Snowmass history: Grateful Dead rocks the village circa 1968 | AspenTimes.com

Snowmass history: Grateful Dead rocks the village circa 1968

The base of Snowmass Village Mall with the Timbermill building and Fanny Hill lift, circa 1970.
Joan Lane/Aspen Historical Society archives |

“Grateful Dead slated to play Opticon here,” the Snowmass Villager reported on March 14, 1968. “The Grateful Dead, a well-known rock group from San Francisco, will appear in concert at the Opticon Theater on Friday and Saturday, March 29 and 30, it was announced this week. The group will present two concerts each night at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., according to Frank Kirwin, Gazebo co-owner and Refectory Manager Don Burnett, who are arranging the concerts. Tickets cost $3.50 per person and are on sale at the Snowmass pavilion in Aspen and at the Gazebo and the information center at Snowmass. They are also on sale at Universities in Denver and, next week, will be available at additional area shops. Kirwin said he expected a crowd of people to come to Denver for the concerts as many of the Universities will be on spring vacation at that time. He advised buying tickets in advance but said that if any remain they will be sold at the door at concert time.” When the Snowmass Mall was originally developed, the basement of the Timbermill housed the only movie theater, The Opticon, which offered late-night entertainment, including midnight X-rated movies and beer. The theater was later converted into the Bedford Ballroom.


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