Photo by Shane Wynn
Local independent cinema provides new culture to Downtown Akron
If you like to try new things and explore new places, take a trip to The Nightlight. A recent addition to downtown Akron, this independent cinema shows films you are unlikely to see anywhere else. Make it a date or a fun night out with friends and quench your thirst for new and exciting entertainment.
Steve Felix, the Nightlight’s executive director, says that the building was previously a document warehouse. “We did do a full renovation. It definitely wasn’t designed as a cinema,” chuckled Felix. Open since July 1, 2014, the cinema has been a hit so far. For more information about this cinema and listings of showtimes, visit www.nightlightcinema.com.
How would you explain The Nightlight?
We show independent and foreign films six nights a week. We’re a full-time independent theatre. We have a full bar and we have a complete, full, social experience to watch a movie.
What was the idea behind this cinema?
The idea behind it was that Akron was one of the biggest cities in the country without an independent cinema. [These are the] movies that don’t always come to the multiplex. We wanted to fill that gap. We’ve been doing a film festival at the Akron Art Museum for several years, so we decided the best way to grow was to become a full-time, year-round venue.
You’ve been open for a little while now. How’s it going so far?
It’s been great, we’re really happy with the response.
Tell us about your current location.
We’re at 30 N. High St., which is what we’re calling the historic arts district, with Crave, Musica, BLU Jazz+ and Urban Eats. We’re really happy to be a part of that. We feel like we’ve got a wave of development and entertainment options right there. I looked at a bunch of other locations and that seemed to be the one. We also like the fact that it’s close to our close friends at the Akron Art Museum.
What is one of your favorite movie at the cinema?
I like “The Girl Walks Home Alone at Night.”
What keeps patrons coming back time and time again?
We’re showing movies that can’t be seen on the big screen anywhere else in the area. There’s definitely a group of people that I’ve gotten to know there that I like to see movies with and share opinions.
What do you like about being downtown?
We love being close to some of the restaurants like Urban Eats, I eat there a lot. It’s where people are out and about I would say. It’s where places I really admire are, such as the Akron Art Museum. The density of different types of venues, like having a jazz club right there, is also very cool. The density in culture is high and getting higher.
Why should people walk in?
I think they are going to discover films that they might love, but might never see on a big screen locally.