Drexel Theatre patrons will receive an early holiday gift this season, as key renovations on the historic arts cinema begin today, and will be completed before the end of the month.
The most noticeable transformation will be the conversion of all three theatres to state-of-the-art digital projection and sound. The largest theatre will be equipped with Dolby digital 7.1 sound and the two smaller theatres will have Dolby digital 5.1 sound. Christie digital projectors and new screens will be installed in all three theatres. This equipment will allow digital media from studios/distributors to be screened.
Additionally, the barrel roof covering all three theatres will be replaced, as well as the 10-ton HVAC unit which services the largest theatre.
Due to the renovations, screenings before 4pm on Wednesday, December 12, and Wednesday, December 19, have been cancelled. The regular Wednesday schedule will resume on December 26.
Funding for the renovations has been provided by the Bexley Community Foundation, Franklin County through a federal community development block grant, Limited Brands Foundation, and members of the Jeffrey family.
“Having now stabilized the theatre financially, Friends of the Drexel is now focused on the condition of the physical plant which has deteriorated for years,” said Richard Stoff, Chairman of Friends of the Drexel, Inc. “These first critical steps – beginning with a new roof – will protect the basic structure of the building and equip the Drexel to be more competitive in the market by providing an improved theatre-going experience for our patrons. Next, we’ll explore a complete renovation of the theatre.”
Since forming in 2009, Friends of the Drexel has rallied the community to save the historic theatre. Purchasing the theatre’s assets in 2011, Friends of the Drexel converted the beloved Columbus icon to a non-profit organization and hired CAPA to manage the theatre on its behalf. Friends of the Drexel also implemented a Drexel membership program to support the programming, community outreach, and educational endeavors of the Drexel Theatre while offering members exclusive, tax-deductible benefits and privileges.