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Studio 35 & Grandview Theaters Open Friday

Hope Madden Hope Madden Studio 35 & Grandview Theaters Open FridayPhoto by Susan Post
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It is official—Ohio movie theaters can reopen right now. Any time. But will they?

There’s plenty in the way of that. First of all, there’s the lack of movies. Christopher Nolan’s Tenet isn’t coming to save us until July 17. Mulan won’t kick anybody’s ass for another week after that. Everything else is basically already available online.

And that’s just one problem. The second—arguably more important—concern is the safety of moviegoers. What theaters are equipped to sanitize buildings, learn new protocols, train (and likely rehire) staff?

What you’d need right now is a theater that doesn’t have too many screens to fill, boasts newly restored seats and theaters to start with, and has been prepping for weeks by being open without showing movies. Is there a theater in Columbus that fits that bill?

Hooray—there are two!

Both Studio 35 in Clintonville, 3055 Indianola Ave., and the Grandview Theater in Grandview, 1247 Grandview Ave., will open their theater doors Friday, June 12. Because both venues are bars as well as movie theaters, both businesses have been open to the public since May 21, which means both sets of staff have practice with new regulations.

“We really have thought this through,” says Eric Brembeck, co-owner of both Studio 35 and the Grandview Theater. “And that’s the key. If we don’t make people feel comfortable and feel safe, they’re not coming back. You only get one chance to do that.”

The standards put in place to reopen the bars will still hold, while Brembeck and staff are working out additional considerations for the theaters themselves.

All tickets must be purchased online so seats can be tracked to ensure safe distance. Certain rows have been eliminated, certain seats will be marked off.

“There’s going to be longer times between movies so we can clean,” Brembeck says. “We’re going to clean everything. We’re making everybody feel comfortable.”

There is an expectation for guests, too.

“Our rule is butts up, masks on,” he says.

In both theaters, and in their bars as well, you have to wear a mask when you enter and whenever you leave your seat. In your seat, you can take off your mask.

“If you don’t have a mask we’ll sell you one for a dollar,” Brembeck says.

Both theaters will rely on some cult favorites while they wait for Hollywood stock to make itself available.

“We’re just making the best of it we can,” he says.

The Coen brothers classic The Big Lebowski as well as Edger Wright’s beloved Scott Pilgrim vs. the World will both play Grandview, while Studio will show Wes Anderson’s joyous Moonrise Kingdom and celebrate the 35th anniversary of The Goonies.

“We’re going to try to do beer tastings next weekend,” Brembeck predicts. “We’re going to do Jaws over 4th of July, so we’re just trying to figure out the programming.”

The point is, movies. We get to see movies, drink beer, support two much-loved local theaters and feel safe and confident when we do. And for that, the least we can do is maintain a good attitude.

“Be patient,” Brembeck requests. “We’re trying to figure this out, too. We just want people to be respectful of others. And wear a mask. That’s really important to us.”

For tickets and information visit Studio 35 and Grandview Theater websites.

Read more from Hope at MADDWOLF and listen to her weekly movie review podcast THE SCREENING ROOM.

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