Founded in 1979 by Carl Davis and Linda O’Connor, students at the nearby University of South Carolina, the Nickelodeon continues to serve as the gathering place for lovers of film and critical dialogue in the Columbia area. Originally located in a converted bank at 937 Main Street, the Nickelodeon moved to its new home in the former Fox Theatre at 1607 Main Street in August of 2012. In its early days, the Nick relied on a dedicated volunteer staff who did everything from providing audio equipment for the theater to popping popcorn. The past ten years have seen tremendous growth within the organization, including a dramatic expansion in staff and the launch of a new slate of media education programs and curated film series. Additionally, the Nick now serves as a major cultural anchor on Columbia’s blossoming Main Street drawing over 35,000 attendees into the heart of our city annually.
The Nick’s programming is now comprised of a mix of first run independent films, special curated series, and one-off screenings of films of relevance to our community. As big believers in creating more engaging film-going experiences, the Nickelodeon often provides opportunities for conversation before and after screenings, pulling together experts and community members as speakers and respondents.
…the Nick now serves as a major cultural anchor on Columbia’s blossoming Main Street drawing over 35,000 attendees into the heart of our city annually.”
More than just a movie theater, The Nickelodeon is also the presenter of the annual Indie Grits Film Festival – an annual showcase of the best in Southern DIY film and culture – which was named one of the “20 Coolest Film Festivals in the World” by Moviemaker Magazine. The Nickelodeon is also home to the Helen Hill Media Education Center, providing opportunities for members of the community to acquire stronger critical viewing and production skills.
The Nickelodeon is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with over 2,000 members. The board of the directors of the Columbia Film Society provides oversight of the organization. The Nickelodeon Theatre is a proud member of the Art House Convergence, the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture (NAMAC), and the SC Arts Alliance.