‘Wizard of Oz’ Centerpiece of This Year’s Nugget Nights
by Gus Jarvis
Dec 01, 2013 | 1551 views | 0 0 comments | 26 26 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Free Screenings of the Classic, Remastered Film Dec. 4-5

TELLURIDE – Set off to see the wizard this December when Nugget Nights return this holiday season with two nights of the digitally remastered classic, The Wizard of Oz, screening for free at the Nugget Theatre.

Every December, in what has become a Telluride holiday tradition for the past nine years, Nugget Building owners Katrine and Bill Formby, along with the Telluride Film Festival and The Watch, team up to offer free movies for all ages as a gift during the holiday season. This year’s Nugget Nights will take place Wednesday, Dec. 4-Thursday, Dec.  5 at the Nugget Theatre in Telluride with free nightly screenings of The Wizard of Oz at 4, 6:15 and 8 p.m. each night.

Along with the free film showings, the Formby’s will donate $10 to Telluride’s Angel Baskets Program for every bag of popcorn purchased – it doesn’t matter what size – every bag purchased means a $10 donation to Angel Baskets.

Angel Baskets is a Telluride-based nonprofit organization that provides food and gifts to financially strapped families in San Miguel County, the West End of Montrose County and the Dove Creek area of Dolores County.

“We really like Angel Baskets, and know they could use extra money,” Katrine Formby says. “It doesn’t matter what size of popcorn you buy; they will keep track of every one that’s sold, and we will write a check to Angel Baskets.”

And while Nugget Nights offers the perfect family opportunity for a free Night at the Movies,  with Telluride’s Noel Night-discounted holiday shopping season in full swing Wednesday, why not drop off the kids and go shopping without them (and slip back into the theater Thursday night to follow the yellow brick road with a bag of popcorn that’s on your own!). “It gives us a warm feeling doing something nice for Telluride and for a good cause,” says Formby.

Adapted from L. Frank Baum’s timeless children’s tale about the journey of Dorothy from Kansas over the rainbow (and back), The Wizard of Oz opened at Grauman’s Chinese Theater on Aug. 15, 1939. The film was directed by Victor Fleming (who that same year directed Gone With the Wind), produced by Mervyn LeRoy, and scored by Herbert Stothart, with music and lyrics by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg. Dorothy was portrayed by a 4-ft., 11-in. 16-year-old girl who quickly earned her reputation as “the world’s greatest entertainer” – the incomparable Judy Garland.

Ray Bolger appeared as the Scarecrow; Bert Lahr as the Cowardly Lion, Jack Haley as the Tin Man and Frank Morgan was seen in six different roles, including that of the wonderful “Wizard of Oz" himself.

The Wizard of Oz received five Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture (Outstanding Production), and captured two Oscars – Best Song (Over the Rainbow) and Best Original Score – plus a special award for Outstanding Juvenile Performance by Garland.

The film was an overwhelmingly popular and critical success upon its initial release and repeated its ability to captivate audiences when MGM reissued the film in 1949 and 1955. The film made a new kind of history with its network television premiere in 1956 on CBS. Nearly 45 million people tuned in for that initial telecast, marking the beginning of an annual tradition. Ever since, The Wizard of Oz has been shown almost every year on network television, with its magical story and heartfelt performances giving this perennial classic to much-deserved status as a treasured icon of popular culture.

Make sure to catch The Wizard of Oz on the big screen in Telluride on one of this year’s two Nugget Nights. It’s Katrine and Bill's, the Telluride Film Festival’s and The Watch’s way of saying: “Come out to the free Nugget Nights and support Noel Night and Angel Baskets. We love the movies, we love downtown and we love Telluride. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Enjoy the shows.”

Seating is first come, first served, so show up early!

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