A Cinematic Piece of My Heart is Dying

Once a beacon of cinematic delight, the Regal Town Center Stadium 16 at 2795 Town Center Drive NW, Kennesaw, GA 30144 now stands as a haunting reminder of a bygone era. What was once a thriving hub of entertainment, where dreams were woven into the fabric of celluloid, has now transformed into an abandoned wasteland that echoes with the ghosts of its glorious past.

I remember the days when this theater was a testament to the magic of cinema. As someone who briefly worked within its hallowed halls, I witnessed firsthand the beauty and grandeur that defined cinema. This was not just a place to watch movies; it was a cathedral of dreams, where the silver screen came to life, captivating audiences and sparking imagination.

My personal connection to this theater runs deep. This is where my love for cinema first blossomed. Just a mile from my doorstep, I’d use my allowance to walk there on weekends, braving through mud and unexpected rain. The reward was sinking into cozy seats, enjoying my favorite candy Snow Caps and an icy Coca-Cola.

My stepfather would take me to Regal Town Center 16 were a cherished bonding ritual. Engaging me in conversations about movies proved to be the key to unlocking my typically reserved nature towards him. After the movie our talks on the ride home delved into the intricacies of filmmaking, allowing us to marvel at the artistry and craftsmanship behind cinematic masterpieces. Unbeknownst to me, these very walls would become the birthplace of my aspirations to become a film director.

My affection for this theater deepened to the extent that it became my employer for a brief period. Simultaneously, I also found employment at the dollar theater down the street—cinema, in essence, became my life. Perhaps it’s more than a coincidence; movies seem to run in my blood. My grandparents, after all, met on a blind date at a movie theater in Ohio. Even my husband, with his background in movie-making, initially drew me in, and later, we collaborated on films together. The enchantment of the silver screen has woven its magic through generations of my family, shaping my path and influencing my personal and professional journey. This was my film home…

Before the Neon Lights
Originally the final cinema under the Storey Theatre’s banner, the Town 8 Theatre opened its doors May 1986. Back then, it stood at the pinnacle of cinematic sophistication, boasting meticulously designed auditoria, each featuring cutting-edge projection and sound technology. The 70mm auditorium sported tear-drop curtains, while the 35mm venues featured vertical ones that gracefully opened at the start of the feature presentation and closed after the last credit rolled. (Yes I look all this up. Yes it took awhile.)

However this theater was purchase by Regal and reopened to the public on November 19th, 1999 four years after I graduated high school. It was filled with so much excitement for teens, but now it stands as a dilapidated testament to neglect. Its current state is a heartbreaking contrast to the vibrant memories that once filled every corner. The ambiance of creativity and passion has been replaced by an eerie silence, broken only by the creaking of rusting doors.

The Regal Town Center Stadium 16 closed its doors on March 16, 2020 due to the Covid, leaving behind a void that seems impossible to fill. The demise of this once-thriving beautiful neon lit cinematic haven is absolutely heartbreaking to me.

In my childhood fantasies, this imagined movie theater home wasn’t just a static space for movie-watching. It was a dynamic environment where special events unfolded, blurring the lines between fiction and reality. I envisioned hosting gatherings where people could do more than watch a movie—they could become a part of it. As I grew older, the idea of living in a movie theater persisted, becoming a symbol of the unbridled passion I held for the art of filmmaking. While the Regal Town Center Stadium 16 in Kennesaw, GA, now stands as a desolate reminder of the transience of cinematic glory, my childhood dreams of a movie theater home remain untarnished.

Then comes Kevin Smith…

Filmmaker Kevin Smith, renowned for his significant contributions to the industry, not only purchased his childhood theater but now calls it home. The alluring concept of residing in a movie theater has always captivated the imaginations of “cinenerds” like myself. Meeting Kevin Smith at Smodcastle and hearing him reminisce about his childhood experiences in the movies struck a chord, echoing the sentiments I hold for this particular theater. Working there was a lot like his film clerks.

Just like Smith, who, despite spending considerable money at the concession, would sneakily bounce from one movie to another, I found myself indulging in similar adventures. Recognizing that the concession stands are where the financial heartbeat of theaters thrives.

Smith’s compelling story has drawn me in, leading me to make several trips back to New Jersey to not only support his contributions to the arts but also absorb as much knowledge as I can. This includes attending panel discussions, such as the recent one with the Russo Brothers. My aim is to soak up insights before embarking on the journey of creating our first feature. I am grateful to the welcome I have received up there every time I pop in and say hi! Considering I live almost 800 miles away. Anyway, his efforts in preserving a cherished era resonate deeply, and I applaud the man who saved what meant so much to him. In a sincere wish, I yearn to mirror such an impact and bring restoration to Theater 16.

Kevin Smith’s heart and genuine truth makes him a version of Stan Lee too me. Maybe I can one day put him in all my movies!

Wont someone do something? I wish I had the millions it would take to call this place my home. But however, the harsh reality for Regal Town Center Stadium 16 is that, with a hefty price tag of 5 million dollars and extensive damage, the dream of resurrecting this cinematic gem seems like an insurmountable challenge. But if anyone is interested let me know I would love to be the theaters keeper! I would add a Horror theme coffee shop and restaurant along side.

As I reflect on the golden days spent within the embrace of this theater, I can’t help but mourn the loss of a place that played a pivotal role in shaping my dreams. Regal Town Center Stadium 16 will forever remain etched in my memories as a symbol of what once was—a majestic haven for cinema lovers. It’s reminder of the transient neon glowing nature of glory and the importance of preserving the places that hold the key to our most cherished memories and dreams of who I would one day hope to become.

So thank you #regaltheaters your investment was never wasted. Thank you Kevin Smith for showing that that theater walls are still as beautiful as they will ever be. <3


  • Becca
    November 15, 2023

    Excellent read! Stay gold. ❤️

  • Kevin Marshall
    November 16, 2023

    I was an usher at Abercorn Cinemas in Savannah in high school and remember seeing the trailer for The Crow for the first time. I was frozen.
    The beautiful score and the image of Eric falling off the roof.
    Chills still today when I hear Pain & Retribution.🐦‍⬛🖤

  • Kyle
    November 16, 2023

    These pictures are great. Always a shame to see theaters go, but I imagine it will become more common over time.

  • Brian Skutle
    November 19, 2023

    I worked at this location from November 2001 until it closed in September 2020. So many memories come to mind. Meeting my future wife, Several of us managers quality screening a Uwe Boll film. Splicing together a print of “Spider-Man 2” while the show was playing. And filming a short film with my fellow employees.

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