So sad what it's become in a few mere months...
Not to steer this conversation away from the totally related subjects of the Benghazi incident and commentor voting records, but I'd just like to take the opportunity to contribute my feelings on the matter.
I am a 15-year patron, 3-year full-time employee, and current sole manager of the Plaza Theatre. I am also a homosexual who was raised in a conservative Southern Baptist family in a town not entirely known for welcoming those who are different with open arms.
When I was a teenager, the Plaza became a mecca of sorts; I embraced its anachronism, saw my first independent & foreign films there, and was welcomed by the socially & sexually maligned of the Rocky Horror crowd. This was a place I could go to not feel isolated, rejected, or at best, ignored by my peers and family back home. As a teenager who often felt alone in his own hometown and who feared his own thoughts would sentence him to eternal hellfire, it was the Plaza and other Atlanta haunts that welcomed me, reassured me, gave me a new home. 15 years later, I find myself keeping the place up & running on a daily basis, surrounded by an incredible group of staff, volunteers, performers, and regulars that have never been anything but accepting, encouraging, and supportive. (My boyfriend & I have even entertained the idea of hosting our wedding here, but I'd probably be trying to clean up after everyone the whole time.)
The Plaza, the Rejs, and this neighborhood do not deserve this besmirchment, not because they're infallible, but because even if this incident actually occurred, it represents nothing about the Plaza. (Though I must add I worked alongside the accused party for years, and while we didn't always get along, it's not in her nature to yell anything, much less a slur she would never use.) I understand what it's like to have epithets hurled at you for simply existing as you are, and while it's painful and wrong, I tend not to assume the guilty parties represent an entire institution. I think we can easily agree that's often not the situation, and I certainly don't think it is here. Nor do I think this is a valid use of our time and resources when there are actual problems facing LGBT people on which we can work together instead of pointing fingers at ourselves.
So a case study isn't always the best route to take, but I'd say I have quite a bit of experience with this cinema, so I think it matters. In fact, I intend to be here quite a while, through the changing of the guard and into the Plaza's future, and I hope you all can come visit and we can focus on real issues together. I'll miss those creaky seats, though.
That was Takei's April Fool's joke.
If the state government needs money, it's awesome the Plaza is happy to help, but hey, let's do our part and support this Atlanta landmark in the meantime! Any uncalled-for political hatred we have should just be funneled toward the ass responsible for calling it in. Let's make this positive and support this cinema (I hear they'll even give you popcorn in exchange for money!).
Dakota Blue & Grant Central in Grant Park are also open.
Creative Loafing Atlanta
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