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The best website on the history of Widescreen films is Martin Hart’s Widescreen Museum (www.widescreenmuseum.com) It has information on every widescreen system. If you go there, say “Hi” to the Usherettes for me!
OKLAHOMA was a Todd-AO film produced by Michael Todd. His goal was to create a Cinerama type image with only one projector at a time. OKLAHOMA was the first TODD-AO feature. CINERAMA at that time used 3 projectors (and a separate sound unit). CINERAMA theatres could not show TODD-AO and TODD-AO theatres could not show CINERAMA films at that time.
I’m not aware of Century building any domes in Oklahoma.
Lynne, Mike’s list includes 3-strip and 70mm films released with the CINERAMA logo included on the film and in advertising. GONE WITH THE WIND was an MGM release, and the CINERAMA logo was never a part of that release. I realize that this is a very fine distinction, but it is an important one. There actually was almost no difference echnically between the later CINERAMA films and other 70mm Roadshow releases.
Can anyone pin down a better address for this theatre? From Google Earth, I think I have it located at about 8036 Reading Road, but I can not be certain. Does anyone have the exact location?
According to the County records, the theatre was originally owned by Leo Yassenoff, who owned a number of theatres. The original date was April, 1967. The title passed to his foundation in 1974 and moved to the Columbus Jewish Foundation in 1996. It passed through a number of owners until it was given to the city in 2008 by Syed and Tabinda Rehman.
I lived about a block away from this theatre. (House is gone now…just a vacant lot.) The Drug Store was owned by Bernie Siegel, a pharmacist. It had a lunch counter and all the basic pharmacy stuff. Livingston Enterprises was the name of the store next to the theatre. It was a strange place that sold boats and other such things. Don’t know why they sold boats in such a landlocked place! There was also a radio-tv repair shop inside that we used for all of our TV work…back when they actually repaired TV’s.
There was a long empty area between the front doors and the doors of the theatre. There were a couple of display cases so the drugstore and Livingston Enterprises could show some wares. They only used the right door to the theatre to take tickets. The manager’s office was to the left of the theatre doors. It was always filled with papers and posters.
They usually shut down for the season in September or very early October.
In July, 1965, RKO sub-leased the GRAND to Trans-Beacon Theatres. In ads, the theatre was listed as both a Beacon theatre and a Trans-Beacon theatre.
Contrary to information above, the theatre closed on May 13, 1969 following the run of ICE STATION ZEBRA and was destroyed by fire on January 8, 1970. The 3-strip presentation were from 11/3/60 until 2/11/64. (The previous poster reversed some digits). This information confirmed through Columbus Dispatch microfilm records.
For a short time in the early ‘60’s, this theatre had a few roadshow runs. CAN-CAN and KING OF KING were presented in 70mm (KING OF KINGS was a move-over from the Cinestage). This was the first non-downtown location to run 70mm.
Nice to hear you are taking on the Grandview. I wish you the best of luck.
Are you planning on adding screens? Upgrading equipment? Improving acoustics?
Usually the theatre becomes a drug store, not the other way around! Must have been a big Rite Aid.
Sad news, Monika. I hoped something could be worked out. I posted the email on the Drexel Grandview page on this site.
The theatre will close on September 30, 2008. This email was sent to Drexel Email subscribers:
Dear DREXEL Family,
It is with heavy hearts that we have to announce that tonight, September 30, 2008, will be the last night of movies at the Drexel Grandview Theatre.
After the windstorm that closed the Drexel East and Radio CafÃ© for most of five days, we tried hard; but unsuccessfully, to reach
agreement with the Grandview property owner so that we could keep the theatre open for a closing night party. Jeff and I will be at the Grandview tonight to say goodbye to any who come in, gather a few things, and secure the building until we can pack up the bulk of the theatre equipment and move it out in the next few days. We express our deep gratitude to all of you who have shared your Drexel Grandview stories, sent sad but good wishes, and even made offers of services in behalf of possibly keeping the theatre open.
Let us look on the brighter side. We have heard from so many of you and benefited so much personally from your good will. Our Drexel 3-screen theatre and Radio CafÃ© are alive and well. We have lots of programming and operational goals to accomplish in the very next few weeks so that we may continue to bring independent film and events to Columbus. We can certainly use all of your help.
We hope you will visit us at the Drexel Theatre in Bexley, even though it may not be the movie theatre closest to your home. We need lots of support and help to thrive at our business in this very difficult economic time.
Accept our heartfelt thanks and please, please continue to visit the Drexel Theatre and Radio CafÃ©. Feel free to share your ideas and thoughts with us directly through response to
Jeff and Kathy Frank
Showtimes through October 2, 2008 are now up on the web site, so they will be open at least one additional week.
In an email to Drexel patrons sent Friday afternoon, 9/26/08, Jeff Frank announced “Because of the severe storms last week and the loss of power at both our theatres and cafÃ©, and the fact that many people were without power, we decided it would be best to postpone our Grand Closing Event for Drexel Grandview. We are currently working on keeping the theatre open for a few additional weeks so we can plan this event and we’re still trying to work out a way to keep the theatre open longer.”
The Strand in Delaware was opened in April of 1916.
I noticed the last time I was over that way that there is a door to the backstage area.
Oh, and for the record, the county auditor site lists the property being built in 1923.
Regarding the two store rooms on either side of the theatre…I looked the property up on the County Auditor site and did some measuring. Looks like those rooms are 16' wide and 40' long. You COULD put a screening room in there, but after you take out space for a booth and screen/speakers, you aren’t left with much.
There is no stage, nor room for a backstage. Honestly, I don’t see how that theatre could be chopped up into smaller rooms…it isn’t that big to start with. ALso, the acoustics are NOT good in that room, as it is very hard to understand some dialog in there…I saw a British film there once with heavy accents, and it was almost impossible to understand what was going on.
There are a number of very successful restaurants very close by…perhaps the owner is hoping for a restaurant in that space. Wall off the back for a kitchen and put tables toward the front.
According to the article, the owner has no plans for the building. I doubt anyone else would even try to make a go if it in there. I don’t see anyone wanting a single screen.
I’ll post if I hear anything about the space. Restaurants do well in that area, and that space could work for a nice place.
The Drexel Grandview will close on September 27, 2008. The theatre has been operating at a loss and without a lease for some time. Offers to purchase the building were rejected by the current owner.
Jeff & Kathy Frank will continue to operate the 3-screen Drexel Theatre in Bexley OH.
Was SAND PEBBLES shown in 70mm out there? I wasn’t sure, and I haven’t added it to my films I’ve seen in 70mm list.
That was a very nice theatre. As time wore on, it became a bit rundown. I don’t think they ever replaced those small surround speakers, and toward the end, they really sounded bad. But those Norelco’s were things of beauty!