The Onyx Theater is launching a new collaboration with the Nevada Theatre. Beginning June 26, the Onyx Downtown at the Nevada Theater will screen films on Sunday evenings at 7 pm The Nevada City Film Festival will also from time to time, host films and events on Sunday evening as well as utilizing the Nevada Theater during its regular film festival in August.
For anyone who hasn’t been in the Nevada Theater over the past several years, they are in for a delightful surprise — the ceiling and walls are painted with exquisite murals by local artists Sarah Coleman, Miles Toland and Brianna French. The three artists have been recognized with the Dr. Leland and Sally Lewis Award for Visual Arts by the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce. A new Dolby 7.1 surround sound system and a DCI-compliant digital projector complete the stunning renovation.
This is not the theater you know and love, but something much more with art, sound and screen technology to elevate the entire experience. Expert theater designer Jerry Harrah’s technical engineering guided the sound and screening upgrade. Harrah has designed hundreds of theater venues over his 50 year career. Film lovers can look forward to an eclectic mix of films in a comfortable, greatly enhanced film house each Sunday.
The Onyx Downtown envisions a combination of independent, arthouse and mainstream films, but most of all, sees an incredible venue to provide a great variety of offerings, which are not age restricted, allowing for more types of films and much larger audiences.
Nevada City Film Festival founder and Onyx Theater owner Jeff Clark sees this as the next step in sharing his love of film. “Movies can change who you are and how you see the world. The size and scope of the Nevada Theater offers us a rare and wonderful home to grow Nevada City as a true film destination — not just for screening films, but for supporting festivals and filmmakers. Both the Onyx and the NCFF will be utilizing the new equipment in the space, and both will be bringing great programming, but they are separate entities (the NCFF is a nonprofit of course). Sunday nights will be films presented by the Onyx Downtown series, and in 2023, the NCFF will be bringing programming to the Nevada Theatre. We will be creating programs that connect film and filmmakers, expanding the way people think about movies and hopefully inspiring others. Isn’t it wonderful to be able to experience Nevada City and see great cinema?”
With the Onyx Downtown, community and nonprofit collaborations are now possible. The Onyx Downtown will play a role in advocacy and fundraising efforts as well as cinema appreciation. It is certain that being downtown and available year round will keep the Onyx Theater and the Nevada City Film Festival top of mind, adding to the vitality of Nevada City’s great local culture.
“I want to acknowledge and thank Mike Getz, and the entire Sierra Cinemas family, for starting this tradition of film at the Nevada Theater so many decades ago. Mike is a true champion of film and contributes so much to our local arts scene. We look forward to carrying on the Sunday night tradition, with the Onyx Downtown providing a wide range of film and community collaborative projects in the heart of historic Nevada City,” said Onyx General Manager Celine Negrete in a recent conversation concerning this new venture.
After several years of not really having formal venues due to COVID, the Nevada City Film Festival will showcase previous films, along with new works. It’s a rare moment when a film festival can occupy a beautifully refurbished historic theater.
Jane Primrose, Nevada Theater Commission President, considers this one of the last key pieces in stepping through the obstacles posed by COVID. This wonderful home for arts will now be an even more integral part of downtown Nevada City with audiences once again each Sunday. “Sunday night movies are an important linchpin in our overall programming,” notes Primrose. These upgrades will keep the Nevada Theater operating as a vital part of our community for many years to come.
The original Onyx Theater in the Seven Hills District, though still somewhat of a hidden gem, continues to set a very high bar for cinema, seven days a week, and now adds a grand showcase for movie lovers in the heart of downtown Nevada City on Sunday nights.
Onyx Downtown at the Nevada Theater
The Onyx Downtown at the Nevada Theater screens films each Sunday evening at 7 pm Films will be an eclectic mix of films and also showcase Nevada City Film Festival selections. Watch for upcoming film series and special selections. Sign-up for news and event notifications at theonyxtheatre.com.
The Nevada City Film Festival
Founded in 2001, the Nevada City Film Festival is often referred to as the “Sundance of the Sierra” for its emphasis on fiercely independent cinema that showcases innovative, progressive and exciting new voices in film. In 2020, Nevada City Film Festival was named by USA Today as the #3 Best Festivals in the US.
The Nevada Theater
The Nevada Theater is the oldest, continually operated theater on the West Coast of the United States. Built in 1865, the Nevada Theater was closed during COVID, which provided time for a significant mural project, along with digital screening and surround sound upgrades. These projects were done with grants and donations. Many thanks to the community, the Onyx and Nevada County Board of Supervisors. https://nevadatheatre.com/
Pamela Biery is a freelance writer and communications professional. Contact her at email@example.com. Read more of her work de ella at PamelaB.com