Sunday, June 13, 2010

Saturday night at the Ohio Theatre

I haven't posted here in a while, I guess because I haven't been doing much worth noting. But last night, we went downtown to the Ohio Theatre with our friends Sarah and Joe. The Ohio Theatre is a grand old movie palace (built in 1928) which, after some years of neglect in the 60's, was restored, most fabulously so, and is now Columbus's premiere showplace for plays, concerts, ballets, and in the summertime, classic movies. The Summer Movie series is in its 40th year and, though we used to make a habit of going downtown to see at least 5 or 6 of the movies each season, lately it's been difficult to get our assess off the couch to go see movies we've seen umpteen times, and in most cases, actually own on DVD. This summer, we're making more of an effort; in the season's first week, we've been to three of the four events: Rear Window, a double feature of the 1931 Frankenstein and the 1941 Wolf Man, and, last night, Singin' in the Rain.

The theater has a large ground floor and a huge balcony area, with a front loge, mezzanine, and upper balcony, with a capacity of 2700. The movies generally attract a nice-sized crowd--I estimated the Frankenstein/Wolf Man crowd in the balcony alone to be over 250, with more downstairs. Last night was about the same. If the movie we're seeing is a visual treat, we get there early enough to sit in the front row of the loge, an ideal place to have the movie image fill your view. But because of the acoustics of the building, the dialogue, especially with older movies, can be hard to make out in the loge, so sometimes we sit in the upper balcony--the screen looks much smaller, but the sound is perfect. Below, my three companions in their last row balcony seats:

The Ohio is a beautiful building and getting there early just to gaze at the ornate decorations on the walls and ceiling is great fun. Below, the chandelier:

A view of the stage from the balcony:

A view of the boxes (which were never used for seating, only for looks) along the side of the auditorium:

The architecture includes many interesting features that the casual viewer may not catch the first time. My measly digital camera can't capture the rather rococo features on the walls and above the stage, but below is one of many faces at the top of many columns:

The outside marquee:

And finally, Clark Wilson, the organist who plays one of the few still-functioning theater organs in the country for a half-hour before each movie, rising from the orchestra pit:

When we go again, I'll post more pictures.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like you all had a great time. The first time I saw _Singin' in the Rain_ was on the big screen at the Drexel years ago, and it's a movie I'm so glad I *didn't* see on TV first. I loved it so much I went back to see it again the very next night.

    Wish I could've been there with you all on Saturday! I hope Tom & I can get to Columbus some weekend before the series is over and we can go with you.