Ready to Make Your Move?
Text or Call David and Tom

A History of Morrison’s Red Rocks Amphitheater

Historic Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, CO

If you’ve been looking at homes for sale in Morrison, you know that the Town of Morrison, located in Jefferson County Colorado, is a unique place rich in beauty and natural history. Perhaps the most recognizable attraction in Morrison is the Red Rocks Amphitheater. Situated at 6,450 feet above sea level, Red Rocks is a fantastic blending of scenic, and artistic beauty recognized the world over. Few, however, know the fascinating history behind this stunning venue.

Formerly known as the Garden of the Angels, Red Rocks consists of two massive naturally occurring sandstone monoliths called Creation Rock and Ship Rock. Jefferson County resident and one-time owner of Cosmopolitan Magazine, John Brisben Walker, was fascinated by the visual and acoustic beauty of the site. Here, nestled among the sandstone, he constructed a temporary stage and produced several concerts between 1906 and 1910.

The manager of Denver Parks, George Cranmer convinced the City of Denver purchased the site from Walker in 1928 and Denver architect Burnham Hoyt completed the plans for the amphitheater in 1936. The newly formed Civilian Conservation Corps, part of President Franklin D.Roosevelt’s New Deal, constructed the Red Rocks Amphitheater and it was dedicated on June 15, 1941.

The performances and events held at the amphitheater are as varied as they are exciting. The Easter Sunrise Service at Red Rocks is an experience unique to Colorado. It was first held on April 6, 1947, and has become a tradition for many. Although the venue primarily hosted symphonic musicians, Nat King Cole broke the pattern with a performance in August 1956.

As Red Rocks became more prominent in the 1960’s, famous acts including The Beatles, Joan Baez, and Peter, Paul and Mary performed at the 9,525 seat venue. Interestingly, The Beatles performance at Red Rocks on August 26, 1964, was the only show on their U.S. tour that was not a sell-out.

Lack of attendance was no problem for the Jethro Tull show on June 10, 1971, when almost 1,000 fans without tickets showed up. Upset that they could hear, but not see the band, fans charged at and broke through the line established by the Denver Police Department. The police used tear gas to disperse the crowd, but the shifting wind blew it into the amphitheater and onto the stage. As a result, Denver Mayor William McNichols banned rock music at Red Rocks. The ban was lifted five years later, and bands such as U2, Depeche Mode, The Grateful Dead, and Blues Traveler have since performed there.

The Red Rocks Amphitheater is a storied venue and just one of many fantastic things about living in Morrison. Contact a Morrison Real Estate Agent for more information about finding a home in Morrison.