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 www.Drexel.net 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.

FREE Art Exhibitions in 2018

The Decorative Arts Center of Ohio has announced its 2018 exhibitions, which will begin January 20, 2018. Each exhibition will have related programming as well, including curator talks, lectures and workshops. The Decorative Arts Center of Ohio is open to the public at no cost.

“We are proud to bring such thought-provoking and culturally important exhibitions to the community in 2018,” says Decorative Arts Center of Ohio Director Elizabeth Brown. “This year’s exhibitions have the potential to inspire, stimulate and unleash possibility for all of our visitors.”

Artists of the Winding Road A-Z 

The first exhibition of the year, “Artists of the Winding Road A-Z,” runs Jan. 20 to April 15, 2018. It showcases the works of 12 Appalachian Ohio artists who, through innovative work in media ranging from cloth and clay to bottle caps and asphalt, are raising an artful Appalachia and, in the process, helping to redefine the economy of Ohio’s Appalachian region.

Co-curated by David Mitzel, director of Appalachian Hills of Ohio Territory, and Zanesville-based painter Michael Seiler, this exhibition features works by artists from Athens, Muskingum and Perry Counties. Those areas of Ohio were once mined for natural resources but have recently become known for artistic riches that are catalyzing economic revival.

“The (region’s) economy had been basically an economy of extraction – whether it be coal or oil or gas or timber. So instead of extraction, we’re looking for attraction – we want people to come here, we want people to stay here, we want people to live here,” Mitzel said.

The unique exhibition will feature works of more than 10 artists from the region.

Creating the Illusion: Costumes and Characters from the Paramount Archive 

From May 19 to August 12, 2018, the Decorative Arts Center of Ohio will bring the magic of Hollywood to Lancaster with its second exhibition of the year, “Creating the Illusion: Costumes and Characters from the Paramount Archive.” The exhibition is curated by Randall Thropp, Paramount Pictures costume archivist.

Costumes from the films “Coming to America,” “Forrest Gump” and “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” are among the many films that will be featured in this exhibition that showcases memorable characters from more than modern-day Paramount Pictures films.

The exhibition was inspired by the book, “Creating the Illusion,” by Jay Jorgensen and Donald Scoggins. Forty-two costumes culled from the Paramount Archives will be on display in this colorful exhibition.

Imagining a Better World: The Artwork of Nelly Toll 

As a Jewish girl, Nelly Toll was in secret hiding with her mother during the Second World War in Poland. Her artwork depicts her real and imagined world during the Nazi occupation. She dreamed through her watercolor paintings, which showed her hope and imagination through an unfathomable hardship.

“The historical backdrop of World War II and occupied Poland provides context for Nelly’s personal narrative and illustrations; but this is not an exhibition about the Holocaust,” says Alexandra Nicholis Coon, executive director of the Massillon Museum, the organization traveling the exhibition. “Rather, it is a powerful story of surviving even the darkest of times through imagination, hope, and love.”

Today, Dr. Toll uses her personal experience as a platform to address bullying, emphasizing the importance of exercising compassion for all people.

Toll’s most complete collection of original artwork will be on display at the Decorative Arts Center of Ohio from September 15 to December 23, 2018.

For information about exhibitions, programs and classes at the Decorative Arts Center of Ohio, visit www.decartsohio.org or call 740-681-1423.

The Decorative Arts Center is housed in the Reese-Peters House, a Federal/Greek Revival masterpiece at 145 E. Main Street in Lancaster’s Historic District. Admission is free Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m.

FREE – Putting Through the Ages

The only thing more fun than mini golf is mini golf with dinosaurs!

Putting Through The Ages returns to Medina County Park District’s Buffalo Creek Retreat to warm up the winter months with a free family activity for all ages. It’s an indoor mini-golf adventure that takes players on a journey through Ohio’s geologic history.

The course will be open weekends only from January 5 – February 25, 2018. Hours will be 12-4pm Fridays, 12-7pm Saturdays, and 12-4pm Sundays.

Created with the artistic and construction skills of park district staff and talented volunteers, the mini-golf course will explore the depths of the ancient ocean, wind through swamp forests, encounter massive ancient creatures, traverse a glacier, and introduce visitors to Ohio’s prehistoric people.

“It’s indoors, it’s free, it’s fun for all ages – and it’s educational, too,” said park district Naturalist Clair Bailey.

Buffalo Creek Retreat is located at 8708 Hubbard Valley Road in Guilford Township, Ohio.

Medina County Park District offers a variety of programs to beat the winter blahs. Visit www.MedinaCountyParks.com to learn more.

It’s All About The Story

Travel journalist Pico Iyer best described why we travel.   “We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next, to find ourselves.  We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate.  We travel to bring what little we can, in our ignorance and knowledge, to those parts of the globe whose riches are differently dispersed.  And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again — to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more.”

We Americans are a hard working lot.  Far too many earned vacation days go unused every year.  U.S. Travel Association’s Project: TIME OFF research discovered 662 million vacation days went unused in 2016 nationwide and nearly 22 million in Ohio alone.  In an effort to get more people taking a leisure vacation the Association has declared January 30, 2018 National #PlanForAVacation Day.

Why wait till the end of the month?  You’ve just spent days with your family and friends celebrating the holidays.  You’ve shared stories from the past, many of which involve travel.  Both the perfect vacation and the disaster have equal entertainment value when it comes down to the story.  Sometimes the more disasterous the vacation the better the story.  The point is at the end of the trip stories make the best souvenirs.

So now that all those great stories are fresh get inspired and start your planning for 2018 vacations and getaways.  Even a weekend getaway can refresh, relax and rejuvinate.

There’s no need to just bury yourself in your computer making future travel plans.  January is a great month for a little post-holiday R&R.  Funny but the best cure for cabin fever is a cozy cabin in the Hocking Hills, Ohio’s natural crown jewels.  You will encounter a serenity which surpasses any residual holiday stress and reinvigorates the body, soul and mind for the new year.

Of course there’s also plenty of fun in the Hocking Hills during the first month of the new year.  The 5th Annual Hocking Hills Comfort Food Cruise will be serving up classic comfort food at twelve locally owned, inviting restaurants while raising money for local food pantries January 13, 14, 20,21, 27 & 28, 2018.  Oh sure, your New Year’s resolution was to get fit; no problem, all along the Comfort Food Cruise there are plenty of places to stop, enjoy the majesty of winter and hike up an appetite or work off a little comforting indulgences.

The 53rd Annual Winter Hike will take place Saturday, January 20.  The six mile hike traverses breathtaking scenery, waterfalls suspended in frozen animation, prehistoric cave walls covered in ice beards and the Kiwani’s Club’s infamous bean soup at Cedar Falls.  Continuous starts begin at 9 am from Old Man’s Cave and continue till 11 am.  Transportation back to your car at Old Man’s Cave is provided.

The 3rd Annual Logan Frozen Festival is the perfect way to round out your Winter Hike weekend.  Plan to stick around after the hike on January 20 and head to historic downtown Logan, Hocking Hills’ hometown.  From 11 am to 5 pm more than thirty ice sculptures will line historic Main Street along with ice games, live sulpture demonstrations, an iceless ice skating rink, a Pop-Up shop, musical entertainment inside & out, warming fires and plenty of dining options.

This January resolve to use those vacation days.   Make new stories.  And, by the way, February is the month for romance and the Hocking Hills just happens to be Ohio’s favorite romantic destination. (According to Ohio Magazine’s 2018 Best of Ohio Readers Poll)  The readers of Ohio Magazine also voted Hocking Hills the best State Park in Ohio, the best place to hike, the best place to see fall leaves and the best place for a long weekend getaway.

Now start planning those vacations and gather new stories.  Begin at ExploreHockingHills.com or call 800-HOCKING for personal assistance.

Ohio Has A Baby Gorilla

The Toledo Zoo recently announced the birth of a male Western lowland gorilla.

Mokonzi, (Moh-khan-see) which means governor in Swahili, is baby number three for 23 year old mother, Kitani, and baby number five for 29 year old father, Kwisha. Mokonzi is healthy and bonding well with his parents. The new family is now on exhibit indoors at Kingdom of the Apes exhibit with the whole troop.

Baby gorillas are born quite tiny, averaging only four pounds, after approximately an eight and a half month gestation period. Offspring are born with a small white tuft of hair on their rump that will remain until they are around four years old. Babies are also born with an instinctive grasp behavior which allows them to hold on to mom’s chest as she moves around. Studies have shown that gorilla babies grow at twice the rate of human babies. At approximately three months of age, gorilla offspring learn to crawl and move to riding on mom’s back until approximately four years of age.

Adult western lowland gorillas (gorilla gorilla gorilla) are the largest of all great apes at four to six feet tall and anywhere from 150 to 500 pounds depending on sex. They live in the heavy rainforests of west central Africa and eat a vegetarian diet of roots, fruits and plants. Western lowland gorillas live in troops consisting of four – eight animals, with one silverback male, a few females, young offspring and occasionally a few young males. The troop maintains a ¾ to 16 square mile home range. Western lowland gorillas are listed as critically endangered and declining on the IUCN Red List for Threatened Species due to three main interconnected threats: habitat loss, bushmeat hunting and human encroachment.

“We are always thrilled to announce new additions, but are even more excited to showcase the continuation of our mission of caring for animals and conserving the natural world through new births. Helping to maintain insurance populations of endangered species is not only a testament to our outstanding animal care staff, but also to our Species Survival Plan partnerships and the support of our members and visitors. We are excited to watch this little gorilla grow and for future generations to appreciate these amazing creatures,” said Shayla Moriarty, Toledo Zoo’s director of communication.

Murder Mystery Getaway in January

Journey back in time to the fabulous ‘50s and take a stab at solving a murder mystery on the shores of Lake Erie. The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake will be transformed in time to the 1950’s for a comical, musical murder mystery on Saturday January 27, 2018 for Greased! — a murder mystery getaway package.

A cocktail reception will kick off the evening at 5:30 p.m., unveiling Noble Art Entertainment’s characters in this shocking story full of twists and turns. Then, guests will watch the mystery unfold during a sit-down dinner with many of the best songs from the ‘50’s. Great food, live music and plenty of mayhem will add to the night’s fun. Prizes will be awarded for the best guesses of “whodunit?”

The package includes an overnight stay, reception, dinner, mystery theater experience and breakfast for two the next morning, starting at $369* + tax per couple. This is the perfect holiday gift for those hard to buy for people in your family. For more information or to book your stay, call 866-442-9765 or visit www.TheLodgeatGeneva.com.

*Subject to availability. Taxes not included.  Valid 1/27/18 only. Rate for double occupancy in a standard double room, rate increases with additional guests and room types.

The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake features 109 finely appointed guest rooms (the majority with lake views) and 25 two-bedroom cottages; Horizons Restaurant, an upscale restaurant with a striking octagonal dining room and al fresco dining – all with a breathtaking view of Lake Erie; a lounge with a rectangular bar; and amenities that include a fitness center, indoor and outdoor pool and gift shop. The Lodge entrance is located one mile north of Geneva State Park, on the left. For room reservations, call 866-442-9765 or visit www.TheLodgeAtGeneva.com. For Horizons reservations, call 440-466-7100, then press 2. 

Delaware North is one of the largest and most admired privately-held hospitality companies in the world. Founded and owned by the Jacobs family for over 100 years, it is a global leader in hospitality and food service with subsidiary and affiliate operations in the sports, travel hospitality, restaurants and catering, parks, resorts, gaming and specialty retail industries. Its portfolio includes high-profile venues ranging from sports stadiums, entertainment complexes, national parks, restaurants, airports, and some of the top regional casinos in the country. The company also owns a selection of award-winning destination resorts, as well as a series of premium restaurants and catering services that are leaders in the industry. Delaware North has annual revenue exceeding $3 billion with 60,000 associates serving half a billion guests in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and Asia. “Delaware North” is a reference to Delaware North Companies Inc. and its affiliates and subsidiaries, including location-specific operating entities.