Historic Atlanta movie theater to re-open its doors this week with grand celebration

ATLANTA — An historic Atlanta movie theater that closed its doors after 55 years will have a new life starting this week.

The Tara Theatre off Cheshire Bridge Road will re-open on Thursday. Channel 2 Action News was there as new signs went up the theater on Monday.

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City officials granted the final permits the theater needed to re-open under its new ownership just six months after Regal Cinema shut it down.

The theater’s new owner said they are ready to welcome back movie lovers with a grand re-opening.

“We’ve gotten a tremendous outpouring of stories from people saying the Tara is their place where they go see the movies,” Chris Escobar said. “Atlanta, so often we lose places and we never get them back. So it feels really good we can get one back.”


The first lineup will feature a mix of classics and independent movies: Stanley Kramer’s “It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World,” Star Wars: A New Hope,” “Back to the Future: Part II,” Oscar-nominated film “Tár” starring Cate Blanchett and “Master Gardener.”

Escobar said most of the future lineup will be arthouse films, but at least one screen will have a rotation of classics.

The film times for this weekend are posted on the theater’s website.

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The Tara Theatre originally opened as Lowe’s Tara in 1968 with a showing of “Gone With the Wind.”

In the 1980s, local arthouse theater owner George Lefont bought the Tara and it became one of the top spots to see independent films. Lefont also previously owned the Plaza Theatre from 1983 until 2006.

The Tara Theatre was later purchased by United Artists Theaters, which merged with another chain to form Regal Entertainment in 2002. Escobar and his partners purchased the theatre in 2022 and started a fundraiser to get it back up.