Living Here Guide

How We Go Columbia: A flick at the Nick

My husband and I try to go to as many movies as possible. A lot of times, it’s not for the movie necessarily, but for the experience. Sure, there’s a multiplex near our house, and we do go there to catch the big blockbusters. However, taking the trip downtown to The Nick is much more special.

The Nickelodeon theater, 1607 Main St., is a unique Midlands treasure, offering a comfortable and cozy atmosphere with the film du jour.

No other movie house experience measures up to what the Nickelodeon has to offer. The big move to the former Fox Theatre has only enhanced that experience for moviegoers. The inviting retro marquee is a visual feast of neon lights. The smell of fresh popcorn is unlike any other popcorn smell you can find in the Midlands. It’s super fresh – always hot, not too salty and buttery – and a far cry from the bright yellow soggy stuff you find everywhere else.

The Nick staff brings in a variety of screenings – independent films, foreign films, documentaries and even older movies that they decide to return to the big screen.

Often, the person who sells you your tickets is the person who scoops your popcorn and introduces the film before it starts. He or she will tell you about the movie, upcoming movies and how you can become a member of the nonprofit Nickelodeon group, which comes with special perks.

In this age of Netflix and DVRs, The Nick is a throwback to a time when actually going to the movie theater was THE thing to do. And the old movie houses played such a prominent role in the community and culture of days past that it was always located on name-the-town’s Main Street. How do I know this? From movies, of course.