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The Ohio Theatre

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A beautiful old theater that makes for a unique moviegoing experience during summers.
In a Nutshell
Admission Price $7.00 for two
Concessions Price Very expensive but not outrageous, which is to say less than usual at movie theaters.
Video Quality Moderate
Sound Quality Adequate (for movies; the theater has excellent acoustics that serve well for stage shows, orchestral performances, and so on)
Crowd Varies wildly per movie; lots of families all together on this trip
Staff Very friendly and courteous; many of them are retirees and all of them are properly dressed and displaying matching manners.
Cleanliness Excellent
Previews None. Before the main feature, a classic Warner Bros. cartoon is played. In this case, it was a Porky Pig cartoon, “Daffy Duck Season.”
Location Center of town, across State St. from the Ohio Statehouse. Easy access from I-70, I-71, OH-315. Highly accessible on many COTA routes.

The Ohio Theatre is a grand building constructed in 1928. Originally a Loew's theater, it was home to movies and live stage shows. An effort of local citizens saved the Ohio from demolition in 1969 and today it remains a grand facility, home to the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, BalletMet, and many events.

As a season-ticket holder for the Columbus Symphony Orchestra every year, I frequently visit the Ohio. What concerns us at the moment, however, is another event series that brings me to the theater every year, the Summer Movie Series. Since 1969, CAPA has presented two months' worth of classic Hollywood films.

Niki and I went to see The Princess Bride, a new addition to the series. This is without a doubt one of my favorite movies of all time, a wonderful balance of comedy and fantasy/adventure genres. We were moving to find our seats as the program was just getting underway—a trivia game, wherein several in attendance were selected from the audience to participate. The very first thing we noticed was that the theater was full; empty seats were few and relatively far between. We ended up in the upper balcony.

The next thing that I noticed was the number of children, though unlike certain dreadful suburban mall-based theaters, the children didn't overrun the place. A second look indicated why: their parents were with them. Unlike certain completely content-free “children's movies,” The Princess Bride is a film that can be appreciated not just by children but also their parents. Having helpful ushers located throughout the theater also no doubt helped to keep things running smoothly.

Of course, like any grand theater from its era, the Ohio has an organ and practically every event comes complete with an organist's performance to keep things moving. During intermission, we were treated to such music as “Zip-a-Dee Doo-Dah” and themes from “The Muppet Show” and “Reading Rainbow.”

This theater doesn't have the biggest screen in Columbus, nor does it have digital video, nor THX sound. The charm of the venue and the classic movies presented at the Summer Movie Series more than compensate. It's worth returning to visit again and again.

Created by cmcurtin
Last modified 2007-08-18 09:06 PM
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