FREE – America’s Greatest Films

The historic Drexel Theatre in Columbus, Ohio launched America’s Greatest Films last year as a thank you to the community for its support during the renovation of the theatre. Made possible through the generous support of PNC, the America’s Greatest Film Series will continue in 2018, offering free screenings of some of the nation’s most beloved classic films on the first Tuesday of each month with a pre-screening introduction and post-film Q&A.

“We know what art can do, how it changes perspectives, even changes lives,” said Michael Gonsiorowski, PNC regional president for Columbus.  “PNC is known as the Bank of the Arts across central Ohio and we are thrilled to support the Drexel Theatre’s America’s Greatest Films series.”

The 2018 selections are as follows: All screenings are held at the Drexel Theatre (2254 E. Main St.). Doors open at 6:30pm. Screenings begin at 7pm. Admission is free.

Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
Tuesday, January 2, 2018
Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor, Debbie Reynolds
Often considered the greatest of all Hollywood musicals, this tune-filled comedy spoofs the chaos in Hollywood during the transition from silent to sound, and includes musical gems “Good Morning,” “Broadway Melody,” “Make ‘Em Laugh,” and of course, “Singin’ in the Rain.”

The French Connection (1971)
Tuesday, February 6, 2018
Rated R
Gene Hackman, Fernando Rey, Roy Scheider
Based on the 1969 non-fiction book of the same name, this gritty police drama portrays two tough New York City narcotics detectives plotting to intercept a large shipment of heroin from France. Often considered to contain one of the greatest car chases in movie history, this five-time Oscar winner was the first R-rated film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Hitchcock’s Vertigo (1958)
Tuesday, March 6, 2018
James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes
Hailed as Hitchcock’s ultimate masterpiece, this taut mystery/suspense thriller showcases Stewart as a detective forced to retire after his fear of heights causes the death of a fellow policeman, and perhaps, the woman he’s been hired to follow. 

On the Waterfront (1954)
Tuesday, April 3, 2018
Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb
Winner of eight Oscars, this crime-drama thriller stars Brando as an ex-prize fighter turned dock worker who struggles to do the right thing after witnessing a murder perpetrated by his corrupt union bosses and then falling for the murdered man’s sister. 

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
Tuesday, May 1, 2018
Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Katherine Ross, Strother Martin
This star-studded Western about Bolivia-bound, career train robbers Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid earned four Oscars. 

To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
Tuesday, June 5, 2018
Gregory Peck, Mary Badham, Brock Peters
Based on Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, a widowed, idealistic Southern lawyer tries to raise his children and defend a black man wrongly accused of rape in 1930’s Alabama. 

Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
Tuesday, July 3, 2018
James Cagney, Joan Leslie, Walter Huston
This three-time Oscar winner includes several George M. Cohen tunes including “Give My Regards to Broadway,” “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” “Over There,” and his trademark work, “The Yankee Doodle Boy.” 

American Graffiti (1973)
Tuesday, August 7, 2018
Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Cindy Williams
Directed by George Lucas and produced by Francis Ford Coppola, this coming-of-age classic set in 1962 features drag racing, drive-ins, and Inspiration Point as it follows four teenagers on their last night of summer before leaving for college. 

Sunset Boulevard (1950)
Tuesday, September 4, 2018
William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich von Stroheim
Winner of three Oscars, Billy Wilder’s film noir masterpiece set in 1940s Hollywood showcases Swanson as an aging silent-film star that ensnares a young screenwriter in a dangerous relationship.

Easy Rider (1969)
Tuesday, October 2, 2018
Rated R
Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Jack Nicholson
This groundbreaking film encapsulates the dreams, hopes, and hopelessness of 1960s counterculture as two bikers set off on a cross-country trek to New Orleans after buying cocaine in Mexico and re-selling it in California.  

Dr. Strangelove (1964)
Tuesday, November 6, 2018
Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden
Nominated for four Oscars, Stanley Kubrick’s brilliant Cold War satire takes a comedic look at what could happen if the wrong person had access to “the” button. 

Chinatown (1974)
Tuesday, December 4, 2018
Rated R
Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston
This Oscar-winning film noir classic directed by Roman Polanski follows a private detective hired to expose an adulterer but unwittingly swept up in a web of deceit, corruption, and murder.

In addition, the Drexel’s America’s Greatest Films series will offer two free bonus screenings in 2018:

Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
Sunday, February 11, 2018, 3pm
Peter O’Toole, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn
The nearly four hours of dazzling cinematography and brilliant performances of this David Lean epic earned an impressive seven Oscars telling the story of T.E. Lawrence, the English officer who successfully united and led the diverse, often warring, Arab tribes during WWI.

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
Saturday, December 8, 2018, 10am
James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore
Frank Capra’s bittersweet comedy/drama about desperately frustrated small town banker George Bailey and his look at a world in which he never existed is a holiday classic worth an annual viewing.

All film titles are subject to change. Visit to plan your visit.

For generations, the Drexel Theatre has been central Ohio’s first source for independent film and the best of Hollywood and international cinema, striving to specialize in simply the best films from around the world.