The Plaza Theatre to be sold to Atlanta Film Society chief

The historic Plaza Theatre has been a favorite location for Atlanta Film Festival screenings, so news of the venue's impending sale should delight cinema buffs. Theater owner Michael Furlinger announced in a statement that the theater will be sold next month to Atlanta Film Society executive director Christopher Escobar.

"It's time to pass the torch so that Christopher can take the theatre to the next level," Furlinger said. (His entire statement is below).

PAST COVERAGE: That time Marvel director James Gunn got testy with a fan at the Plaza Theatre

National theater chains trembled at threats over "The Interview," the Plaza was among the few willing to screen the Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy about North Korea

The Atlanta Film Society operates the annual Atlanta Film Festival, and the Plaza has been a key partner in recent years, hosting many screenings and special events. Among the memorable moments: when "Guardians of the Galaxy" director James Gunn got testy with a fan following a 2016 screening. Gunn and actor Michael Hooker, who plays Yondu, engaged in a Q&A afterward. Everything was going great until someone asked if Yondu wasn’t just “Space-Merle,” a reference to Rooker’s character on "The Walking Dead."

Gunn was not amused. “That’s (bleeping) (blank)!” he said, using terms we cannot post on a family newspaper blog.

Then this year, right before the Plaza Theatre was due to host Atlanta Film Festival events, damage caused during a previous private party forced some last-minute changes.

“Damage caused by a third party during a private event rental″ was to blame, the theater said at the time. No one was hurt, but the impact was clear. The downstairs auditorium was fine but some screenings, planned for upstairs, had to move  across the street to Druid Hills Presbyterian Church. 

“We sincerely regret the timing of the incident and repairs," the statement said at the time. "As long-term partners of the Atlanta Film Society and the proud home of many Atlanta Film Festival screenings, we look forward to hosting the previously scheduled events in our downstairs auditorium this year and will return to hosting the festival in our full capacity in 2018.”

With the Atlanta Film Society chief holding the keys, we're guessing there will be no risk of third-party damage next year.

Here is the entire statement regarding the sale:


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About the Author

Jennifer Brett
Jennifer Brett
Jennifer Brett is a multiplatform journalist and digital coach. She writes The Buzz blog for