Although the position of theater director at the Drexel Theatre, 2254 E. Main St., is a new role for Jeremy Henthorn, the Bexley resident finds the work is familiar.

In his previous role as executive director of the Columbus International Film and Animation Festival at the Columbus College of Art and Design, Henthorn said he collaborated often on special events with Drexel Theatre staff and the Friends of the Drexel board that oversees the nonprofit movie theater.

"I've been working with them for a few years," he said, "so I knew everyone walking in the door, which is nice."

While growing up in Delaware, Henthorn said he frequented the Drexel as a moviegoer.

"Everything about that theater, to me, epitomizes arthouse cinema," he said.

Prior to joining CCAD, Henthorn served as Ohio film office director for the Ohio Department of Development. He has a master's degree from the University of Southern California School of Cinema, where he served as a mentor coordinator. He also has a bachelor's degree in English from Otterbein University.

Henthorn received Otterbein's Playwriting Award and was a member of its Torch and Key Honor Society. At USC, he was awarded the Edward Small Memorial Scholarship for Writing Excellence and was a Nicholl Fellowship quarterfinalist.

Henthorn's education and experience made him an ideal fit, said Judy Fisher, chairwoman of the Friends of the Drexel board.

"He seems to have not only a knowledge of film, but a love of film," she said. "His enthusiasm is just wonderful. We need someone like that, because it impacts our programming."

Fisher said the board hired a firm to conduct a national search to fill the role vacated by Kevin Rouch, who resigned as director in April and now runs a consulting firm. The board interviewed two other candidates, she said, before hiring Henthorn, who officially started on July 16.

"His experience is spot-on," she said. "All that adds up perfectly for the Drexel and our needs."

As theater director, Henthorn oversees the Drexel's day-to-day operations, determines artistic content, schedules and promotes films, programs special events and serves as community ambassador for the Drexel.

"I'm excited for people to see what we're going to do with programming," Henthorn said. "We're going to stay the arthouse cinema we always have been, and we're going to add more in the mix with classic films and midnight showings."

Henthorn said he is not only a movie buff, but a screenwriter as well. He recently sold a feature screenplay, "Butterfly," to cinematographer Svetlana Cvetko. The movie is in development and centers on the fictional story of a woman recently released from prison who strives to reconnect with her estranged daughter, Henthorn said.

"I always grew up with a very strong female presence in my life, from mothers to grandmothers to aunts," he said.

The story "came from seeing the struggle, the struggle to make it," he said.

Henthorn has lived in Bexley for the past eight years with his wife, Tamara, a genetic counselor at Nationwide Children's Hospital, and their children, Vivianne, 8, and Kai, 4.

Bexley is not only a walkable community that is conducive to raising children, but offers a thriving arts community, Henthorn said.

"Bexley is an extremely creative community," he said. "As someone who is in the arts, you want to be in a place that's supportive of the arts."

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