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And the West is History: Gem Theater Lobby – 1921

Durango’s Jarvis Building, located at the corner of Main Avenue and 10th Street, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Built in the 1890s, the structure has been home to a number of businesses over the years, none better known than the Gem Theater, shown here in 1921. Operating as a venue for various entertainment events as early as 1913, it is probably most famous as the site for the early Jack Dempsey boxing match against Andy Malloy in 1915. Dempsey went on to become the heavyweight champion of the world, rivaled only by Babe Ruth as the top sports figure of the 1920s. Showing at the theater when this photograph was taken, was the 1920 silent film “Madame X,” staring Pauline Frederick. – Ed Horvat for Animas Museum, edhorvat@animasmuseum.org (Catalog Number: 05.25.3 from the La Plata County Historical Society Photo Collections)