Picture Show At Merchants Exchange
4400 Upper Roswell Road,
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This unique and oddly appealing little showplace has had a tough time making a go of it even before it opened. It was initially designed to be a six screener, but not long after the foundation was laid, the property was acquired by Cineplex Odeon who chose to go with a sleek cubist design with five spacious and decorative auditoriums rather than the cadaverous earth tone aluminum monstrosity that the original owners had intended. The Merchants Walk area was very family oriented at the time and the Merchants Exchange was in a primo location sandwiched between a Chuck E Cheese and a Leaps and Bounds.
The theatre ran a pretty steady fair of all ages flicks to fairly large audiences. As this area became more commercial and congested, the Merchants Exchange centre began to loose its luster. The tunneling and ball swimming attractions were becoming standard features in the playrooms of McDonald’s and enterprises such as Leaps and Bounds could not compete. Cineplex Odeon disappeared overnight leaving behind a bevy of cinemas with no management. Only a few of the Cineplex Odeon cinemas were acquired by the other circuits in town and the balance were shuttered.
The current proprietors have changed both the name (Picture Show) and format (cinema and drafthouse) of the venue. Hopefully they’ll do well on it. It was a pretty neat place.
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