Plaza Theatre

1049-51 Ponce de Leon Avenue NE,
Atlanta, GA 30306

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Related Websites

Plaza Atlanta (Official)

Additional Info

Architects: George Harwell Bond

Functions: Movies (Classic), Movies (Independent), Movies (Revival)

Styles: Streamline Moderne

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 404.873.1939

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News About This Theater


The Plaza Theatre opened December 23, 1939 with Norma Shearer in “The Women”. It had 1,000 seats in orchestra and balcony levels. It screened adult movies from 1970 to 1982. On November 1, 1985 the theatre was sub-divided and the balcony became a second screen known as the Plaza Penthouse.

Contributed by Dennis Whitefield

Recent comments (view all 95 comments)

terrywade on August 19, 2016 at 8:05 am

So nice they still use curtains that open and close. The screen in the large downstairs cinema has a slight curve to It.

Michael Furlinger
Michael Furlinger on August 29, 2017 at 5:52 am

Dear Friends of the Plaza,

Four and a half years ago we started a journey to save and protect the beautiful Plaza Theatre. After losing money for a decade the Plaza’s fortunes were soon to change, in only 4 months the Plaza showed its first profit. Today the Plaza is financially sound and has a long bright future.

Over the years of my tenure at the Plaza we have achieved much together with a complete renovation of the facility, restoring the Plaza’s historic integrity while bringing state of the art technology. Our programming has been cutting edge all the while pushing the envelope.

Today I’m happy to announce that we have agreed in principle to sell the Plaza to Christopher Escobar this September. Christopher is well known in the Atlanta film community as the Director of the Atlanta Film Society and is a tireless advocate of the Plaza. I feel that our original goals when purchasing the theatre have all been met and it’s time to pass the torch so that Christopher can take the theatre to the next level.

Let me say to our patrons Thank you!!! With you we have seen a 500 percent improvement in attendance over the last four years, that’s an amazing accomplishment, your loyalty to the Plaza is what makes it so successful today.

Thank you to all the staff that helped us achieve these goals. Special thanks to my business partner John Brieger who worked so hard on the Theatre’s behalf. I would also be remiss if I did not thank Candace and the cast of Lips Down on Dixie who have always been there for the Plaza, their efforts have helped make the Plaza the success that it now is.

In 1939 the Plaza projected its first film and in 2017 the picture looks brighter than ever. And remember: movies were made to be seen in theaters.

Wishing you all the best,

Michael Furlinger
Furlinger Cinema Services
Plaza Theatre

rivest266 on April 10, 2018 at 2:29 pm

The Plaza Penthouse was opened on November 1st, 1985. Ad in photo section.

rivest266 on April 10, 2018 at 2:36 pm

Adult movies were shown 1970-1982.

richgnoe on May 6, 2018 at 4:02 pm

We I was a kid in the early 60’s we used to collect Nehi Bottle Caps so we could get into the movies on Saturday morning. In high school went on my first date there. Lots of memories.

50sSNIPES on July 25, 2019 at 4:23 pm

A 35mm Film Exists Of The Plaza Theatre’s Anniversary On August 25th-26th, 2003.

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on April 26, 2020 at 10:09 am

A recent exterior photo of the Plaza leads off the New York Times news article displayed here

JackCoursey on July 5, 2023 at 10:49 am

For the first time in the Plaza’s history, it will be presenting 70mm! It along with it’s sibling, the Tara are about the only two theatres in the South presenting Oppenheimer in 70mm, which is way superior to IMAX.

LouRugani on January 5, 2024 at 6:51 am

(Joshua Skinner, WANF:) For more than 80 years, the Plaza Theatre has churned out reliable entertainment, complete with popcorn, soda, and, of course, movies. But it was during a November bathroom renovation that owner Chris Escobar discovered a different kind of story. “Once we started taking off the old tile, we discovered a little piece of the wall fell out here in this corner,” Escobar told WANF, showing where the discovery was initially made. “And then we see this space behind the wall that no one knew was there.” That space was a small closet attached to what used to be a manager’s office, now a separate bathroom. “That’s when we discovered this incredible, little historic find,” Escobar said. An item buried under brick and dust. “If you follow my shadow,” Escobar said, pointing to the far corner of the small closet. “It was back here under this pipe.” That little bit of history: a wallet from 1958, likely lost and stored in the manager’s office but never claimed by the owner. “I mean, this is a treasure trove of 1958,” Escobar said. Complete with credit cards for Davison’s and Rich’s Department Stores, family photos, gas receipts (10 gallons for $3.26), and a name: Floy Culbreth. But could Floy possibly be located 65 years later? Escobar enlisted his wife, who he calls an “internet sleuth” for the task. Within hours, Escobar had his answer. “Floy Culbreth was actually started as Floy Porter,” said Thea Chamberlain. Chamberlain is Culbreth’s daughter. The Escobars were to reach the family using social media. To their giddy surprise, Chamberlain lives less than 20 minutes from the theatre. What’s less of a surprise was learning her mother lost her wallet in the late summer of 1958. “To be honest, mother losing stuff would not have been a surprise,” Chamberlain laughed. Floy died over a decade ago. The Escobars and Chamberlains scheduled a gathering at the Plaza Theatre to exchange the wallet and pore through its contents. Escobar can’t be sure what film was showing at the Plaza that day (the theatre was just one screen at the time). However, newspapers from the summer of 1958 show 1956 Best Picture Winner “Around the World in 80 Days” playing at the Plaza. For Chamberlain, seeing receipts, library cards, and family photos she didn’t know existed brought her to the emotional edge. “It’s meant more to me than I realized it would,” she said. Adding another story for a theatre with a bit of history on the screen and in the walls. “Yeah, this theatre still has a number of stories to tell,” Escobar said. “It still surprises us.”

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