The Tara theater has been purchased by a new owner and is scheduled to reopen this spring. Just last November, its previous owners, Regal Cinemas, announced the theater would be closing.

Christopher Escobar is the owner of the Plaza Theatre and executive director of Atlanta Film Society. After he heard the news of the closure, he began work to purchase the theater and get it up and running. This week, he signed a new lease on the building.

The Tara first opened in 1968 and is one of the few arthouse cinemas in Atlanta. Escobar said the theater has a rich history of showing independent films.

“The Tara became the place where people saw movies that were different," he said. "It was the place where Atlanta was first introduced to Star Wars.

To honor the history of classic cinema and independent film screenings, the Tara will be getting new technology. The theater will have projectors for digital formats and traditional 33mm and 70mm film to show older movies.

Escobar said for people who haven’t been, the Tara is more than a movie theater — it’s an experience.

“You’re not seeing, in a regular multiplex, strangers coming out of the same movie and striking up a conversation about what they thought and felt like about that movie,” Escobar said. “ It doesn’t really happen, right? That happens at the Tara.”

Before the official reopening, Escobar and his team created the nonprofit Friends of Tara Foundation to fundraise. Their goal is to raise $50,000 in donations before the theater reopens. The public can support the Tara through the new website and by buying tickets in advance.

Tags: theater  movie  Georgia  Atlanta