Plaza Theatre owner working to reopen historic Tara Theatre

ATLANTA — An art-house movie theater that entertained Atlanta moviegoers for decades may reopen soon, just months after it closed.

Regal Cinemas closed the Tara Theatre in November. The Atlanta institution, located off Cheshire Bridge Road, had been open for nearly 55 years.

On Tuesday night, Plaza Theatre’s owner Chris Escobar announced at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival that he is bringing back the Tara Theatre this year.

Channel 2′s Tom Regan spoke with Escobar on Wednesday and learned why he wanted to reopen the film institution.

“This has been the home where so many Atlantans have discovered so many independent, foreign and art house titles, and so we want to honor the make that history present actively,” Escobar said.

At a time in the streaming age, when movie-going is falling sharply at major theater chains, Escobar says independent art houses are still pulling in post-pandemic audiences.

“The Plaza and independent theaters across the country, who are a lot more nimble, who are a lot more locally programmed, and a lot more creative, so many of us are having our best days ever,” Escobar said.

Film lovers in the area are looking forward to returning to one of their favorite theaters.

“This theater is very iconic. People really missed it. So, whoever the owners are to get this back open, thank you,” neighbor Cookie Handy said.

The Tara Theater’s website listed a goal to raise $50,000 in donations or gift vouchers.


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 ara Theatre was later purchased by United Artists Theaters, which merged with another chain to form Regal Entertainment in 2002.

[SIGN UP: WSB-TV Daily Headlines Newsletter]