by Christopher Rosa, Jasper Intern
The movies are moving. And it is causing a swirl of emotions.
The Nickelodeon Theatre, Columbia’s flagship local film theatre, and one of the most acclaimed in all of the Southeast, will be moving to a new home starting on August 31, 2012. The theatre will be taking a trip down Main Street, from its original 937 address to 1607. The move, according to Nick marketing director Isaac Calvage, has been in the works for several years now. “The Nickelodeon Theatre simply has needed to expand our offerings and capacity. We currently have a maximum of 75 seats in an aging building, and we needed to expand. In our current location, we simply do not have space to grow.”
Physical expansion was certainly a top priority for Nick leaders as they planned this move; however, the new space will allow them to artistically expand as well. “The move will also allow us to delve deeper into experimental film, and also show more mainstream independent films. The Nick is also really excited that we’ll own our space. We’re currently just renting this building.”
The move from 937 Main to 1607 Main is quite the financial endeavor. What sealed the deal for the move were two generous donations from the Ford Foundation and the Nord Family Foundation. Both were integral to the Nick’s journey up the street. “We could not have been more excited to receive grants from such truly inspiring organizations. The fact that they really want to invest in creative place-making, further encourages us that this move is absolutely the next step for the Nick. These prestigious organizations are making it possible to make our move,” Calvage said.
Picking the spot to move was a difficult decision, but 1607 was eventually chosen for its already rich cinematic past. “1607 Main St. was the former home of the State Theater, and then later the Fox Theater. It is also the only remaining theater that was left on Main St. All of the other spaces were either demolished, or completely changed into other spaces. We want to save the cinema history of our city, and also provide a new space on Main Street to help revitalize downtown,” Calvage notes.
Calvage also believes that the new location will have a positive economic impact on the surrounding area. “When we open, we will be open 7 days a week providing a space that is open not only in the daytime, but also at night, and we’re projecting that we’ll welcome 60,000 unique visitors to Main Street each year, which means that those folks are also spending money in our downtown restaurants and shops.”
The new space is going to be innovative in both its interior and exterior. “We are expanding to offer media education and filmmaker services in the future. Once the capital campaign is fully finished, we will also be opening a second screen, which has a capacity of 192 seats, and which will allow us to offer two different films at one time. We have improved concession areas, bathrooms outside of the movie theater, and greatly improved offices for our ever-growing staff,” Calvage beams.
The new Helen Hill Media Education Center is of particular interest. Calvage cites the digital age as the primary reason for the center’s inception. “In this modern age, where media is thrust at us from every direction, it is important to be able to analyze and interpret these messages, and their roles in our lives.”
There is only a little over a month left in the old space. “We are feeling great, but are quickly realizing how little time is left here. We are so proud to be offering the 33 films. 33 years retrospective at our current location, and we hope the community will use this as a time to say goodbye to this theater,” Calvage says.
The 33 films. 33 years event is a commemorative cinematic experience that pays tribute to the dozens of movies shown at the Nick. One film from each year that the Nick’s doors have been open to the public will be screened. Titles and dates are as follows:
’79 – Sunset Boulevard – Friday, August 10 at 5:30pm
’80 – Casablanca – Friday, August 10 at 8:00pm
’81 – The Seventh Seal – Saturday, August 11th at 5:30pm
’82 – Annie Hall – Saturday, August 11th at 8:00pm
’83 – Breaking Away – Sunday, August 12th at 3:00pm
’84 – Rashomon – Sunday, August 12th at 6:30pm
’85 – Weekend – Monday, August 13th at 5:30pm
’86 – Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life – Monday, August 13th at 8:00pm
’87 – Rear Window – Tuesday, August 14th at 5:30pm
’88 – Touch of Evil – Tuesday, August 14th at 8:00pm
’89 – Heathers – Wednesday, August 15th at 5:30pm
’90 – Do the Right Thing – Wednesday, August 15th at 8:00pm
’91 – Cinema Paradiso – Thursday, August 16th at 5:30pm
’92 – Slacker – Thursday, August 16th at 9:00pm
’93 - Like Water for Chocolate – Friday, August 17th at 5:30pm
’94 – Orlando – Friday, August 17th at 8:00pm
’95 – Three Colors (Blue/White/Red) – Saturday, August 18th at 3:00pm (Blue) 5:30pm (White) 8:00pm (Red)
’96 – Bottle Rocket – Sunday, August 19th at 3:00pm
’97 – Waiting for Guffman – Sunday, August 19th at 5:00pm
’98 – Smoke Signals – Monday, August 20th at 5:30pm
’99 – Buena Vista Social Club – Monday, August 20th at 8:00pm
’00 – Timecode – Tuesday, August 21st at 5:30pm
’01 – Yana’s Friends – Tuesday, August 21st at 8:00pm
’02 – 8 Women – Wednesday, August 22nd at 5:30pm
’03 – Bowling for Columbine – Wednesday, August 22nd at 8:00pm
’04 – Lost in Translation – Thursday, August 23rd at 5:30pm
’05 – Junebug – Thursday, August 23rd at 8:00pm
’06 – The Squid and the Whale – Friday, August 24th at 6:00pm
’07 – Volver – Friday, August 24th at 8:00pm
’08 – Man on Wire – Saturday, August 25th at 2:30pm
’09 – Let the Right One In – Saturday, August 25th at 5:00pm
’10 – A Single Man – Saturday, August 25th at 8:00pm
’11 - The King’s Speech – Sunday, August 26th at 2:30pm
’12 – The Artist – Sunday, August 26th at 5:00pm
The last screening will be followed by a party on August 26th to officially say goodbye to the 937 address. The new Nick will open its doors on August 31st. “We cannot believe the success we have had. It is our goal to become more than a movie theater, and really be a community center, as well as a resource for filmmakers and film education in the realm of media literacy,” Calvage says.