Denver Days Movies and Music List

Movies | Music

Join us in celebrating our neighbors and our city during Denver Days by diving into some great books from Colorado authors that take place in and around Denver!

Denver Days is a local tradition, celebrating its 10th year in 2022, designed to facilitate connections between Denverites through lively gatherings at the end of each summer. Find out more about DPL's events on our Denver Days page.




Check out these movies, many of which take place in Colorado or were filmed here!

Dreaming of fame and fortune, a local Denver performer hires two indie filmmakers to come to town and make a film with him as the star.

Bitter mens figure skating rivals Chazz Michael Michaels and Jimmy MacElroy brawl after tying for the gold medal at the world championships. Banned for life from the men's single skating competition, these archrivals find a loophole that will allow them to skate again as a figure skating pair. Partially filmed at Ball Arena, home of the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, and Colorado Mammoth. 

Examines the beginnings of the movement by profiling Reies Lopez Tijerina and the land grant movement in New Mexico in 1966 and 1967. It shows how Tijerina's fight to convince the federal government to honor the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848) galvanized Mexicans and Mexican Americans across the Southwest. It then moves on to discuss Rodolfo (Corky) Gonzales and his founding of the Crusade for Justice in Denver in 1966. Focusing on the importance of his poem I am Joaquin, it highlights how Gonzales reached out to Chicano youth. This segment is useful for its discussion of the roots of Chicano nationalism through its affirmation of cultural identity grounded in Aztec myths such as that of Aztlan, the mythical Chicano homeland.

One is a poet. Another a musician. Several have fathers who have been killed. One has a mother in jail. And one just got into Colorado's most prestigious and expensive private school. They are all from Denver's inner-city. They are all 12-years old. And they have all found a hint of salvation from their violent neighborhood in a most unlikely sport. From the moment the kids discover what a lacrosse stick is to the heart-stopping finale at the State Championships, City Lax: an Urban Lacrosse Story shows how the undeniable spirit of this group of kids carries them to places unexpected and unbelievable.

Colorado Experience examines one of the lesser-known chapters in American organized crime: the story of the Smaldones, an Italian-American crime family that operated out of Denver. Brothers Clyde and Eugene Smaldone took control of Denver's underworld in 1933, after then-crime boss Joe Roma's was found riddled with bullets in his home. They specialized in bootlegging during the years of prohibition and, later, bookmaking and gambling. To some, they were family men who provided food to poor members of their community; to others, they were ruthless criminals. Utilizing audio interviews with Clyde Smaldone himself, Colorado Experience sheds lights on the man who led Denver's infamous organized crime syndicate.

Architect Daniel Libeskind first gained worldwide attention when his haunting, zigzag-shaped Jewish Museum opened in Berlin in 1999. After his dramatic urban design plan for Ground Zero was selected by city and state officials in 2002, Libeskind became a household name in America. Now, with his first work of architecture to be realized in the U.S. -- an addition to the Denver Art Museum -- the American public has a chance to examine his unconventional talents. In this filmed tour of the Denver Art Museum's Hamilton Building, Libeskind explains his unusual, titanium-clad, shard-like building. The dazzling geometry of the exterior is reflected inside to provide spectacular spaces and arresting angles for viewing contemporary art. The sculptural building of fractured planes insouciantly claims its status as a major landmark in American museum architecture.

Two teenage girls travel across the U.S. in 1962, during the chaos of the Cuban missile crisis, in search of Eleanor Roosevelt. Filmed almost entirely in Colorado. Filming locations include Denver, Niwot, Longmont, Lyons, Nederland, Boulder, Commerce City, Fort Lupton, and Hygiene.

On a snowy Christmas Eve in Washington D.C., a team of terrorists has seized a major international airport, and now holds thousands of holiday travellers hostage. The terrorists, a renegade band of crack military commandos led by a murderous rogue officer, have come to rescue a drug lord from justice. They've prepared for every contingency - except John McClane, an off-duty cop seized by a feeling of deadly déjà vu. Partially filmed in Denver’s former airport, Stapleton International. 

Dinosaurs - there's something about them that captivates people of all ages - and why not? They were the dominant vertebrate animals on Earth for over 160 million years, from about 230 million years ago until about 65 million years ago. This program has something for everyone who loves dinosaurs. Remember the bearded paleontologist (Dr. Robert Burke) in Steven Spielberg's film, The Lost World: Jurassic Park? His character was based on the real-life paleontologist and author, Dr. Robert Bakker (The Dinosaur Heresies; Raptor Red), who is one expert who guides us on this "Jurassic Safari," helping us think of dinosaurs in their ecological context; he says, "we love dinosaurs because they're nature's 'special effects.'" Dr. Richard Stucky, Curator of Paleoecology and Evolution at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science (formerly Museum of Natural History), explains that in western states, such as Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, fossils are found constantly; in fact, Colorado is one of the best places in the world to find dinosaurs and its state fossil is the Stegosaurus.

The first season, the powerhouse primetime 80s soap opera, begins with oil tycoon Blake Carrington marrying his former secretary, Krystle. Krystle's former lover, Matthew, returns to town and causes more problems when he tells Krystle that he's still in love with her. Blake's daughter Fallon does not support his marriage, and chooses to marry childhood friend Jeff Colby just for her father's benefit. Set in Denver. Catch a glimpse of 1980s Denver in the opening credits.

Gay Revolt is a powerfully important account of gay civil rights. Viewers become witnesses to that night, when the city council treated gay activism as a joke. We get to listen as though we are a fly on the wall, and we watch as the tide changes. Illegal roundups, entrapment, and a reckless vice squad make for a riveting heroic narrative of the people who stood up to the injustice in Denver. This is is a testament to our heroic gay brothers and sisters, who bravely paved the way for future rights around the country. Gay Revolt is suitable for any library and audience where gay history is important. It is a documentary that must be seen if we are to understand our past and to stay focused on our goals for the future of gay rights.

Follow the history and evolution of the iconic institutions of hot rods, drag racing and rock and roll from the perspective of one American city: Denver, Colorado.

This vibrant tribute to Glenn Miller charts his rise from obscurity and poverty to fame and wealth in the early 1940's. Filming locations include the old Lowry Air Force Base and Elitch Garden's Trocadero Ballroom in Denver. 

Horses have been a part of America's driving spirit since its earliest days, and they remain so today. In this horse's lover's program we begin by learning about polo horses, visiting with members of the Denver Polo Club. Then members of the Colorado Dept. of Corrections introduce us to a unique management program for wild horses and burros by prison inmates. We meet the former coach of the NBA's Denver Nuggets, Dan "The Horse" Issel, who explains why he loves horses and thoroughbred racing. We meet professional calf ropers and some champion horses at a calf-roping event, which continues to be popular in modern-day rodeos. Then we join the fun of the annual Burro Days' event in Fairplay, Colorado, which since 1948 has been celebrating the role of the burro in mining days of old.

Mild-mannered businessman Sandy Patterson travels from Denver to Miami to confront the deceptively harmless-looking woman who has been living it up after stealing Sandy's identity. Contains both rated R version and unrated version.

NEWS MATTERS follows the desperate attempt by Colorado journalists to save the 125-year-old Denver Post from slow death at the hands of hedge fund owner Alden Global Capital, while trying to cut through the noise of social media and opinion news outlets. Chuck Plunkett captures national attention when he leads a revolt against The Denver Post's hedge fund owners, all while the newspaper industry crumbles and while journalists are being called the enemy of the people.

Two young seamen get caught in a violent tornado-like vortex and fall through a time warp to a different era, 1984. Desperately they struggle to find a way back to their own time, but their efforts become all the more vital as the rift in time threatens to suck present-day earth back to the past. One of the filming locations was Denver.

Set in 1990, a lonely bachelor named David searches for an escape from the day-to-day drudgery of caring for his aging mother. While seeking a partner through a video dating service, he discovers a strange VHS tape called Rent-A-Pal. Hosted by the charming and charismatic Andy, the tape offers him much-needed company, compassion, and friendship. But, Andy's friendship comes at a cost, and David desperately struggles to afford the price of admission. Filmed in Denver and Aurora.  

Jack Torrance and his family move into the sprawling, vacant Overlook Hotel to get away from it all. Away from the alcoholism that derails Jack's writing career. Away from the violent outbursts that mar Jack's past. But Jack's young son Danny knows better. He possesses a psychic gift called the shining- a gift the hotel's vile spirits desperately want. Filmed in locations throughout Colorado, including Denver.

When Max discovers he will never be a good writer, he turns his creative energies to stealing. Filmed around Denver, Boulder, and Arvada.

Professor Chaos is back, Stan meets his future self, Cartman makes a memorable appearance on daytime television, Bebe's newfound womanhood threatens to destroy society and America's favorite gerbil, Lemmiwinks, is introduced. For these four foul-mouthed young boys in South Park, Colorado it's all a part of growing up. Often features Denver and other Colorado landmarks and locations. Season seven features iconic Denver area Mexican-theme restaurant, Casa Bonita. South Park’s creators, Matt Stone and Trey Parker are its current owners.

A successful player for the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team attempts to balance domestic life, service to God and country after suddenly becoming active for the U.S Air Force and being promoted to commanding a B-36 bomber crew. One of the filming locations was the old Lowry Air Force Base in  Denver.

Strong Sisters: Elected Women in Colorado tells the extraordinary story of elected women in Colorado. The compilation of oral histories from past and current female elected officials is the foundation for this documentary film. So what's going on in Colorado? Why does Colorado have this proud history of electing women to public office? What difference have elected women made in our state? And why hasn't Colorado elected a female Governor, U.S. Senator, or Mayor of Denver? Strong Sisters examines these questions and inspires today's women to build on our remarkable history.

Capping a season with more twists and turns than any Colorado slalom course, the Denver Broncos are once again Super Bowl champions! From the season opening kickoff to the crowning glory of the Denver's 24-10 victory over the Carolina Panthers it documents every big plan in the Broncos' triumphant season with amazing game footage, exclusive sideline sounds and game wires and the pulse-pounding music. Denver Broncos Super Bowl 50 Champions also features exciting profiles from NFL Network .

Contains an overview of Kirkland's works, with an emphasis on his contributions to the Denver arts scene.


Find your next great listen from this list of Denver and Colorado based musicians!


3OH!3 are a Billboard-charting alternative rap duo named after Colorado’s 303 area code. Night Sports is their fifth full-length album.  

Air Dubai

Warning is an EP by this Colorado-based electronic synth pop and hip-hop ensemble. 

Apples in Stereo

Travellers in Space and Time is the seventh studio album by this Denver-based Elephant 6 collective band. Featuring strong melodies, Travellers in Space and Time finds the group adding disco beats and synths to their trademark indie-pop, psychedelic sound. 

Chrys, Ryan

Ryan Chrys & The Rough Cuts are a modern outlaw country band with male and female vocals. Shovel Full of Coal showcases their mix of old school country and 70’s rock. 

Colorado Artists


Colorado Cuts is a compilation featuring such diverse local acts as Born in the Flood, Hazel Miller, Wendy Woo, Yonder Mountain String Band, Love me Destroyer, and Five Style Fist. 

Cooke, Ian

Fortitude contains Ian Cooke’s signature cello and looping effects, accompanied by other instrumentation on this chamber pop outing.   



Formed in Denver in 1994 by John Grant and Chris Pearson, the Czars released five records before disbanding in 2004. Grant’s mournful baritone accompanies Americana-tinged piano/guitar arrangements. Extra credit if you can pinpoint where the cover photo was taken?  

Dethlefs, Patrick


On Beauty in the Unknown, Patrick Dethlefs plays country-tinged folk, recorded in the Rocky Mountains, accompanied by pedal steel guitar, bass, and drums.


This Night Falls Forever features big production and boasts DeVotchKa’s unique blend of pop, rock, and Eastern European folk music.


Denver band Dragondeer plays 70’s-inspired, funky blues rock, featuring harmonica, guitar, mandolin, lap steel, drums, percussion, and bass.

Dressy Bessy

Long running Denver band, Dressy Bessy continue to evolve their sound on their latest album, Fast Faster Disaster. This punky, indie pop gem features backing vocals from Sleater-Kinney's Corin Tucker and a cover of the Buzzcocks' "What Do I Get?"  

Five Iron Frenzy

Eighth studio album from Denver ska-punk giants, Five Iron Frenzy. 


The latest full length album from the alternative rap rock band was influenced by the works of author and activist, Vincent Harding and addresses issues such as climate change and immigration reform. 


Inspired by the group's trips to Rwanda and Germany, platinum-selling alternative rock band, The Fray, return with an album of piano-driven pop songs and ballads. 

Gracie & Blue, Inc.

Don & Gracie Batt perform as Gracie & Blue, Inc. The duo combines the jazz standards of the American songbook with classic blues, jazz, and latin music. 

Isakov, Gregory Alan

Following a tour with the Colorado Symphony, Colorado-based singer/songwriter Gregory Alan Isakov recorded this plaintive folk album, which feels both far-reaching and intimate.

Joy Subtraction

Joy Subtraction is a Colorado post-punk band in the vein of Burning Brides, NoMeansNo, and Black Flag. The Essential is their first album. One band member is also a DPL staff member!


Absolution is the debut album of Denver doom metal band, Khemmis. It features heavy trudging   tempos and overdriven, fuzzy bass and guitar. It was ranked 9th on Decibel Magazine's Top 40 Albums of 2015. 


The Knew is a Denver rock band influenced by bands like The Rolling Stones, Dillinger Four, and My Morning Jacket. Their second full length, Man Monster, was recorded at Black and Bluhm Studios in the Park Hill neighborhood. 


The Lumineers are a multi-platinum selling, alternative folk band based in Denver. Cleopatra finds the band in a quieter, more sparse and solemn mood than previous efforts. 

Maudlin Magpie

Denver-based singer/songwriter Jason Horodyski leads Maudlin Magpie on this album of intimate, graceful, and contemplative folk music. 

Miles, Ron

Ron Miles was a well regarded Denver trumpeter, composer, and educator with a creative, lyrical approach to his playing. Quiver has a live feel to it because the trio recorded it together live, and not in isolation booths, resulting in a warm, cohesive sound. 

Paper Bird

Paper bird were an indie folk, Americana band from Denver. This self-titled release is a fine example of their melodic, multi-part vocal harmonies, warm instrumentation, and compelling rhythms, which draw from a wide range of musical influences. 

Patterson, Esmé

On All Princes, I, Esmé Patterson, of Paper Bird, utilizes her clear voice and evident pop sensibilities to great effect. Inspired by artists like Van Morrison and Feist, here she collaborates with fellow Denver musicians, Nathaniel Rateliff and members of the Czars.

Rateliff, Nathaniel

Longtime Denver-based singer/songwriter Nathaniel Rateliff leads the Night Sweats on this pop, folk, rock, and R&B album. Influences include Van Morrison, Sam Cooke, The Band, and Harry Nilsson.   

Slim Cessna's Auto Club

Formed in 1992, Slim Cessna's Auto Club has been performing and recording their own unique blend of American music, a mix of country, folk, rock, punk, gospel, bluegrass, and other genres. Commandments is their sixth studio album. 

Snake Rattle Rattle Snake

Totem showcases the dark, hypnotic post-punk of Snake Rattle Rattle Snake. Prominent bass lines, pulsing rhythms, and atmospheric synths are some of the hallmarks of their sound.

Taylor, Otis

In many people’s minds, the banjo is associated with White musicians, but its roots are actually African. On Recapturing the Banjo multi-instrumentalist Otis Taylor does just that, he and fellow Black banjoists, Guy Davis, Corey Harris, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Keb’ Mo’, and Don Vappie reconnect banjo music with African American musicians. Many different playing techniques and types of banjos are used on this album.



Tennis are a husband/wife indie pop duo from Denver. Their second album, Young & Old features catchy pop numbers, with crisper production than their debut.

Wheelchair Sports Camp

No Big Deal is Wheelchair Sports Camp’s full-length debut. This experimental hip-hop group uses a combination of live and electronic instruments, “combining humor, playfulness, radical political perspectives, compassion, and undeniable musical chops.”


Wovenhand has a Southern gothic, old-time Americana feel mixed with post-punk and experimental rock. They are fronted by former 16 Horsepower singer/songwriter, David Eugene Edwards. Star Treatment has an eerie, brooding atmosphere with elements of desert blues, surf, prog and other influences. 

Summaries provided by DPL's catalog unless otherwise noted. Click on each title to view more information.