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Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom is located in the old Casino Caberet building which is on 2637 Welton Street, the “Main Street” of Denver’s historic Five Points neighborhood in Northeast downtown Denver. Five Points derives it’s name from the fact that the community encompasses the intersection of Welton Street, Washington Street, and 26th and 27th Avenues. The Casino was first opened by a black, World War I army veteran named Benny Hooper. Hooper was able to open an Ex-Serviceman’s Club, with the help of Denver Mayor Benjamin Franklin Stapleton, right next store to the present Cervantes’. The Club offered respite to black veterans who were denied access to Denver’s downtown hotels. In exchange for Stapleton’s support, Hooper attracted many black voters, who previously had a sole allegiance to the Republican Party, to vote Democratic. The Ex-Servicemen’s Club evolved in Benny Hooper’s Club and became a hot spot for jazz, barbecue, craps, and dancing. During the 1930s, Hooper acquired the space next door, currently Cervantes’, and called it the Casino Dance Hall. The Casino evolved into a two-story hall with balcony seating for 1,000, a 40-foot long bar, and a huge hardwood dance floor. The Rossonian Hotel also had a jazz club across the street called the Voters Club, although the Casino was known as the largest and most luxurious of all the jazz clubs in the Points. The Casino Dance Hall was also known as the Deluxe Recreation Parlor and Ex-Servicemen’s Club, and the Casino Ballroom until Hooper’s death in 1984. The Casino had many musical legends grace the stage over the years such as: Brook Benton, James Brown, Ray Charles, Fats Domino, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, George Morrison, Muddy Waters, Flip Wilson, B.B. King, Millie Jackson, and Esther Phillips. We are continuing the Casino’s tradition of great music at Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom.
D- Line Light Rail http://www.rtd-denver.com/lightRail_subHome.shtml The Basics Fund: http://www.thebasicsfund.org/
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