Best of Columbus 2009

Best Movie Theater

By  and 
From the Best Movie Theater edition

Arena Grand

175 W. Nationwide Blvd., Arena District

614-470-9900

Web: arenagrand.com

The locally owned cinema scene had its share of upheaval in 2008, with Landmark assuming management duties for Campus Partners at the Gateway, the city's first all-digital projection booth going in at the Lincoln Theatre, Drexel Theatres consolidating to its original location in Bexley and new proprietors undertaking a significant renovation at the Grandview. Yet through it all, the Arena Grand has held a special place in the hearts of Alive readers.

A regular readers' poll winner, the Grand has the best of all worlds under a cathedral-height ceiling. Its hand-plastered walls, grand staircase and premium leather seating are a beautiful break from the colorful overkill of some multiplexes and the generic hooray-for-Hollywood vibe of others.

Awards contenders make the occasional stop among a diverse selection of mainstream movies at the Grand. Standard concession fare on the first floor is beefed up by a second-level bistro with sandwiches, pizzas, desserts and a full bar.

All of the auditoriums and a dedicated event space are available for private rental. And whether you're there for a movie, a function or to have a cocktail or two before crossing the street for a Blue Jackets game, the staff is always accommodating. If only Hollywood could deliver that consistently.

Runners up: Drexel Theatre, Studio 35

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