Columbus is blessed with a remnant of the days when movie houses were stand-alone, single-theater structures found in many neighborhoods. The theater is called the Drexel, and it is found on Main Street in Bexley, a close-in suburb.
The Drexel is a beautiful art deco structure that features a classic neon sign. It hasn’t quite been preserved in its original state; the big theater has been divided into several screening rooms. Still, it is vastly different from, and in many ways preferable to, the cookie-cutter multiplexes found at most shopping malls. Don’t get me wrong — the multiplexes offer the opportunity to see lots of different movies, and we visit them from time to time. It’s nice, however, to walk under the bright sign advertising one of the features being screened, to sit in one of the original theater seats, and to get a distant whiff of what it was like to go to the movies during the glory days of the 1930s and 1940s.
The Drexel typically screens independent films and, occasionally, repertory fare. It’s owned by a non-profit entity, Friends of the Drexel, and is operated by CAPA. Over the years, many volunteers and charitable folks have taken steps to make sure that the Drexel remains in operation, as a cornerstone of the Bexley community. I’m very glad they did.