Flicker's East Cinema Pub

4501 Refugee Road,
Columbus, OH 43232

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Flicker's East Cinema Pub

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The Forum 1, 2, 3 opened just east of Eastland Mall on march 31, 1972. This first-run triplex with a faux-Roman facade was built and operated by Academy Theatres, which at the time was a local chain of neighborhood second-run theatres.

While building the Forum 1,2,3, Academy also modernized and renamed two of those neighborhood houses: the Esquire Theatre became the Carousel East, and the Beechwold Theatre became the Camelot North.

I believe the Forum 1,2,3 was the first Columbus-area theatre with more than two screens, and possibly the area’s second cinema originally built with more than one screen. (The first was the Bexley 1 & 2, built as a twin way back in 1935.)

The Forum 1, 2, 3 closed some time in the late-1980’s, but reopened on Friday, June 23, 1989 as Flicker’s East Cinema Pub. It was one of three Flicker’s locations in Columbus, serving beer and food along with movies.

Flicker’s East Cinema Pub closed on Sunday, October 22, 1995. The building has sat empty and unused ever since. The Eastland Mall area now has no movie screens at all; ten years ago, it had 19 of them.

Contributed by Ron Newman

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

snydersp
snydersp on January 3, 2006 at 9:44 am

I drove by the old Forum Theater last weekend with my girlfriend. We were high school sweethearts in the mid 70’s and The Forum was a place we remember going together. It was a very small theater but has a lot of history for those of us growing up in the days when it was operating. (She recently found a ticket stub she had saved from when we went there to see “Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother” in 1975.) Anyway, The Forum building is still there, sitting vacant and looking very forlorn. There is a chain link fence blocking access to the upper parking lot. The old lower lot is still visible on Google Earth but can’t be seen from the road. The Franklin County assessor’s website shows that the property was sold in July 2005, but nothing has been done with the property yet. It would be wonderful if it was to open as a theater again but I suppose that’s unlikely.

RichM
RichM on June 6, 2008 at 11:32 am

Remember seeing An Officer and A Gentleman there with my BEST friends girlfriend, oops. And remember seeing Best Friends, with my girlfriend there. LOL

Mark_L
Mark_L on July 2, 2008 at 1:44 pm

I just checked the County Database of properties, and it looks like the City of Columbus now owns this structure. Transfer occurred on 6/10/08

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on July 2, 2008 at 1:48 pm

Interesting. Any idea why the city would buy it? Does it make sense for them to flip it to a cinema operator (chain or independent)?

Mark_L
Mark_L on February 4, 2009 at 10:31 am

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.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on February 4, 2009 at 10:35 am

So what is the city doing with it, and what did the Jewish Foundation use it for?

Mark_L
Mark_L on May 3, 2010 at 9:12 pm

In early 1984, Royal Theatres, operator of the Forum at the time, announced that they were going to build a 6-screen theatre behind the Forum. It was to seat 2,500 with 2-500 seat rooms. Dolby and 70mm equipment was to be included. This project was never completed.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on April 5, 2013 at 9:47 am

In a Columbus Eastside-related Facebook group, someone told me that a Pakistani community center called ‘Masjid Namrah’ is now located here.

Mark_L (or anyone else local to Columbus), can you walk or drive by the location and verify this? These pages give the same address as the old Forum, but I don’t know if they moved into the cinema building or if they tore it down to build something new.

Masjid Namarah web page

Masjid Namarah Facebook page

Mark_L
Mark_L on April 5, 2013 at 3:27 pm

The picture on the website of the sign is definitely the one from the old Forum theatres. County records show it is still owned by the City of Columbus, and notes owned by the library system. I’ll keep looking.

Mark_L
Mark_L on April 15, 2013 at 2:29 pm

In response to Ron Newman’s request, as of 4/15/13, the building is the same but they have changed the portico.

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