Tenant renovations planned for Atlanta’s historic Plaza Theatre

Chris Escobar spending $500K to upgrade landmark building, owned by Asana Partners

Renovations Planned For Atlanta’s Historic Plaza Theatre
Atlanta Film Society's Chris Escobar with Plaza Theatre (Atlanta Film Society, Google Maps, Getty)

The historic Plaza Theatre near downtown Atlanta is closer to its return to glory. 

Building owner Chris Escobar is making strides in his mission to revive the Plaza Theatre, with renovations aimed at restoring its former grandeur while bringing it into the modern age, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported

Escobar recently secured a 25-year lease, ensuring his control over the Plaza’s future. The landlord, Asana Partners, is helping fund the renovations, which could total up to $4 million, the outlet said.

Since leasing the Atlanta landmark in 2017, Escobar has been dedicated to revitalizing the iconic movie house, which first opened in 1939. With a vision to merge heritage with contemporary accessibility, Escobar is pushing forward with a series of upgrades, set to cost roughly $500,000.

One significant addition on the agenda is the installation of an elevator at the rear of the building, facilitating access to the balcony level and a planned rooftop terrace.

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Escobar’s decision to position the elevator externally stems from the desire to preserve the Plaza’s historic integrity, as internal installation would necessitate extensive alterations.

Further enhancements include the conversion of unused balcony cavity spaces into janitor closets, the replacement of non-historic doors, and the addition of a ticket booth. Plans also call for the installation of poster casing and lighting beneath the Plaza’s marquee, accentuating its architectural features.

The ambitious renovation is guided by the expertise of Karen Gravel from Atlanta-based architecture firm Lord Aeck Sargent. Known for her proficiency in the rehabilitation and preservation of historic buildings, Gravel’s involvement underscores the commitment to honoring the Plaza’s historical roots.

—Quinn Donoghue 

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