A lovely little four-screen local theater located only steps away from the Santa Cruz downtown area., “The Nick” screens many independent and foreign films, as well as the odd classic film, catering to the broad tastes of the Santa Cruz locals. There’s a photograph of legendary director Alfred Hitchcock in the lobby area, when he lived in nearby Scotts Valley he frequented the theater from time to time. The home of actress Zazu Pitts is also very close to the theater, her photograph also resides in the lobby.
The Nickelodeon was owned and operated by Santa Cruz resident Jim Schwenterley until it was bought over. It was designed by John Elphick and opened on July 1st, 1969, so it’s been around for a long while. The original owners were Bill Raney and his first wife, JoAnne Walker Raney. There are some great interviews with Bill that you can find online. In November 2015 it was taken over by Landmark Theatres, but although it has been through more than a few owners, The Nick has managed to retain much of it’s charm.