Santa Cruz’s Nickelodeon Theater celebrates 40 years

posted by CSWalczak on September 2, 2009 at 7:45 am

SANTA CRUZ, CA — A gamble taken by Bill and Joanne Raney forty years ago when Santa Cruz, Califonia was regarded as a place for people with one foot in the grave eventually became a [url=/theaters/17562/] successful cinema[/url[ operating venture.

Santa Cruz was a sleepy, conservative seaside town of retirees then, but Raney figured the recently opened University of California was only beginning to exert its influence and it was only a matter time before the sleepy town woke up.

Part of that wake-up call came in the summer of 1969 when the Raneys opened the Nickelodeon on Lincoln Street on the site of a former bakery. The first film played on the first day in business at the Nick was “Elvira Madigan,” a lush Swedish romance that featured what today would be thought of as a modest amount of nudity. But in an era when the term “Swedish cinema” was practically a synonym for wild carnal licentiousness, it was a significant cultural moment.

Read the whole story about the the Nickelodeon Theater in the Santa Cruz Sentinel.

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Comments (2)

Edward Havens
Edward Havens on September 2, 2009 at 7:54 pm

One of the best operated and programmed arthouse cinemas in America. Kudos to Jim and his team, and here’s hoping to forty more years!

rotorueter on September 3, 2009 at 8:05 am

This is an outstanding theatre, both in ambience and (as Mr. Havens said) programming.

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