Vickers Theatre enters next act under new ownership

Published 1:00 pm Wednesday, April 26, 2023

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THREE OAKS — Patrons to Vickers Theatre in Three Oaks may have noticed some changes to the venue in the past six months. 

The art house theatre has long been known and loved by cinephiles seeking out the latest in independent movies, foreign films, and the nominees of each award season. Those movies have still been playing, but more mainstream titles, first run films, and special events have also found their way into the mix. These changes come in the wake of the new ownership of the business by Zach Hackett.

Hackett’s background may surprise those who now know him as the new proprietor of Vickers Theatre. He had long been a physicist running a manufacturing company in Florida, where he lived with his wife and two children. After the manufacturing industry was hit hard during the COVID-19 pandemic, he began looking into diversifying, possibly into commercial real estate. He was also looking for a change after over a decade in Florida. A previous visit with friends in the area had already put Three Oaks on the map for him.

“We fell in love,” Hackett said, noting the support for art in the community. “Three Oaks is really unique. Most small towns aren’t this artistically vibrant. It’s a town that has more theatres than stoplights.”

He had actually been hunting online to find housing in the area when the listing for the theatre appeared in his searches. On a trip to see the property, he knew immediately they were going to buy it, purchasing the business before even finding a house in the area.

The location has history with film and entertainment over a century long. According to the Vickers website, the first moving pictures were shown in 1907 in the space where the current theatre parking lot is today. Vickers got its start as The Fairyland Theatre in 1911 and changed hands several times over the years before closing. In 1994, it was purchased by Jon and Jennifer Vickers. Lovers of art and film, they renovated and brought the space back to life. The business was eventually purchased by Judy and Joe Scully in 2010 and was operated by them until the purchase by Zack late this past year.

Hackett knew there had been a lot of interest in the building when the Scullys announced their plans to retire, but not all potential buyers planned to keep it as a theatre. It took him a short time to see just how much the local community values the building in its current use, so he made sure everyone knew he planned to keep it as it was.

“I want to maintain what this is,” Zach told them.

He described the numerous people who have since thanked him and his family for taking care of Vickers. In addition to maintaining its legacy as an arthouse theatre, he intends to add more.

“I would love to see this place open every day of the week,” he said.

Hackett hopes to bring in a wider audience and additional offerings. In addition to films of all types, he’s hoping to bring in a variety of other entertainment and events, such as book readings, trivia, presentations, comedy, and live music. The film offerings will continue to include foreign, independent, and award-winning movies, but will also include film festivals and themed showings, such as the upcoming screening of Star Wars: A New Hope for May 4th’s celebration of Star Wars Day. He’s developed a good relationship with the nearby Acorn Theater and hopes to take advantage of the differences in each venue, bringing in complementary music to their offerings, such as intimate acoustic sets. In time, he hopes to have the space be available all of the time, even if there isn’t an event. He hopes to find a use for the space during the day, such as a coffee shop or other multi-use space.

“We’re creating an environment where there’s good music and good vibes coming out of it,” he said.

The event schedule for Vickers Theatre can be found at

Justin Flagel is the founder of Red Chuck Productions, where he writes, tells stories, and creates new media. Follow his work at Feedback can be directed to