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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Q&A with Jonathan Rej of Atlanta’s historic Plaza Theatre

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Gayle and Jonathan Rej, on stage during the 70th anniversary celebration for the Plaza Theatre. The day-in, day-out businesses is tougher to run. AJC file photo

The Plaza Theatre on Ponce de Leon Avenue turned 70 this year, and it was a big time — all history and celebration.

But a Q&A with Plaza Theatre co-owner Jonathan Rej that ran in the AJC this week points out that the day-to-day is pretty tough: no janitorial services, no time, no advertising for lesser-known films, no money to keep it going long-term. As he said in the article, “We need more money to stay open. As of now, it’s really not going to last — there is no way to make it long term like this.”

Yikes.

But here’s the plan, to match the theater’s relatively new non-profit status:

Now we offer memberships to patrons so they can support us. We are trying to get grants. We are trying to get sponsors. We have gotten a few groups that will support a particular movie. It’s a tax write-off for them.

We are starting a venture with AM 1690. They are going to sponsor a film on March 18 [“Shane”]. They are big movie fans at the station, and they said, “There are all these films we would like to see on the big screen.” I would like to do that kind of thing more. [Pabst] — the beer maker — also sponsored a film once.

We just got a little grant from the arts council. We’d like to get some sponsors. The Fox Theatre has Coca-Cola. The Rialto [performing arts center at Georgia State University] has Delta. If a company wanted to start a series, hook up the upstairs theater, something like that could work.

Here are more photos from the Plaza Theatre’s 70th anniversary celebration.

Want to go? The Plaza Theatre, 1049 Ponce De Leon Ave., Atlanta. 404-873-1939, www.plazaatlanta.com

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