Corporate Scene

The Nickelodeon

1607 Main Street

Columbia, SC 29201

Phone: 803.254.8234

Visit Website »

Sumner Bender

Sumner Bender became the executive director of The Nickelodeon two years ago, when the downtown arthouse was facing a number of challenges. The biggest was keeping a movie theater thriving in an era of streaming. She and her team have met that challenge. Take “Barbieheimer.” That double feature this past summer was a record breaker, with “Barbie” being the biggest draw in The Nick’s history.

That was just the peak. The Nick has lived up to its tradition as a place that offered films you couldn’t find at the multiplex. But as the last movie screen left downtown, it has broadened its offerings to attract a wider audience. You have to offer diversity in every sense of the word.

To Sumner, it’s not just about The Nick. “You have to have a thriving arts scene.” Before The Nick, the Columbia native had a lot of experience with arts in the Midlands — teaching theater in schools and presiding over the board of Trustus Theatre.