The Rainbow Comes Down

A legendary Denver venue is on its way to being merely a memory, as the Rainbow Music Hall, which has been converted into a Walgreens drug store, faces demolition next month so it can become an even greater Walgreens.

The venerable 1,400-seat hall had an impressive 10-year run, opening with Jerry Jeff Walker in 1979 and closing with Monsters of Thrash in 1989, according to the Rocky Mountain News.

In between, the Rainbow was the scene of more than 1,000 concerts including shows by Miles Davis, Talking Heads, Cheap Trick and Robin Williams. The Rolling Stones came this close to playing a secret show there in October 1981, but plans fell through at the last minute.

Legendary concert promoter and Denver fixture Barry Fey oversaw the transformation of a three-screen movie house into the Rainbow Music Hall by knocking down the interior walls to make it one room in which no seat was more than 70 feet from the stage, according to the newspaper.

Fey partnered with fellow Denver icon Chuck Morris to open the Rainbow and book it with the top talent of the day, from Pat Benatar, Andy Kaufman and Devo to U2, Prince and The Police.

The Rainbow Music Hall may physically disappear from the landscape, but the music lives on for now in the form of vintage concert recordings aired by Denver’s KCUV-FM radio Sundays at 8 p.m.