Chris Hamel - Reel Change

Settled in the center of Columbus, on one of the busiest streets in the city, is the Gateway Film Center, mecca of all forms of entertainment. And, at the center of the center, is Chris Hamel, president and avid moviegoer. We stepped into his office to find his walls decked out with posters of Fight Club and Andy Warhol quotes. Sitting near the ceiling is a collection of movie memorabilia, not complete without Wallace and Gromit “claymation” figurines. 

“I am through default a movie fan,” says Hamel, “Before I had this job, I was a patron of Gateway.” We can see why. With weekly karaoke and trivia matches, it’s no wonder they have people crammed into the auditorium week after week. 

“We try to handpick every film. Yes, you can see Salt, yes you can see Inception, but you can also see Coco Before Chanel, or an environmental film, or an LGBT film, or go sing karaoke,” he explains. With careful consideration going into selecting each flick, everyone is bound to be satisfied. “We want it to feel like a film festival every week.” 

There are endless possibilities at Gateway. “We’re like a grocery store with a really great gourmet isle.” Hamel says. With a widespread selection of more than your average movie munchies, you can grab something as appetizing as a black bean burger and a margarita, then pick the perfect seat and enjoy a classic. 

“If you’re on a first date, we want to be the place that you go. You want to be impressed, so you come to an impressive place.” With seven auditoriums, plus an eighth used for anything from karaoke to aerobics classes, there is plenty of room to be impressed. 

With Columbus being named one of the most over-screened cities in the nation when it comes to movies, Gateway makes the difference. 

“The concept is: come and see it, you’re going to want to come again.”

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