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Nugget Theater

2004 Photo from the Jim Bedford collection.
207 W Colorado Ave
Telluride CO 81435
(970) 728-3030

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Record #1818  
 Opened: 1935
Capacity: 186 seats
Architect(s): James Murdoch; L Taylor Lohr
Architectural Style(s): Romanesque Revival
National Register:
Current Organ: none
 Also Known As:
 Previously operated by: Diller Circuit

Information for this tour was contributed by Jim Bedford.

The Nugget Building, which houses the Nugget Theatre, was first the Old First National Bank Building which was built by Lucien Lucius (L.L.) Nunn in 1892 to house the First National Bank and the Telluride Power Company offices. A prominent Telluride citizen and businessman, Nunn's financial and property interests in the area were substantial. In 1891 Nunn and his brother Paul built the first commercial AC power plant in the world, located at Ames, which powered the Gold King mine. The Nunn brothers also built the Ontario power plant at Niagara Falls.

Nunn purchased the land for the building for $1,800. The bank was located in the east portion of the building; the vault with time lock is still there. A grocery store occupied the center space and a drug store was in the west side. An express office was in the rear. A grand staircase leads to the upper floor, which served as offices for Nunn's Telluride Power Company. In 1925 the bank was liquidated and the building sold for $7,500. In 1935 the old grocery store area became a movie theater and from the 1920s to the 1980s the old bank was used as the Elks Lodge.

This building was designed by James Murdoch, a prominent Colorado architect whose work includes St. Luke's Episcopal Church and other Denver landmarks. The building is in the Richardsonian Romanesque style with rusticated native red sandstone, arched windows and imported red granite columns. The building had a tower at the corner, which was later removed as it was believed that the weight was causing structural problems. A fire next door and the resulting water damage probably caused the west front foundation of the building to settle causing a small sag on the south-west corner.

The theater closed briefly in April 2013 for a change of ownership.

 Photos remain the property of the Member and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the Member.

December 2004 photos from the Jim Bedford collection.

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Last featured 6/18/2005. Last edited 10/11/2023.

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