The Ohio Theatre: This Is Your Life!

March 10th, 2011 by Elena Perantoni-Fehr

By Elena Perantoni, Programming Assistant

Happy Birthday to yooooou….
Happy Birthday to yooooou….
Happy Birthday dear Ohio Theatre!
Happy Birthday to yooooou!!

[Music and original lyrics by Mildred Hill and Patty Hill]

Wow, lady! You look good for 83! Better than ever, I’d say. But I guess I’m kind of biased. See, I have the distinct honor to work within your walls each day, and have I ever mentioned to you how grateful I am for that?

As a fellow March baby, there are several things I think we have in common. Pisces is a mutable sign, which indicates that you’re a restless soul, always longing for movement. Boy, is that an understatement! You’re not one to settle for a night off, Ohio Theatre. I believe you’re at your best when your marquee is lit, your stage is full, and your audiences are cheering.

When your doors first opened on March 17, 1928, you were christened the Loew’s and United Artist’s Ohio Theatre (although now you go only by your surname – how very Cher of you!). Your first love was movies, and you premiered new ones every Thursday. In the 1930s-50s, that meant two films, cartoons, newsreels, and organ interludes. Eventually though, as folks flocked to the suburbs and their shiny new televisions, attendance dropped and your hallowed halls were in jeopardy of being demolished. Luckily, at the tender age of 41, a newly organized group called CAPA (or the Columbus Association for the Performing Arts) raised the money to purchase you and dutifully restore every possible authentic detail. It must have felt so wonderful to once more get the attention you deserve.

For many years prior to your renovation, you were referred to as “the shabby old dowager of State Street.” Now you are the “Official Theatre for the State of Ohio” and a vital part of downtown Columbus. Nothing pleases me more than to see your marquee lit up on a beautiful Ohio evening. As you continue to grow and shift with the times, one thing will certainly never change – we are so very fortunate to have you!

And now, Ohio Theatre, this is your life! (Or at least some very entertaining anecdotes from it…)

  • Your original construction cost was $865,000. Your purchase price in 1969 was $2.5 million. Current value: priceless.
  • Regular organ use ended in 1942 when Roger Garrett, the resident organist from 1933-42, enlisted in World War II. The “Mighty Morton” theatre organ currently used during the CAPA Summer Movie Series and other special events is the very same organ that Roger Garrett used to play.
  • Your lower level used to house what was referred to as the “Africa Corner.” Anne Dornan, one of the first women to graduate from the Columbia School for Architecture, went on an African safari to procure just the right accoutrement for the corner which was decorated with, among other things, zebra hides and elk heads.
  • I alluded earlier to the fact that we’re birthday buddies, our special days falling just 4 days apart. You turn 83 this year, and I was born in the great year of 1983. I did some research and was able to find the number of patrons that have entered your doors since that great year. It’s a big number. Are you ready for it? 8,528,985 people! That’s more than 10 times the current population of Columbus! Your attendees over the past 28 years could fill Ohio Stadium more than 80 times.

Thank you, Ohio Theatre, from just one of many people that have been lucky enough to work for you over the years. We appreciate you more than you know.

Happy Birthday!

And the nominees are…

February 4th, 2011 by CAPASMM

We received more than 100 nominations for the first ever CAPA Summer Movie Series Fan Favorite, and now it’s time for you to cast your vote from the top five nominated films! In alphabetical order, the nominees for the CAPA Summer Movie Series Fan Favorite Film are:

CASABLANCA (1942) – Starring Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, and Paul Henreid.

“Casablanca is without a doubt one of the best films ever made, if not the greatest. I feel a chance to show it on the big screen in such a eloquent theater such as the Ohio Theater would be a grand experience.”
-John

“Casablanca is a memorable classic!  Need more be said?”
-John (not the same as above)

FUNNY GIRL (1968) – Starring Barbra Streisand, Omar Sharif, and Kay Medford.

“Two words: Barbra Streisand!”
-Mikel

“Barbra Streisand’s debut role as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl is still one of her most moving performances.  Streisand is strong, coy, funny (of course), and infinitely musical.”
-Maddie

GONE WITH THE WIND (1939) – Starring Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, and Thomas Mitchell

“I would love to see this fantastic film in all its glory as those would’ve seen it when it came out. The grandeur of The Ohio Theatre rivals that of the classic film.”
-Courtney

“I read this book when I was 12 years old and loved it.  I then saw the movie later.   My children have not done either one and I would love for them to see this movie.  I know that for them to watch this is needs to be in the venue of the Ohio Theater.”
-Grace

THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965) – Starring Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, and Eleanor Parker

“A beautiful and timeless movie…Beautiful story and music as well as a gorgeous setting…Classics are classic and we would love to see this one.”
–Debby

“[2010] is the 45 anniversary of this movie and I think that it would be a great family film able to entertain people of many ages!”
–Julie

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (1962) – Starring Gregory Peck, John Megna and Frank Overton

“To Kill a Mockingbird is such a classic film and one of Gregory Peck’s finest films. It’s such a slice of American history that it would be a perfect fit into the Summer Movie Series.”
–Traci

“The movie is larger than life, should be viewed on the big screen!  Great acting [and] a story that is as appropriate today as when it was made.”
–Suzy

Now it’s up to you to decide which film makes it in as our Fan Favorite! To cast your vote, click here to access the secure form. Ed. note: Thanks for all the votes for the 2011 CAPA Summer Movie Series Fan Favorite! Voting is now closed – stay tuned for the Summer Movie Series announcement soon, where we’ll announce the movie that you, the fans, picked!

The 2011 CAPA Summer Movie Series is presented by PNC Bank.

(P.S. If you didn’t see your movie on the list, don’t worry. We’ll keep the entire list in mind when we start looking at films for the 2011 CAPA Summer Movie Series.  So you might still see some of your personal favorites on the big screen this summer!)

Nominate a film for the 2011 CAPA Summer Movie Series!

December 13th, 2010 by Rich Corsi

By Rich Corsi, Director of Programming

The selection process for films for the 2011 CAPA Summer Movie Series has begun! Summer may seem a long way off, but not for us when it comes to the Summer Movie Series. It’s a long process with lots of moving parts, but the dates have been booked and now we start piecing together titles.

However, before we start, we need help from you. We are always talking to patrons, ushers, friends, and family members to find out what movies folks would like to see. This year, we’re taking that one step further. CAPA is happy to announce that for the first time in Summer Movie Series history, we will show a “Fan Favorite Film” in the 2011 series. This will be a film suggested by a Summer Movie Series fan and voted upon by other fans. Wouldn’t it be great to take your friends and family to a movie at the magnificent Ohio Theatre this summer knowing you had a part in selecting that movie?

We hope you’re as excited as we are to add our first ever “Fan Favorite Film” to the 2011 season!

Here’s how you can help select the 2011 “Fan Favorite Film:”

1) Nominate your “Fan Favorite” in the first round of nominations!* On the nomination form, be sure to let us know why you want to see the film at the Summer Movie Series this year!

2) The nomination period will close Friday, January 7, 2011 Friday, January 14, 2011! From here, we’ll tabulate which films were the most popular, and put out a final vote to you – the fans – on the top five nominees. The top voted upon film will be 2011 CAPA Summer Movie Series “Fan Favorite Film!”

*Editors’ Note: The first round of nominations have closed for the 2011 Summer Movie Series Fan Favorite! Check the CAPA.com blog soon to find out which of your films made it to the final round of voting!