city’s only GLBTQ film showcases, and a popular late night series every weekend called the Watching Hour, for all things NEO-cult cinema [next weekend: Willow].”

Special Events: “The main event every year for the Denver Film Society is the Starz Denver Film Festival, which occupies the Sie FilmCenter’s 3 screens, as well as additional theaters in town. It’s an 11-day festival that traverses genres with selections from around the globe. It’s one of the few star-spotting celebrity events in Denver, with acclaimed and up and coming filmmakers in attendance. There are a variety of other micro-festivals held at the theater throughout the year.”

Why I worship here: “It’s by far the savviest mecca of cinema in Denver. On any given week, I can see the latest independent releases, be wowed in rediscovery of cult classics, and engulfed by the warm glow of classics projected on film. Recently, with other theaters converting to an all-digital projection format, the Sie FilmCenter is the only savior in Denver to offer both digital and film projection. It’s a classy, yet comfortable atmosphere, equipped with a knowledgeable and amicable staff from the concession counter to the programmers.”

Recent screening of note: “A festival of Japanese cinema was recently held at the theater, and in anticipation a print of Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood was screened free to the public, hosted by local film guru Howie Movshovitz.”

Devotion to the concessions: “I get free popcorn as a Member of the Denver Film Society, which makes my day. Though the real devotion is for Henderson’s Lounge, named after co-founder Ron Henderson, and its fully stocked bar.”

Last word: “Just the perks and discounts alone make it worth becoming a member of the Denver Film Society. Though, the plethora of cultural gems this organization’s theater brings are not exclusive to a member base and the entire community reaps the benefits. From its location, programming and contributions to the wider Colorado film community, it’s hands down the pulse of Denver’s film scene.”

Jason Cangialosi fuses his roles as Producer and Minister of Message & Propaganda for the animation and visual effects house, Worker Studio, Managing Editor for Mile High Cinema and as a featured contributor on Yahoo! Follow him on Twitter @cangialosi.

Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.