However, Carder said he worries that the entertainment environment can be a distraction.
"The challenge for worship today is distinguishing it from entertainment or a spectator event," says Carder. "It is made more difficult when surrounded by the symbols and signs of the entertainment world."
Carder said he understands the reality of having to rent space or finding alternative ways to attract members. But objectionable movies shown in a theater that just a few hours earlier was the setting for worship takes away from the church as a sacred place, he says.
"One of the reasons we have built churches is ... the space becomes symbolic," he says. "I think we're compromising that when we meet in theaters. We're compromising the space as a reality of God."
At Open Door Bible Church, members are well aware of the benefits of meeting at the theater, including visibility, comfortable seats and air conditioning - not to mention restaurants and shops to patronize after services.
But there can be disadvantages, they admit. Matt Braswell, who attends with his wife, Nikki, and their five children ages 2 to 10, says the younger ones can be squeamish about walking past posters advertising violent movies on their way to church.
Standing in one of the theater's party rooms where Sunday School is held, Braswell says he tells his children to "train your eyes at what to look at."
Open Door's pastor says he doesn't see his congregation meeting in a theater forever. Typically, small congregations rent space until they can save enough money to construct their own buildings, and eventually, Racer says, Open Door would like to build its own church or rent space elsewhere.
For now, though, Racer is pleased that his congregation - which has grown from about 75 to 120 members since moving to the theater - is making a movie house their spiritual home.
"The church is not the building, the church is the vitality of the life of Christ inside his people," he says. "When [people] come and they meet our congregation, we want them to be more struck by the authenticity of who they are as people and not be wowed by the atmosphere."