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The Persistence of Time

Anyone who is from Denver will probably know this building right away, it is, kind of a local landmark of the famous (maybe even ‘infamous’ ) Casa Bonita Mexican Restaurant. I have always wanted to shoot this, and it has been MANY years since I have, the last time was back in…wow….let me think…(counting…remembering…my x wife was here from Germany when I had first met her..we were making plans to be married…so…….wow ok…..) we’ll say July on 1998. Sounds good.

Anyways, this place is downright crazy. The food is not known to be what I would call the best, but the inside is nuts. It is like being outdoors, dining cliffside in Acapulco is the only way to describe it. They actually have cliff divers, and the whole thing…tiki huts, a lagoon…it is crazy. I want to REALLY get in there and shoot the inside when they are closed, but I have NO idea how I would do that. Maybe what I could do is get there right when they open, when all the entertainers are there (Mariachi bands, Mexican dancers, guys who shoot flames, sword eaters, on and on) but people aren’t. Thought.

A little info on the place and clock tower:
Casa Bonita opened early in 1974. It took approximately one year to create Casa Bonita. The pink tower on the outside is 85 feet fall. The dome is covered with 22-karat gold leaf and has a statue of the last Aztec emperor – Quahuatomec. The fountain outside of the front of the restaurant was shipped in pieces from Mexico. The inside of Casa Bonita is designed to look like a Mexican Village at night complete with dining areas such as Plaza, Poolside, Caverns, Gold Mine and Silver Mine. (I told you it is nuts!)

So I shot this and have always been after it, and always wanted a cloudy day, I was fairly stoked. I went ahead and processed this in Lightroom with final output through Paintshop Pro X, it isn’t HDR, slight LucisArt used with blending, though minimal.

I hope ya all like it!

PS—This place was the subject of a South Park episode lol

I am a photographer based in the beautiful state of Colorado who focuses on nature, retro and country lifestyle images on my wonderful state! I have been shooting since the middle 1980s and my adventures have taken me all over. I am grateful for where I live and consider myself fortunate.Join me on my photographic journey to show you that beauty still exists in the world.

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  • John  De Bord Photography
    John De Bord ...over 5 years ago

  • Katagram
    Katagramover 5 years ago

    LOL..I won’t tell you what we REALLY call it..but it is such an AWESOME building ! ! great capture !!

  • Katagram
    Katagramover 5 years ago

    btw..I remember when it was being built..back then, it had fantastic, the sopaipillas is about the only thing worth eating..but you have to pay to meal, no entry ( would love to catch a ride on your shirt tail when you try to get inside to shoot..maybe gang up on them, they won’t resist LOL

  • Heather  Rivet  IPA
    Heather Rivet...over 5 years ago


  • Scott  d'Almeida
    Scott d'Almeidaover 5 years ago

    fabulous ;

  • Kevin Williams
    Kevin Williamsover 5 years ago

    I remember going there a few times as a kid, and you’re right, it’s crazy in there! Things you never forget … but the food is fairly forgettable. Go for the experience, not the food.

    Nice image, too, I like the slightly subdued tones you used.

  • Carolyn Bishop
    Carolyn Bishopover 5 years ago

    Awesome capture! Wow!

  • rwhitney22
    rwhitney22over 5 years ago

    yaay! Casa Bonita! I went here EVERY year as a little girl for my birthday. I still love to go from time to time for old times’ sake! Great Shot!

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