“The Nuart is symbolic of the commencement of a new era for the motion picture industry. Unlike Idaho’s earlier theaters, it was designed and constructed with the emerging “talkies” in mind. As such, its owners chose a new architectural style to house the new art form, and as the theater’s advertisement proclaimed, it was “all the name implies.”
Built in 1929 by the Demordaunt family, the Nuart was used for a time as a silent movie theater but is reported to be one of the first movie theaters in Idaho to run talking films, which required the installation of specialized equipment.
The Nuart operated as a movie theater until the late 1970s. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977 with Walter Demordaunt listed as its architect. Idaho movie theaters listed in the National Register of Historic Places are most notably the Egyptian (built 1927, listed 1974) in Boise, the Nuart (built 1929, listed 1977) in Blackfoot, and the Panida (built 1927, listed 1984) in Sandpoint.
On October 28, 1986, the Blackfoot Community Players (BCP) had the building deeded to them by the DeMordaunt family for the purchase price of $10. The Board members for BCP have the sole responsibility to continue to refurbish and maintain the historical Nuart. Roofs need constant upkeep; paint has to be restored; the stage, dressing rooms, and handicap accessible restrooms must be maintained and renewed; hardwoods, carpet, and chairs need to be refurbished and shampooed. Maintenance of an hundred-year-old building is expected, planned, and expensive!
The Nuart Theater is a treasure of its time.