Studio 35, Gateway: the beginning of a beautiful friendship

Theaters plan to partner for special events


A chance encounter about a year ago at a National Association of Theater Owners trade show in Las Vegas might enhance the movie-going experience for central Ohioans.

Eric Brembeck, owner of Studio 35 Cinema and Drafthouse, said last week that meeting Gateway Film Center President Chris Hamel at the gathering has resulted in the formation of a "strategic partnership" between his single-screen operation and the multiple-screen theater at 1550 N. High St.

"What we first tried to do was get some of the other theaters in town like the Drexel and the Wexner Center to get together to help promote each other's menus, because locals are important," Brembeck said.

When that plan didn't pan out, the Studio 35 owner said he and Hamel decided to work together to jointly promote events and even try to host complementary screenings of films.

"It's in the very early stages now," Brembeck said.

With the large number of national chain theaters in central Ohio, the owners of the two theaters recognized the need to collaborate to highlight the programs often found only at local, independent theaters, according to a press release.

"We are very excited to partner with Eric," Hamel said. "Through collaboration, we can provide the best-possible products to local audiences while helping to further establish a community for Columbus filmmakers and film-lovers alike."

"I think that their success can benefit us and vice versa," Brembeck said.

The two operations might jointly host events such as a festival of horror movies in October or a retrospective of films directed by Alfred Hitchcock, he added.

While all the details of the partnership aren't yet clear, Studio 35 and the Gateway will hold announce bi-monthly beer tastings hosted alternately at each theater, featuring craft beers paired with classic films.

"I think it can be a win-win," Brembeck said.