Whoa baby, I love the 80s! And who wouldn’t with its neon leg warmers, Ghostbusters, MTV, and Motley Crue? The list of righteous (aka totally bad) phenomena that swept the nation is endless, but what was happening in the magnificent Mile High City during that rad decade? If you grew up in the 80s in Denver, here are a few things you’ll definitely remember!
1. Bears Stadium
Before the inception of the Colorado Rockies in 1993, there were the Denver Zephyrs (1985–1992) and the Denver Bears (1955–1984). The Bears Stadium was located near the site of present-day Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
2. Mile High Stadium
Before Invesco Field and Sports Authority Field, there was the original Mile High Stadium, which both the Bears and the Broncos called home in the 1980s. (And if you're truly lucky, you caught The Jacksons there in 1984 during their Victory Tour, Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band's Born in the U.S.A. Tour in 1985, and The 1988 Monsters of Rock Festival Tour, which included Metallica, Van Halen, and more.)
3. Super Bowl XXI in 1987
The Giants defeated our beloved Broncos 39–20 to win their first Super Bowl in team history.
4. Super Bowl XXII in 1988
You most likely wept when the Redskins clobbered our boys the very next year with a score of 42-10.
5. Cinderella City and Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor
Once the largest shopping center west of the Mississippi, Cinderella City in Englewood closed its doors in 1999, after 31 years in business. And who doesn't remember sampling all the tasty frozen treats at Farrell's?!?!
6. Dolly Madison Ice Cream
Speaking of ice cream, before the first Chipotle was established at 1644 East Evans Avenue, this was the site of a scrumptious Dolly Madison Ice Cream shop. Sigh.
7. Westminster Mall
Remember when it was actually legal to smoke inside?
8. Cinderella Twin Drive-In
8. Blinky the Clown
For 41 years Blinky the Clown (aka Russell Scott) entertained audiences with Blinky's Fun Club in Denver (and beyond) and holds the record for being both the longest running television host in the nation and the longest running television clown in history. He also owned and operated a store called Blinky's Antiques and Collectibles on South Broadway for 22 years. Blinky passed away in 2012 at the ripe old age of 91, and he will sorely be missed.
9. The Colorado Lottery
The Colorado Lottery began on January 24, 1983, and the first drawing took place on April 23, 1983.
10. 16th Street Mall
What is now one of the Mile High City's most popular tourist attractions was once merely a dream. The 16th Street Mall opened in 1982 and has remained a hub of Downtown activity ever since.
11. Stapleton International Airport
Stapleton International Airport was the primary airport for the metro and surrounding areas from 1929 to 1995. (Pictured: Convair 580 of Aspen Airways in 1986.)
12. 18 Year-Olds Buying 3.2 Beer
The Crimson and Gold Inn on South Pearl was one of the first bars in Denver to serve "near beer" in the early days, shortly after its legalization in 1933, and until the law was repealed in 1987, it was perfectly legit for 18 year-olds to buy the low-alcohol brews. Ah, the good old days.
13. 3.2 Beer
On a more recent note, rumor has it 3.2 beer will now be a thing of the past, so if you take your beer with a side of training wheels you better stock up now!