The team who bought the historic repertory house and Poncey-Highland icon in 2006 say in a press release that they'll hand over the keys on Dec. 27 to Michael Furlinger, a cinema business veteran who recently turned around Charleston, S.C.,'s Terrace Theatre.
A 2007 Charleston City Paper profile of Furlinger describes the Long Island native as a cinephile who started his career in New York managing Odeon Cineplex's Manhattan and Brooklyn theatres before moving into gourmet food. Shortly after purchasing the Charleston theatre in 2007, the paper says, Furlinger revamped the concession stand menu and fixed up the building while maintaining the theatre's independent edge. He sold the Terrace in 2010 to focus on another Charleston theatre he opened according to the City Paper.
According to the release, Furlinger plans to "use his expertise in film booking and close relationships with the studios to strengthen the feature programming while continuing the current popular special events such as The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Silver Scream Spookshow, Splatter Cinema, Taboo La-La, The Room, and Wonderroot's Local Film Night." The Atlanta Film Festival will still call the building home, they add.
He also plans "substantial renovations" including brand new seats, gourmet concessions, and "new state of the art DCP digital projectors." The Rejs said last year when they announced they were seeking a new buyer that the cinema desperately needed to adapt to the new technology to stay in business.
"35mm film is quickly being phased out and very soon the only way to show a movie in the theatre will be DCP," the Rejs say. "[S]o we are excited he is willing to make these investments to help the Plaza Theatre secure a place in the future of Atlanta."
The Rejs are talking with AFF and Furlinger about what role the Plaza Theatre Foundation, the nonprofit they established in 2010, will play. However, "for now memberships and passes will continue be honored under new ownership." Supporters who purchased a star on the cinema's "Star Wall" will receive it mounted on a plaque. "The few of you who made donations to our buy a seat campaign, I can return your donation," the release says.
In closing, the Rejs write: "Thank you all so much for your support! It has been our honor to be a part of the Plaza's history and we hope you feel the same way. We've accomplished what we originally set out to do which was to save the Plaza from becoming a drug store or something else and we couldn't have done it with out you all. We wish Michael the best of luck and we hope you all will continue to be supporters of the Plaza. We can't wait to see Atlanta's oldest cinema not just survive, but thrive!"
jsut admit it - plain talk is right.
everyone smart enough to understand…
Good Marx, the unmitigated temerity of these selfish malcontents. How dare they invoke such blasphemy…
Wow, funny how a ferris wheel debate can really bring out the acute symptoms of…
"i'll be a season ticket holder for the new Falcons stadium in 2017."
congrats to Rodney, Joeff, Dustin, and Brandon.
and good luck.
The last question and answer is what it's really about (outside of money of course).