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Drexel Gateway Theater

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Catching a movie, the right way.

On a recent Saturday, Niki and I opted to see a film at a new theater, the Drexel Gateway, right in the middle of the new South Campus Gateway. (I've previously mentioned what an improvement it is over the old notion of “south campus.”)

In a Nutshell
Admission Price $13.50 for two
Concessions Price Between double and triple retail; usual theater pricing
Video Quality Good
Sound Quality Excellent; we didn't hear a neighboring theater's explosions
Crowd College students, older couples, no little kids
Staff Friendly and efficient; not too chatty
Cleanliness Good
Previews Relevant. About movies, even.
Location Center of town, between OSU campus and the Short North; easy access from I-71, I-670, and High Street. COTA-accessible.

Parking is a snap for anyone coming into the area from far away: taking the 11th Avenue exit from I-71 westward will take you right to a parking garage's north entrance. Three hours there will cost you only a buck, just about perfect for lunch and a movie. For those fortunate enough to be closer to the center of the city, it's right on High Street, meaning that even COTA can manage to get you there without much hassle. Indeed, that's precisely what I do when I'm coming either from the OSU campus or my office downtown.

Coming through the glass doors, you'll be a level lower than you need to be, so prepare either to hike up the stairs (which we did, painlessly, I might add) or to ride the escalator upward. Once at the top, the Ugly Tuna Saloona will be to your right and to your left will be the theater and its adjacent café.

We arrived nearly an hour before our 12:35 movie so we'd have plenty of time for a reasonably-paced lunch. Looking over all of our options, we were pleased to discover plenty of interesting possibilities. The music was unfortunately louder than I would have hoped (though we were the first ones there, and I'm sure the volume would be reasonable if it were full of people chattering away); more disappointing was the selection of music. Utterly dreadful garbage. “I Wanna Sex You Up,” “How Do You Talk To an Angel,” then some other quasi-rap-quasi-R&B junk I couldn't even recognize.

All of the free weekly newspapers that I read are available, which was quite convenient since I deviated from my usual newspaper-reading schedule for the week. Niki and I waited for our lunches while we looked through the papers to see what was happening about town.

First to arrive was my double espresso. I'm sorry to report that it arrived in a one-third-filled styrofoam cup. Worse was the fact that it was bitter. I'm not sure exactly why, but I think it might be something to do with the roast that they used; the other cafés associated with Drexel theaters have the same problem consistently. It's conceivable that it's just a difference in preference, but I'll not be getting any more espresso there.

Just about the time that I'm wondering for how long Madonna can possibly repeat “Vogue!” over a dance club beat, we're listening to “Mr. Jones,” by Counting Crows—from one of my favorite rock albums. Even stations that play whatever nonsense managed to get popular will have an occasional winner. Whatever. Far be it from me to complain at that point.

I got a meatball and marinara sandwich, complete with french fries (chips—or “crisps,” if you prefer—are the default). It was a nice toasted sandwich, and I liked the thickly-cut fries. A bit more spice would have been in order and I'll probably try the sandwich again with a bunch of red pepper flakes or something else to try to give it some extra kick. Niki had the Spicy Thai Veggie Sub and liked it. She somehow or other managed to get two types of fries: the same sort that I got as well as sweet potato fries, which are cut much more thinly.

We wandered into the theater from there with a few minutes before the movie was scheduled to start. I made a visit to the restroom, which was very clean and so far has been kept well.

We were in one of the smaller theaters, which I would guess would sit about sixty people. Even full, though, it would be comfortable. Apparently all of the seats are high-back models complete with cupholders, arranged with enough lift to allow easy viewing of the screen, which was just the right size for the amount of distance that we had from it. Sound was wonderful, the theater being equipped with Dolby digital sound.

Niki and I were there with only one other couple, suggesting that we found a good time to go. The theater had none of the kind of annoying distractions that many suburban theaters have, such as gamerooms that suggest they're trying to keep lots of little kids occupied before the movies actually begin. I took this as a good sign that they don't expect to get many of the little kids that tend to overrun theaters and drive me crazy.

This is clearly a theater that is run by movie lovers for movie lovers. I look forward to many happy returns.

Created by cmcurtin
Last modified 2006-04-10 10:25 AM
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