The Nightlight Cinema + Lounge: The Area’s First Indie Cinema

Downtown Akron’s first and only indie cinema, the Nightlight, is a 46-seat theater with premium surround sound, showing a variety of film types including first-run releases as well as older films remade for the big screen.

A cinema where you can catch independent films, while drinking a vintage cocktail and munching a fancy cupcake? Yes, please.

Downtown Akron’s first and only indie cinema, the Nightlight, is a 46-seat theater with premium surround sound, showing a variety of film types including first-run releases as well as older films remade for the big screen. The theater is in a historical brick building, in the same block of N. High Street as Musica, Crave, and the We Gallery. Inside is a dimly lit lobby with black walls, old theater signs, a dose of art deco swank and best of all—a fully operational bar.

Films include titles such as opener “Only Lovers Left Alive,” likely selected in honor of its director, Jim Jarmusch, an Akron native. The film tells the story of two lovers of the blood-sucking variety, brought together (again) in a passionate relationship that has spanned several centuries. Apart from being clever, visually beautiful, and full of surprises and humor, it’s a film you won’t find at Tinseltown, or anywhere else around, for that matter.

At the bar, you can order from a chalkboard menu of local craft beers and classic cocktails (such as Old Fashioneds and Gin Rickeys), all served in real glassware. There’s an espresso machine for lattes and coffee drinks to accompany pastries from the Blue Door. Glass jars full of old-time candy adorn the bar, and, of course, your typical movie snacks such as popcorn and sodas also are on hand.

For a reasonable $8 per ticket, you get a seat in an intimate theater with a half-dozen rows, making you feel as if you’re at an exclusive movie premiere with a group of friends. Picture and sound quality are excellent, and theater seats are comfortable and accommodating for your beverages and nibbles.

The theater, a partnership with Akron Film + Pixel, is made possible by a grant from the John S. Knight Center, as well as a successful fundraising campaign on Kickstarter. The theater is open six days a week and even is available for rent for group events.

Visit NightLightCinema.com for current and upcoming movie trailers, showtimes and advance ticket sales.

Where to buy

The Repository
Select Rite Aid Stores
Spee-D Foods
Buehler's Fresh Foods
Fishers Foods, including 44th Street NW, Tuscarawas St. W, Fulton Drive, Lincoln Way E. and Cleveland Ave. NW locations
Aultman Hospital Gift Shop
Mercy Medical Center Gift Shop
Gervasi Vineyard Marketplace
Carpe Diem Coffee Shop, downtown Canton and Belden Village Mall locations
News Depot
Avenue Arts Marketplace
Yum Yum Tree Alliance
Grapes in a Glass