The History of The Church Nightclub

October 11, 2016

The Church Nightclub has a long, interesting history that started over a century ago. What is now a nightlife sanctuary once was a holy parish for the community. It’s not common for a historic structure like The Church to be turned into a nightclub. Keeping it’s original gothic architecture, the stained glass windows and intricate wood work make for a truly unique atmosphere while on the dance floor.

The Church was originally called St. Mark’s Episcopal Church and it was founded by Reverend John Franklin Spalding in 1889. It was actually the second St. Mark’s, replacing the original brick church that stood at 13th Avenue and Broadway and was founded in 1879.

St. Mark’s served the community for 86 years. The religious blessing was removed from the church when a third St. Mark’s church was opened in the Washington Park Area, transferring the building from sacred to nonreligious use. The building remained empty for almost twenty years.

After remaining vacant for nearly two decades, the club Sanctuary opened in the early ’90s. Sanctuary hosted club nights and punk shows. This club kept the old church pews and set up bands at the former altar.

After a few years as Sanctuary, The Church Of The Seven Candles (more popularly known as The Church) opened on New Year’s Eve 1996. The new club was named after the stained-glass artwork behind the former altar. For the past twenty years, The Church has hosted EDM, trance, latin, goth and retro nights every weekend.

In addition to contributing to Denver’s nightlife, The Church has also used their space to give back to the community. The Church hosted The Children’s Hospital Martini Miracle fundraising event for ten years, as well as the 2008 DNC Parties with Flobots, Everclear and Moby. Prince also played two notorious after-hours shows in the late ’90s.

The Church has been listed as one of the top 10 best clubs in America by DJ Magazine. Friday nights are home to Ritual Fridays featuring the world’s best DJ’s and resident DJ’s Trajikk and Ecotek, presented by Global Dance. Latin Night is hosted on Saturdays, and ‘SIN Sundays’ feature two rooms of music which include, Retro Goth & Industrial, Dark Indie, 80’s, Industrial, Electro and Dark Techno.

The Church is a unique space that has an expansive range of appeal. This former religious sanctuary is now a signature staple of Denver’s nightlife and is home to dance worshippers and thrill seekers alike.

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