Drexel Theatre

2254 E. Main Street,
Bexley, OH 43209

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Drexel Theater lobby - Cincinnati, OH 8/96

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The Drexel Theatre opened in the 1930’s and remained open until the 1970’s, when it closed.

Jeff Frank bought the Drexel Theatre and opened it as an art house in 1981, and it has remained open since then. It was a single screen theater when Frank bought it but was changed to a triplex in the early 1990’s.

The front section of the original auditorium still remains and still has the original Art Deco style decor. Drexel Theatres also manages the Arena Grand, a nine-plex just opened in downtown Columbus. The Drexel Theatre hosts sci-fi and horror marathons every year, sci-fi usually in the spring, horror on Halloween weekend. The 2002 sci-fi marathon was held at the Arena Grand and was a big hit.

Contributed by Bob Sindeldecker

Recent comments (view all 33 comments)

meheuck on July 12, 2010 at 3:45 am

In the case of Grandview, the Drexel operators had a dispute with the landlord and chose to leave the operation; a former employee decided to make a new deal with the owner of the building and renovate/reopen the theatre.

In the case of the Arena Grand and the Gateway, Jeff Frank was hired by the developers of those commercial districts to design the theatres, as well as book, staff, and run them. After a few years, I can only fathom that the developers thought they could find people to do the job better than Jeff, and dispensed with his services. Granted, I am prejudiced because I had a long and happy relationship working for him, but I have always felt it was rather rude and unceremonious of these consortiums to cut him out after he contributed so much time and energy in launching their theatres.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on July 12, 2010 at 3:49 am

I always liked the idea that Columbus could have its own local chain of art houses and didn’t have to depend on Landmark like other parts of the US. (Not the Landmark lasted very long either when they had their chance….)

CSWalczak on March 18, 2011 at 7:31 am

The Drexel has been acquired by a not-for-profit group that will use the Columbus Association for the Performing Arts (CAPA) to manage the theater: View link.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on March 18, 2011 at 7:38 am

CAPA are good folks, who got their start by saving the historic Ohio Theatre downtown back in 1969. They even have a little experience in movie exhibition, with the Ohio’s summer film series.

Keith on October 23, 2012 at 8:40 pm

Today, the box office revenue is up, content has never been better, and aajor renovation is being planned including a new roof, digital sound and projection, and, yes, new bathrooms. Part of a letter from the Chairman of the Board

Keith on January 5, 2013 at 11:20 am

I pull up to the drexel today and see the 35mm projectors in the back of a pick-up truck headed to the scrap yard. End of an era.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on January 5, 2013 at 11:25 am

I’d hope they are headed for another theatre and not a scrapyard!

How will the Drexel ever show old movies if they no longer have any projectors?

KevinRouch on January 25, 2015 at 8:32 pm

We kept one 35mm projector in our big theater, which we have used for the 24-Hour Horror and Sci-Fi Marathons and other events. We have two others in storage. Never fear – 35mm will never leave the Drexel!

Mark_L on March 3, 2016 at 4:03 pm

Closing March 14, 2016 for a few weeks (likely reopening in June) for remodeling of marquee, doors, flooring and concessions counter.

Keith on July 27, 2016 at 9:12 pm

New renovation pics have been posted.

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