News from the Tennessee Valley Religion

Comfy setting for 'movie church'

By Melanie B. Smith ˇ 340-2468

A Decatur church has found a welcoming environment at its new meeting place — large lobby, big parking lot, plush seats, even cup holders.

Crosspoint Community Church is meeting at Regal Cinema. Its official launch at the new site will be Sunday at 10 a.m.

Dave Anderson, lead pastor, said the congregation needed more space than it had in a 4,000-square-foot facility on Spring Avenue Southwest. Also, the outreach-conscious group wanted space that reflected its identity, he said.

The church uses contemporary music and has a "rocking band," the pastor said. It also uses video to enhance worship and teaching.

"Nothing works better for sound and video than a movie theater," he said.

People who might be skeptical of more traditional churches and buildings will feel comfortable going to a theater, according to the pastor.

Crosspoint already has been using the theater this summer and has seen a 25 percent increase in attendance, Anderson said. Sunday's grand opening begins an "iLIFE" emphasis through Sept. 4. The series is about getting the most out of life, according to ads. Volunteers went door to door last weekend promoting the series.

Anderson said it is not easy to transform the theater every Sunday. A team arrives at 7:30 a.m. to haul in and put up a stage, lighting and other equipment.

The team also sets up a café in the arcade and serves Starbucks coffee and other beverages. This Sunday, they will make smoothies.

"Who doesn't love the big screen and seats with cup holders?" Anderson said.

Regal River Oaks Cinema 8 is behind Colonial Mall, 2203 Family Security Place S.W.

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