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Photos: Gallery | Colorado Springs Gazette, News

These iconic places in Colorado Springs are gone ... and we miss them

Places that we love come and go. It's just how things work. These 15 Colorado Springs favorites are gone, but we still miss them.

Conway's Red Top

Conway's Red Top

Founded in 1944, there were five Colorado Springs locations and one in Pueblo at the chain's peak. The restaurant featured hamburgers so large that one covered an entire plate. Hard times and tax issues doomed the chain, which closed the last of its  locations in 2012.

In this 2008 photo, John Elway (right) and John Lynch of the Broncos exit a Conway's Red Top with then-presidential candidate John McCain and his wife, Cindy.

Gazette file photo

KIRK SPEER

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Drive-in theaters

Drive-in theaters

Colorado Springs was once the home of at least three drive-in theaters. The Starlight opened in 1948 on N.Murray Boulevard near E. Platte Avenue. The Aircadia operated from 1955-94 at 3201 E. Platte Avenue. The 8th Street Drive-in was open from 1955-84 at 1300 S. 8th Street.

This 1955 photo shows the 8th Street Drive-in.

Photo by Myron Wood, courtesy of Pikes Peak Library District, 002-2831

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Flying W Ranch

Flying W Ranch

The ranch offered western food and western-style entertainment from its opening in 1953 until it was destroyed by the 2012 Waldo Canyon Fire. The chuckwagon meals were served cafeteria-style on tin plates and usually featured a generous helping of beans. The Flying W. Wranglers became renowned for their humor and harmonies.

Gazette file photo

David Bitton

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Furr's Cafeteria

Furr's Cafeteria

After 38 years in a strip mall at Pikes Peak Avenue and Printers Parkway, Furr's Family Dining (more commonly known as Furr's Cafeteria) shut its doors on Jan. 14, 2003 after its corporate parent filed for bankruptcy. A second Colorado Springs location had closed four months earlier. Many faithful diners had been going there since it opened.

Gazette file photo

Bryan Oller

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Giuseppe's Old Depot

Giuseppe's Old Depot

The Ochs brothers - Don, Harlan, Ken and Larry - bought the train depot from the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad at 10 S. Sierra Madre Street in September 1971, the same year the railroad ended passenger service to the city. It served as one of Colorado Spring's favorite Italian eateries until its closure in 2011.

Photo by Jerilee Bennett, The Gazette

Jerilee Bennett

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Appletree and Gleneagle golf courses

Appletree and Gleneagle golf courses

Gleneagle Golf Club closed Nov. 1, 2013 after 40 years of operation. Appletree Golf Course, which opened in 1989 as a Lee Trevino-designed course along Jimmy Camp Creek, closed in 2006. Efforts to reopen it proved fruitless.

This photo shows the 10th hole at Gleneagle Golf Club.

Gazette file photo

HUNTER MCRAE

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Hall of Presidents wax museum

Hall of Presidents wax museum

The Hall of Presidents Wax Museum was open from 1969 to 1996. It had wax likenesses of 42 presidents and some Disney characters, including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

One Gazette writer said her favorite character was probably the creepiest: Abe Lincoln on his deathbed. His chest went up and down as he breathed.

When the museum closed it was reported that many of the wax figures went to a museum in Dallas.

Gazette file photo

Gazette file photo

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Hungry Farmer

Hungry Farmer

This Colorado Springs icon located on Garden of the Gods Road opened in June of 1969 and was the place many residents took their out-of-town guests. Wait staff used what they called the "high pour" to serve coffee, balancing a cup on their foot while pouring from a pot held high in the air.

The restaurant closed in 2003 and the building has since been demolished to make way for fast-food establishments.

Gazette file photo

Bryan Oller

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Joy Rides Family Fun Center

Joy Rides Family Fun Center
Featuring go-carts, bumper cars, bumper boats, miniature golf and an arcade, among other attractions, Joy Rides had a 7-year run at its location just off East Platte Avenue. The location had previously operated as McNulty's and then as Boardwalk.

Gazette file photo

Jay Janner

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Michelle's Chocolatiers & Ice Cream

Michelle's Chocolatiers & Ice Cream

Founded in 1952 and moved to its famous location on N. Tejon Street in 1954, Michelle's was seized by the IRS in May of 2007. Among the items auctioned off was a framed 1959 Life Magazine cover featuring the shop. For over 50 years, it was the place to go in Colorado Springs for first dates and family outings.

Gazette file photo

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Mr. Biggs Fun Center

Mr. Biggs

The family fun center, which opened in 2005, once housed a go-kart track, mini golf, laser tag, an arcade and much more. It hosted countless birthday parties and was a favorite destination for Pikes Peak area families. The 152,000-foot building now houses a variety of businesses, including D1 Sports Training and Stellar Restaurant Solutions. Mr. Biggs closed in April of 2012.

Gazette file photo

Bryan Oller

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Skateland and Bosanova skating rinks

Skateland and Bosanova skating rinks

The Penkhus family relocated to Colorado Springs in 1949 and established the automobile dealership that still bears their name and Skateland on Colorado Ave. Lee White Penkhus played the organ and 1960s roller derby star Cindy McCoy learned to skate there.

Bosanova opened its doors at 2903 N. Prospect Street (just south of E. Fillmore Street) in 1966 and closed in 2004. Most remember it for its maple skating surface.

Gordon Sweet photograph collection, courtesy of Pikes Peak Library District, 044-4685

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The Soda Straw

Located at the north end of the Rustic Hills Shopping Center (1705 N. Academy), the building is gone and all that remains are the cracked and scattered remnants of the parking lot. In its heyday, it was a center for birthday parties and a rendezvous for sweethearts.

Photo of the menu courtesy ebay

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Ski Broadmoor

Ski Broadmoor

After a snow, the dual slopes on the side of Cheyenne Mountain still look like an active ski area. The venue actually closed in 1991 after 32 years of operation. Originally built by the Broadmoor Hotel, it was sold to the City of Colorado Springs in 1986, and then to Vail in 1988.

This 1964 photo by Myron Wood shows two people waving from the chairlift at Ski Broadmoor. Colorado Springs can be seen in the distance. (002-1539) Courtesy Special Collections, Pikes Peak Library District

Pikes Peak Library District

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Waldo Canyon Trail

Waldo Canyon Trail

Once among the area's more popular hiking trails, it was initially closed by the 2012 Waldo Canyon Fire. Since then, nature has reclaimed much of the route and floods have destroyed the rest.

In this 2015 photo, Joe Lavorini of Rocky Mountain Field Institute surveys  flood damage to the trail.

Photo by Christian Murdock, The Gazette

CHRISTIAN MURDOCK, THE GAZETTE

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