Superman 1978 poster

The Nickelodeon Theatre screens 1978’s Superman for free on Nov. 4.

Wednesday 30

The 2nd Act Film Project (presented by non-profit arts advocation organization The Jasper Project) gives Columbia filmmakers the chance not just to create some cinema, but to stretch their script-writing muscles, as well. Ten filmmaking teams are given the first and third act of a short film script, and they have to come up with the whole middle section on their own. The resulting films will be shown at the Trustus Theatre today. And we assume that since we never heard anything back, all 10 of those teams came up with something better than our second-act idea, which was, “Then a bunch of stuff happens.” The films begin showing at 7 p.m., and tickets range from $15 to $20. Visit for more info. — Vincent Harris

Thursday 31

This is Halloween! This is Halloween! But that doesn’t mean you should just stay home and watch The Nightmare Before Christmas. You could take the kids to the annual Halloween Hoopla celebration at Edventure Children’s Museum from 4 to 8 p.m. ($5 for adults, free for children), and eschew dealing with watching them as they run around the neighborhood knocking on doors for candy. You could hit up the Nickelodeon Theatre for a 20th anniversary screening of the found-footage horror hallmark The Blair Witch Project at 8:30 p.m. (tickets cost $11). You could go grab a few beers and watch Rocky Horror Picture Show on the big screen at Flying Saucer (free screening starts at 9 p.m.). Or you could poke around the rest of Free Times for even more options. Everyone hail to the pumpkin song! — Jordan Lawrence

Friday 1

There’s a lot happening west of the river these days. For proof, look no further than Fall Back Fest, a big ole autumnal-celebratory expansion of West Columbia’s regular First Friday Art Crawl on State Street. There will be live music in the form of Prettier Than Matt, the folk-pop outfit that is one of the area’s most fetching and popular bands. There will be an artist painting murals live on the street. There will be food and beverages, including the first public pouring appearance from West Columbia’s soon-to-open WECO Bottle & Biergarten. And there will be a reception for a new exhibition from Shelby LeBlanc at the Rob Shaw Gallery. For details on what all else is going on at the free fest, which goes from 6 to 9 p.m., head to — Jordan Lawrence

Saturday 2

While most of the ballet companies in Columbia typically mount full, classically minded ballets with ornate productions, the USC Dance Company often delivers near-professional level “mixed repertoire” performances that create variety and diversity on the Koger Center stage. The company’s Fall Concert tonight features Michel Fokine’s classic one-act ballet Les Sylphides and a world-premiere work by guest choreographer Addison Ector as well as pieces by USC’s Olivia Waldrop and André Megerdichian. The performance today is at 2:30 p.m. (preceded by a 7:30 p.m. evening performance on Friday). Tickets are $22 for the general public. Find out more at — Kyle Petersen

Sunday 3

If you love both mid-century modern architecture and snooping around other people’s houses, you’ll love the Columbia Modern Fall Tour, presented by the Palladium professionals group and Historic Columbia. Take a tour through shining examples of MCM architecture in Columbia, and gaze in awe upon the perfectly presented homes on display. In some cases you’ll be allowed to take photos, in others you won’t, so bring a camera at your own risk. The house-viewing begins at noon, and ticket prices vary, so visit for more info. — Vincent Harris

Columbia Museum of Art writer-in-residence Ray McManus hosts a poetry summit at the museum today, and he’s stocked his summit with three nationally renowned poets: Nickole Brown, Jessica Jacobs and Ashley M. Jones. The poets will each lead a workshop intended to broaden writers’ relationships with visual art; they’re open to poets of any experience level. The poets will close out the summit by reading from their award-winning collections. The summit runs from noon to 5 p.m.; admission is $20, $10 for museum members or $5 for students, and it includes admission to the galleries. Visit for more information. — Patrick Wall

We’re not 100 percent sure that “Christian-mocking comedy from a Christian” is a category, but if it is, then John Crist is one of its best practitioners. With viral YouTube videos like “Church Hunters” (a spot-on parody of House Hunters) and “How It’s Made: Christian Music” (which has racked up more than 2.3 million views), Crist has perfected an ability to poke good-natured fun at the culture of Christianity without dipping over into cruelty or blasphemy. It’s family-friendly for sure, but it’s also pretty funny. John’s show at the Township Auditorium (with Dustin Nickerson, Aaron Weber and DJ Mykael V) starts at 6:30 p.m. Tickets range from $27 to $152. Visit for more info. — Vincent Harris

Monday 4

Looking for even more timeliness? You’ll also get to hear one of the most iconic scores from composer John Williams, famous for his involvement in Star Wars’ core Skywalker Saga, which will come to an end with December’s furiously anticipated The Rise of Skywalker. The Nickelodeon Theatre hosts a free screening of Superman tonight at 7 p.m. Find out more at — Jordan Lawrence

Tuesday 5

Is it possible that our area is becoming a home-away-from-home for veterans of the late-‘90s swing-band revival? Katherine Whalen from Squirrel Nut Zippers recently did a show here in town, and now Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, who had some of the biggest hits of the revival era with “Go Daddy-O” and “You & Me and The Bottle Makes Three Tonight (Baby),” are playing at Newberry Opera House. Your back may not be able to handle those swing-dance moves anymore, but you can still snap your fingers, right? Showtime is 8 p.m.; visit for more info. — Vincent Harris

Wednesday 6

The Columbia Design League is offering a design-oriented tour of the state-of-art facility created by Nephron Pharmaceuticals in West Columbia. Hosted by Nephron Pharmaceuticals CEO Lou Kennedy, the tour of the 4500 12th Street Extension location will cover the design of the facility, the process, and innovative packaging design and pharmaceutical delivery systems. The tour is $10 (free for members) and includes a reception and cash bar starting at 6 p.m. followed by the tour at 7 p.m. RSVP at — Kyle Petersen

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