Terri, what is behind the drop ceiling? Is it possible to remove it altogether and just install drywall in place of it?
Dan has the point on this. What is above the ceiling? If it cannot be removed because of pipes etc. There are many things you can do to make it look better.
The biggest issue with the drop ceiling it looks industrial. Lights are often sat into the grid with harsh florescent fixtures. Patterns of the tiles over years often do not match or become dirty. The grid system becomes dull in appearance and the list goes on.
Several methods can be used to fix this issue.
Remove the ceiling and repair or install new wall board system spackle and paint.
Repaint the old grid and install new better looking tiles and more modern light fixtures.
Or look into the stretch ceiling system. This is a pre=shrunk vinyl sheet that can cover a fairly large area. It is installed by placing special tracks around the outside edge of the room. A pre measured warmed up vinyl material is then fixed into the track and after it cools down it become tight as a drum. Lights can be installed into the vinyl with special attachments. This system can be used both in homes and in commercial installs. Designs can be placed behind the system so arches and different style looks can be achieved. I know that Home Depot sold these systems a few years back. But not sure if they still sell them. It can be done by a DIY person that has some helpers and a few tools that can be rented to complete the install process.
Here is a link to one of those many systems being sold on the market today.
You can spray it black.
We used clear coated luan plywood instead of the normal panels. Everyone loved it.
Take the tiles down & hang drywall & finish. Been there, done that !!