Think of it as a gift to the community from the Nugget - the building and the theatre. Nugget building owners Katrine and Bill Formby have teamed up with Nugget Theatre owners Lucy Reve and Jim Bedford to give Telluride an early Christmas gift - free movies next Wednesday and Thursday nights, dubbed "Nugget Nights."
"We decided it would be fun for everyone if people could come downtown, hang out around town, eat, drink and go to a free movie," said Katrine Formby. "We just thought it would draw people downtown and kick off the season right after Noel Night."
Formby got the idea for free family movie nights after reading articles in The Telluride Watch this fall about concerned main street business owners. "I just thought, let's do something fun for downtown, and this is what came to mind," she said.
Bedford selected the movie Dreamer , a film based on the true story of a horse trainer and his daughter, for Nugget Nights. "He picked a great family movie, one that would bring people together," said Formby.
The film stars Kurt Russell as Ben Crane, a once great horseman who is handed his walking papers by his employer and given a lame horse as severance pay. The unwavering faith of his daughter Cale, played by Dakota Fanning, keeps alive his dream of returning the once top-placing filly to her former glory and winning the Breeders' Cup Classic. What he finds while he's healing his horse, however, is that he's also healing his family. The cast includes Kris Kristofferson and Elisabeth Shue.
"It's a family movie, and brand new," said Formby of Dreamer , which was released this year.
Offering a free movie is incentive for families to have a night on the town, perhaps some shopping, dinner, and of course, take in a movie. "We want to bring people downtown, to feel good about downtown," said Formby. And keeping in the spirit of the season, the Nugget Building has been decorated for the holidays in fresh garlands, white lights and red ribbons. "This is the first year we have decorated the Nugget Building for Christmas," said Formby, who bought the building six years ago and is working to painstakingly restore it to its former glory, a years-long process.
"There's more to be done, a tower to put back up," said Formby, but the structure has come a long way from its late-20th-century purple façade. "It's part of us wanting to make downtown sparkle."
Formby said she and her husband are going to watch the movie in Austin on one of the Nugget Nights, "to be in the spirit."
"This is an experiment. We hope to have a good response and maybe it can become an annual thing," she said. "What makes Telluride so charming are the traditions it has. Anything that brings the community together is wonderful."
Dreamer will be shown on Wednesday, Dec. 14 and Thursday, Dec. 15 at 4 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. All the shows are free.