Staff Pick: Drexel Theatre to reopen following renovations

Jim Fischer

The third and most significant phase in the renovation of Bexley's Drexel Theatre will be unveiled to the public when the movie house reopens for business on Friday, July 15.

In a twist on the adage "everything old is new again," this three-month renovation/restoration included work on the marquee and front entrance, lobby and concession area and all three theaters, returning the Drexel, which originally opened on Christmas Day 1937, to its Art Deco origins. Earlier renovation projects included the theater's restrooms, HVAC and projection system.

The in-all $2.5 million renovation was funded through significant private donations, as well as federal, state and City of Bexley funding.

It marks the completion of a plan set forth by the Friends of the Drexel after it acquired the financially struggling neighborhood cinema in late 2009.

"We now have a financially sound, fully restored theater for future generations of Central Ohioans," Friends of the Drexel Chair Richard Stoff said.

"We're ready to show movies again," said enthused Theater Director Kevin Rouch. "Our existing guests are going to be thrilled, and we hope the curiosity factor will bring many new sets of eyes to the theater."

Programming begins Friday with screenings of the Russell Crowe/Amanda Seyfried drama "Fathers and Daughters," crime drama "The Infiltrator," starring Bryan Cranston, and Susan Sarandon's "The Meddler," which opened during the renovation. Upcoming weekends will feature "Absolutely Fabulous," Woody Allen's "Café Society" and the indie film "Captain Fantastic" with Viggo Mortensen.

"You can watch Netflix alone, you can see a movie at an efficient-yet-sterile cineplex or you can choose a warm, charming and eclectic place [in] one of the neighborhood art-house theaters," Stoff said.

Drexel Theatre

Friday, July 15

2254 E. Main St., Bexley

drexel.net