Friday, February 17, 2006

Theater Review: Studio 35

Studio 35 is a great little one-screen movie theater in Columbus, Ohio. It's old -- it was established in 1938, and my understanding is that the place was used as a porn theater for a while in the '70s before the current owner bought it and cleaned it up. Your feet won't stick to the floor, and they've been putting in nicer seats over the past few years, but it still has that old-theater feel to it. The screen is big and the visibility is good, even if you're sitting at a table in the back.

The theater shows a mix of first and second run films at a low, low price; for instance, this weekend you can see a triple-feature of Munich, The Matador, and Punch-Drunk Love. If you go on certain Saturdays and feel up to sitting longer, you can stay at no additional cost for their live-cast midnight showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

The real beauty of Studio 35, though -- particularly if you want to do the double or triple feature -- is that they serve food. In addition to the usual movie theater offerings of soda, popcorn, Raisinettes and such, you can order beer (good beer, mind you), wine coolers, hard cider, submarine sandwiches, salads, and a variety of pizzas at reasonable prices. A beer will set you back $2-$3, and we got a large thin-crust pizza for $12.

Their food offerings have improved drastically in the past few years. They used to get their pies from a neighboring joint called Papa Joes, but enough people complained about the food that they decided to switch. Papa Joe's pizzas were ... edible. Not great, but if you were hungry and engrossed in the film, you maybe didn't mind so much.

The only downside is that there aren't quite enough tables to accomodate all the people who might want to get food. So, if you think you might want to eat, I suggest you get there early and stake out a table, or else you'll end up sitting out in the theater seats, balancing a pizza box on your knees.

Studio 35 is at 3055 Indianola Avenue near the intersection with Weber. You can get precise driving directions and showtimes at their website at