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Telluride's Nugget Theatre Closes Down, Changes Owners

Telluride's Nugget Theatre showed its final movie last night under the 28-year ownership of Luci Reeve and Jim Bedford. The pair decided to throw in the towel after a Tuesday meeting with their landlords, the Telluride Film Festival, about rent. The pair have asked for rent relief multiple times, including as recent as March 1st to ask that their rent be halved. TFF Co-Director Julie Huntsinger said it wasn't a matter of "kindness or not kindness," but just that they couldn't risk not paying rent to the building owners, Katrine and Bill Fornby, who bought the building in 1999. The Fornbys themselves said they already charge far less than the market rate of $40,000 a year for the Nugget as is.

Reeve and Bedford struggled to run the theater on a shoestring budget for years, even pulling from personal finances to make ends meet last fall, and were in no position to make the $50,000 investment needed to upgrade the theater's equipment to film industry standards. Nonetheless, it appears than an unidentified new owner will make that investment, and the Fornbys themselves may undertake an "ambitious" theater renovation they'd shelved during the recession. TFF claims the theater will be back up and running by summer.

· Nugget Theatre to go dark for off-season, change hands [Telluride Daily Planet]