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Studio 35 Expands with Pizzeria & Second Screen

Susan Post Susan Post Studio 35 Expands with Pizzeria & Second ScreenAll photos by Susan Post
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Studio 35 is a single-screen theater no more. Taking over the second floor that was once an apartment and a projection booth, the Clintonville movie theater has added a second screen – and its very on pizzeria.

Owners Eric Brembeck and Rita Volpi have had their sights set on the second floor renovation since they finished the theater’s first remodel earlier this decade, which saw new seats in the main theater and the draft lines expand from 15 to 40.

Operating as a one-screen theater had its challenges. Volpi says they had to be right all the time. When screening a Blockbuster film, the movie studio sets the number of weeks it needs to run – no matter how quickly the audience might drop off.

“The second screen opens up so many doors to us,” Volpi says.

They can screen quirky movies they might have had to pass on before, more niche films, and even more big studio releases.

“This allows us to continue to foster the community events that we do,” Brembeck adds.

The new theater seats 28 and is all recliners.

Movie goers might catch a whiff of fresh-baked pizza on their way up to the new screen. The second floor also includes a small seating area and Studio 35’s new kitchen, operating as Fibonacci’s Pizzeria.

A nod to the golden ratio and turning out beautiful pies, Volpi says the focus is fast, hot and delicious pizzas – and using local ingredients when possible.

Pizzeria Managing Partner Gabe Sturgess (who has been around Studio 35 for two decades plus) dishes the details on the Neapolitan-style pizzas. The crust is made with 00 flour, water, salt and yeast – no added sugars or oil. The pies take a spin in a proprietary volcanic stone pizza oven imported from Italy. (Literally a spin – the inside of the 700 degree oven rotates, cooking a pizza in roughly two minutes.)

Fibonacci’s pizza oven imported from Italy

Ohio’s own Ezzo supplies the pepperoni and sausage, and they plan to work with purveyors like Swainway Urban Farm, the Stratford Ecological Center and Tiger Mushroom Farms, as well as other local farmers to source a network of seasonal Midwest ingredients. One of two second floor decks will also be dedicated to growing herbs. (The other opens into the seating area for patio fun.)

There will be seasonal pies based on available ingredients, and specials that play off of the movies that are screening. Moviegoers can also build their own pizzas or opt to Pie Hard – aka order a speciality pizza. There’s the Hot Swarm with pepperoni, cheese, ricotta and house-made hot honey, or the Flock Yeah! with fire-braised chicken, bacon, green onion, local blue cheese, Grande cheese, parmesan and buffalo sauce.

Fibonacci’s also offers a lineup of four subs. Sturgess’ personal favorite is the Caprese with house-baked bread, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, lettuce and tomato. Salads and a few shareables round out the menu.

The Flock Yeah! pizza with fire-braised chicken, bacon, green onion, local blue cheese, Grande cheese, parmesan and buffalo sauce

Studio 35 frequenters will be familiar with the pizza ordering process – order and pay at the bar and a pie will appear for pickup a short while later.

Fibonacci’s will be slinging pies whenever the movie theater is open. Non-moviegoers can technically score some eats, but Volpi says they’re still figuring out exactly how that process will work.

Finishing touches will continue to go up including artwork and some improved and expanded seating in the downstairs bar area.

“You have to always keep evolving, making the experience great,” Brembeck says. “This place has been open for over 80 years now…our job is to make it awesome for the next 80.”

For more information, visit studio35.com.

All photos by Susan Post

Pizzeria Manager Jake Lewis prepares a pie for the oven
The pizza starts its journey around the oven
The pizza sits on a proprietary volcanic stone
After around two minutes in a 700 degree oven, the pizza is done
Hot honey going on!
A finished Hot Swarm pie
A new seating area upstairs
Studio 35 is known for its 40-handle beer selection
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