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Gahanna’s Cinemark Movies 16 Gets a Facelift

 Nicholas Herum Gahanna’s Cinemark Movies 16 Gets a Facelift
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Gahanna’s Cinemark Movies 16 located in the Stoneridge Shopping Center at the corner of Morse Road and North Hamilton Road is in the final stages of a long overdue makeover. Since opening in the fall of 1995, Movies 16 hasn’t changed much. Perhaps due to so many Columbus theaters upgrading their amenities and décor in the last year, Cinemark has decided to give the aging theater a much needed facelift.

Those familiar with Movies 16 (or its sister theater Movies 12 at Carriage Place) are surely familiar with the ghastly neon pink, purple and green color scheme with black and white tile that overpowered patrons as soon as they walked through the door. The wild colors were everywhere; the lobby, the bathrooms, the hallways and the auditoriums. Now, most of that neon is gone, replaced with new gold and Earth toned wallpaper that has brought it more in line with Cinemark’s newer building style.

The concession stand has been upgraded with new countertops and a self-service butter station. An unused concession stand at one end of the building has been gutted and in its place a party room has been built.

Unfortunately, many of the other changes are only skin deep. Trash cans still liter the hallways and have simply been painted black while the drop ceiling grid is still neon green. No new digital signage has been installed in the box offices or hallways, resulting in there being a lot of crooked or off color mylars and showtimes. The purple cloth seats have been reupholstered with a pleather covering, but underneath they’re still the same old purple metal seats with stationary armrests.

Auditorium doors still feature the dizzying black and white color pattern while closet doors for some reason have had a fake wood applique applied. Black and white tile still appear in the lobby, auditorium entrances, as the concession stand ‘backsplash’, and bathrooms. Unsurprisingly, it continues to clash with the current décor just as much as it did with the previous style.

The lobby’s large neon wall clock has been removed, but if you’re a neon fan there’s still neon lighting outside the game room and outside both the men’s and women’s bathroom off of the lobby. Again, it clashes terribly with the new look.

It’s interesting to point out that while the theater got a general sprucing up, some issues persist. For instance, you can walk into any number of auditoriums and still find holes punched in the walls. The exterior marquee is also in a sad state of disrepair; one side of it is missing and has been exposed to the elements since February. If and when the marquee will either be repaired or removed is unknown.

The Movies 16 remodel also missed an opportunity to add some greater variety to their limited concession options. Instead of using the space from their second abandoned concession stand to put in a bar, coffee shop, or a small eatery, they permanently boarded it up.

While it’s nice to see one of Columbus’ older multiplexes getting a facelift, the effort at Movies 16 falls a bit short. Despite its shortcomings, the theater still offers affordable prices, all digital presentation, and nine 3D-capable auditoriums, making it a bargain lover’s dream for first-run movies.

It will be interesting to see how Cinemark’s remodeling efforts stack up against AMC’s, who is currently updating their Dublin 18 theater. Stay tuned for more.

Cinemark Movies 16 is located at 323 Stoneridge Lane, Gahanna, OH 43230. Showtimes can be found at www.cinemark.com.

Photos by Nicholas Herum.

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