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Plaza Theatre in Poncey-Highland gets new owner, preservation commitment

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Director of the Atlanta Film Society has purchased the historic cinema, signaling terrific news for venue’s future

The neon-lit sign and marquee.
The marquee of the Plaza promises to shine on.
Road Arch

The future of the Plaza Theatre—a mainstay on Ponce de Leon Avenue at Highland Avenue—is looking as bright as the Art Deco movie palace’s dazzling marquee, following the sale of the cinema last week.

According to ArtsATL, the director of the Atlanta Film Society, Christopher Escobar, has officially purchased the Plaza.

Built in 1939, the theater had fallen on rough times years ago and had dwindling patronage. But in more recent times, ownership has completed much-needed upgrades to the facility and managed to turn a profit—thanks to a 500-percent increase in attendance, the website reports.

Escobar, a staunch supporter of the venue, will seek to continue the upward trajectory for the Plaza, ensuring the venue makes it well beyond its 80th birthday in just two years.

The sale should elate preservationists. Fears about longterm plans for Briarcliff Plaza (the shopping center housing the theater) bubbled up following the sale of the complex to an investment firm for a staggering $18 million.

Earlier this summer, plans were put in place with the city to guarantee the preservation of the Plaza Theatre.

Now, with backing from new ownership, the show will go on.