Andy Smith understands the importance of having a safe space to get creative. He's the executive director of the Nickelodeon, South Carolina’s only non-profit art house cinema. The theater is located on Main Street in Columbia and has become an anchor of activity for the city.
"The Nick" was founded in 1979 by two University of South Carolina students who wanted to create a place for film lovers to come together.
In August of 2012, The Nick’s board of directors purchased its current location, the former Fox Theater in downtown Columbia. The Nickelodeon’s unique programming features independent films, as well as special, curated series that relate to the community.
“You need to know how to critically address the media that’s presented to you, so a lot of our programs are focused on really honing those skills,” says Nickelodeon Theatre executive director Andy Smith.
In addition to its movies, The Nick also offers guests the opportunity to attend various film workshops or engage in expert-led discussions about the issues and themes presented during screenings. “Nowadays there are fewer and fewer places where adults actually gather in public and share ideas, and we take a lot of pride in the fact that people come to The Nick to do just that,” says Smith.