Santa Cruz’s Nickelodeon Theater celebrates 40 years

posted by CSWalczak on September 2, 2009 at 10:45 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 10:54 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
rotorueter on September 3, 2009 at 11:05 am

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

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