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Red Rocks Amphitheater

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Red Rocks Amphitheatre is an open-air amphitheater built into a rock structure in the western United States, near Morrison, Colorado, ten miles (16 km) west of Denver. There is a large, tilted, disc-shaped rock behind the stage, a huge vertical rock angled outwards from stage right, several large outcrops angled outwards from stage left, and a seating area for up to 9,525.

In 1927, the City of Denver purchased the area of Red Rocks; construction of the amphitheater began in 1936 and was opened to the public in June 1941. Since then, many notable performances and recordings for film and television have taken place there. In June 2015, the Colorado Music Hall of Fame opened in the Trading Post at Red Rocks.

The elevation of the amphitheater’s top row is approximately 6,450 feet (1,965 m) above sea level, and the surrounding Red Rocks Park covers 868 acres (1.4 sq mi; 3.5 km2). The amphitheater is owned and operated by the City and County of Denver and is located in Red Rocks Park, part of the Denver Mountain Parks. The audience faces east-northeast, toward southern Denver, with the skyline of downtown visible to the left.

In 1957, the American Institute of Architects selected Red Rocks to be Colorado’s entry at the National Gallery of Art for the AIA’s Centennial Exhibition.

In 1999, after Pollstar magazine awarded Red Rocks the annual honor of best small outdoor venue for the eleventh time, the magazine changed the name of the award to the Red Rocks Award and removed Red Rocks from the running.

Construction began in October 2020 to replace the existing stage roof and structure.

In the first decade of the twentieth century, John Brisben Walker had a vision of artists performing on a stage nestled in the perfectly acoustic surroundings of Red Rocks, which likely were used by the Ute tribe in earlier times. Walker produced several concerts between 1906 and 1910 on a temporary platform; and from his dream, the history of Red Rocks as an entertainment venue began. It took the natural amphitheater of Red Rocks over 200 million years to form. The city of Denver acquired Red Rocks amphitheater from Walker for $54,133 (equivalent to $815,877 today), with a total area of 728 acres (1.1 sq mi; 2.9 km2). In addition to the platform, Walker also built the Mount Morrison Cable Incline funicular railway which carried tourists from a base at what is today the parking lot of the amphitheater up to enjoy the view from the top of Mount Morrison; the incline operated for about five years beginning in 1909. Wikipedia

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