Bexley News

Wish list of improvements become reality for Drexel

Upgrades that include Dolby Digital sound should be in place by the end of this year


The historic Drexel Theatre is undergoing renovations that are expected to be completed before the new year.

All three theaters at the Drexel are being converted to state-of-the-art digital projection and sound. The largest theater will be equipped with Dolby Digital 7.1 sound and the two smaller theaters will have Dolby Digital 5.1 sound. Digital projectors and new screens will be installed in all three theaters.

The barrel roof covering all three theaters also will be replaced, as well as the 10-ton HVAC unit, which services the largest theater.

Due to the renovations, screenings before 4 p.m. Dec. 12 and 19 were canceled. The regular Wednesday schedule will resume Dec. 26.

Funding for the renovations was provided by the Bexley Community Foundation and Franklin County through a federal Community Development Block Grant. Limited Brands Foundation and members of the Jeffrey family also contributed to the effort.

"Having now stabilized the theater financially, Friends of the Drexel is now focused on the condition of the physical plant, which has deteriorated for years," said Richard Stoff, chairman of Friends of the Drexel Inc. "These first critical steps -- beginning with a new roof -- will protect the basic structure of the building and equip the Drexel to be more competitive in the market by providing an improved theatergoing experience for our patrons. Next, we'll explore a complete renovation of the theater."

Since forming in 2009, Friends of the Drexel has rallied the community to save the historic theater. Purchasing the theater's assets in 2011, Friends of the Drexel converted the Drexel to a nonprofit organization and hired CAPA to manage the theater on its behalf.

Friends of the Drexel also implemented a Drexel membership program to support the programming, community outreach, and educational endeavors of the Drexel Theatre while offering members exclusive, tax-deductible benefits and privileges.