Ex-Drexel to reopen in Grandview
Oct 29, 2008 (The Columbus Dispatch - McClatchy-Tribune Business News via COMTEX) --
The Drexel Grandview theater, which closed a month ago, will
reopen in January with a new name and a new operator.
David Nedrow, a manager of the former Drexel North theater, said Monday that he and his wife, Jennifer Stancel, will spend about $50,000 of their savings to renovate and revive the oldest cinema in Franklin
They plan to call it the Grandview Theatre.
"We decided this was much better than a new house," said Nedrow, 44, who has longed to run a movie theater for more than 20 years.
The couple, who will rent the space at 1247 Grandview Ave. in Grandview Heights, will hire designers to decorate the theater in the art-deco style of its 1926 origins. They also plan to improve the seats, projection equipment and concession stand.
"It had started to look a little run-down, and I think people kind of picked up on that in the past couple of years," Nedrow said.
The theater will screen mainly independent and art films, as the Drexel Grandview did under the
15-year management of Jeff and Kathy Frank.
Nedrow also wants to show more foreign films, including movies that might appeal to Somalis and other immigrant groups.
"We're going to try to go a little bit more off the beaten track," he said. "There's a lot of product that never makes it to Columbus."
Such programming, he said, would differentiate the theater from the Drexel in Bexley, the Franks' only remaining business since they closed the Drexel Grandview on Sept. 30.
Jeff Frank, who hired Nedrow in the early 1990s to run his Drexel North in the North Side neighborhood of Clintonville, declined to comment on his former employee's plans, saying only, "I wish anybody well in the movie business."
Before the Drexel Grandview's closing, Frank said that the one-screen theater wasn't financially sound. He would continue the business, he said, if he could buy the building and add screens.
But the building wasn't for sale.
Nedrow thinks the theater can thrive with the help of advertising and full-time managers. For at least a year, he said, he and his wife will continue working at Verizon Wireless and Roxane Laboratories, respectively, and tend to the theater at night.
"I think the bigger issue is that a single-screen theater needs someone who's there full time to baby it. If you're not there frequently enough to register complaints and be able to react, then some of the maintenance issues can kind of grow."
Nedrow said he expects to have access to the theater this week.
The building's owner, Virginia Stoltz, did not return phone calls from The Dispatch.
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