By Howard Pousner
The Atlanta Film Festival, which is screening more than 125 films as part of its 36th edition continuing through April 1, has found time to strike a partnership with the Plaza Theatre, taking over programming and marketing of the 1939 cinema on Ponce de Leon Avenue.
While Jonathan and Gayle Rej will remain owners of the Plaza, which became a nonprofit in 2009, the festival will add new programs and screenings to go along with successful events such as long-standing Friday evening showings of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” hosted by Lips Down on Dixie.
“When we heard that the Plaza was looking for new owners, we knew we couldn’t just stand back,” film festival executive director Christopher Escoboar said in a release. “The success of the Atlanta film community is dependent on its members looking out for each other and supporting their own.”
A festival spokesperson said that with the festival joining forces with them, the Regs will continue to operate the Plaza instead of selling it.
The festival, which is based mainly at Landmark’s Midtown Art but had booked scattered screenings this year at venues including the Plaza, will show “Basically Frightened: The Musical Madness of Colonel Bruce Hampton,” a documentary on the long-time Atlanta musician, there at 7:15 p.m. Friday. It’s also presenting an encore screening of “AKA Blondie,” adocu on the Clermont Lounge exotic dancer, at the Plaza at 7 p.m. Sunday.