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abandonedplaces

A Darkened Theater

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Aug. 15th, 2011 | 02:51 pm
mood: accomplishedaccomplished
posted by: dark_fetus in abandonedplaces



We first enter this theater from backstage. Minding our footing as we walked past the decaying curtains and fallen light fixtures, we make our way out to the seating area.
This grand room, once full of light and sound now sits in absolute darkness. With only our flashlights to guide us this place seems much more akin to an underground cavern
than anything made by the hands of man. Even the floors have long since disappeared, covered now in the greyish-white residue of weathered plaster. We shine our lights out toward the rows of seats,
which illuminates some 20 feet of or so before our beams are dissolved into the inky gloom. This room was built to sit over 3,500 people, now it just
houses seemingly infinite rows of rotting red velvet chairs which stretch out forever into the blackness.

The room is so large, and so full of darkness, that we are completely unable to cast light upon the opposite wall or even the ceiling directly above our own heads.
Thankfully our “guide” for the day had an answer to the issue at hand. He told us to stay where we were, then immediately took off through a doorway. We did as asked,
and spent some minutes pondering amongst ourselves where he had gone off to, and what was through the doors. Not long after that we heard a commotion in the darkness,
and saw him emerge from the black. In hand he hoisted a large utility lamp and stand, the kind you often see at construction sites. Apparently a few lamps had been left behind
after a failed renovation project several years ago. Even more astounding was the fact that a far-off room was still on the power grid, again an artifact from the renovation
which never happened. After walking about and collecting some several-hundred feet of extension cord from various places in the theater, we were finally able to properly light the room.



Words cannot properly convey what it was like to click those lamps on and see the theater illuminated in its entirety. The blackness had hung thick around us since we entered,
and had given the place an almost claustrophobic feeling. With the click of a single button the room became washed in light, and the true scale of things hit you so hard it
was almost physical. We knew the place was huge, but to actually be standing in the midst of it was something altogether different. This room has sat in almost perpetual
darkness since its closing in the late 1970's. The intense humidity and heat of the summer, as well as the extreme cold of the winter months, has caused a lot of damage over those
nearly forty years. Still, the magnificence of this place is easily seen, primarily because of the extreme care and creativity put into its design back when it was first constructed
almost 100 years ago. The overwhelming detail work, for me, is what makes this place so unique. You continue to notice new things about the artwork the longer you
are around it. For instance, I was completely unaware of the numerous carved faces peering down at me as I sat by the lobby staircase. I was in the middle of taking a multi-minute exposure,
and as I sat awaiting my camera to release its shutter I found myself glancing upward toward the massive vaulted ceiling. It was then that I saw the forms,
many of them, staring bleakly back at me. In their faces the passage of time was somehow more bitter, as if they were trying to communicate what they have seen over the past
century, and how they pine for an age long since vanished under flaking paint and crumbling facades.

















No video this time... Sorry!
It was simply far too dark to film (None of the images above were shorter than a 30-second exposure).
Some were even considerably longer than that.

Hope everyone enjoyed the post anyway. It was roughly 120 or so in there when we shot.
So awful, but at the same time well worth it.
~Rusty





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Comments {88}

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Ronch Ronch Ronch

(no subject)

from: sandoz_iscariot
date: Aug. 15th, 2011 06:54 pm (UTC)
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oh wow, what a gorgeous place. Such a shame it's been abandoned and left to decay.

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Rusty Tagliareni

(no subject)

from: dark_fetus
date: Aug. 15th, 2011 09:44 pm (UTC)
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It's a waste! Would make for a wonderful venue, though I can see how its hard save such a big theater.
I mean, it sits over 3,500 people. You have to wonder if even 1/3 of that would ever visit it...

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(Deleted comment)

Rusty Tagliareni

(no subject)

from: dark_fetus
date: Aug. 15th, 2011 09:46 pm (UTC)
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It is indeed gorgeous. As for location specifics, I'm not inclined to say...
I currently have an internet "stalker" who likes to film the places I've been and post their real names/locations all over the web.
For now, mum is the word... sorry.

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scatteredgray

(no subject)

from: scatteredgray
date: Aug. 15th, 2011 06:59 pm (UTC)
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Wow. What a beautiful place. That staircase is gorgeous!

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Rusty Tagliareni

(no subject)

from: dark_fetus
date: Aug. 15th, 2011 09:46 pm (UTC)
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It's also HUGE.

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synnie

(no subject)

from: synnoveaevael
date: Aug. 15th, 2011 07:04 pm (UTC)
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woooow.

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Rusty Tagliareni

(no subject)

from: dark_fetus
date: Aug. 15th, 2011 09:46 pm (UTC)
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Thaaaaaaanks.

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I refuse to give up my obsession

(no subject)

from: endlessdeep
date: Aug. 15th, 2011 07:13 pm (UTC)
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Incredible. Thanks for sharing.

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Rusty Tagliareni

(no subject)

from: dark_fetus
date: Aug. 15th, 2011 09:47 pm (UTC)
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Very welcome, thanks for taking the time to view it.

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Venturous1

(no subject)

from: venturous1
date: Aug. 15th, 2011 07:31 pm (UTC)
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it looks in remarkably good shape for all the neglect. no major roof leaks?
as a teen in the 70s my dad helped rescue theatre pipe organs all over the midwest, and I got to get into some amazing auditoriums just before the wrecking ball.
I sure hope someone renovates this place!

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Rusty Tagliareni

(no subject)

from: dark_fetus
date: Aug. 15th, 2011 09:48 pm (UTC)
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I believe there is water-damage occurring along the right wall, as visible in the third image.
It seems to have deteriorated all the plasterwork along the right wing of the mezzanine.

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cristina

(no subject)

from: shortsweetcynic
date: Aug. 15th, 2011 08:03 pm (UTC)
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gorgeous. and kind of heartbreaking.

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Rusty Tagliareni

(no subject)

from: dark_fetus
date: Aug. 15th, 2011 09:49 pm (UTC)
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It is a shame. But at least it hasn't been razed yet.

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Daubaway Weirdsley

(no subject)

from: dothestrand
date: Aug. 15th, 2011 08:30 pm (UTC)
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Fantastic photos! I want to visit this place...

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Rusty Tagliareni

(no subject)

from: dark_fetus
date: Aug. 15th, 2011 09:49 pm (UTC)
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Thanks. Also, much easier said than done... this was one of the more-risky ventures to date.

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atomgal

(no subject)

from: atomgal
date: Aug. 15th, 2011 08:53 pm (UTC)
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Wow. It saddens me that something so gorgeous, with such amazing detail, is left to rot. I'd like to think there's hope for this old beauty...

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Rusty Tagliareni

(no subject)

from: dark_fetus
date: Aug. 15th, 2011 09:50 pm (UTC)
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Well, hope is all there is. It seems the area it's in would benefit from it being reopened, but the cost to renovate such a place must be staggering.

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Adam

(no subject)

from: bassbone
date: Aug. 15th, 2011 08:54 pm (UTC)
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Is the organ still in that theater?

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Rusty Tagliareni

(no subject)

from: dark_fetus
date: Aug. 15th, 2011 09:50 pm (UTC)
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The organ was removed many years ago, as far as I can tell it was the only item saved from the place.

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lilbitbord

(no subject)

from: lilbitbord
date: Aug. 15th, 2011 08:58 pm (UTC)
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Where is this? Do you know the name? The details and articutre looks similar to one I visit often in Detroit. I wonder if they were done by the same architect? Great pictures! I love old theaters!

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Rusty Tagliareni

(no subject)

from: dark_fetus
date: Aug. 15th, 2011 09:51 pm (UTC)
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I do know the name, but have purposely committed it from my text.
Its a long way from Detroit, but perhaps it does share a designer.

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zafania

(no subject)

from: zafania
date: Aug. 15th, 2011 09:05 pm (UTC)
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So how come Americans used to spell theatre correctly and then changed it?

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Rusty Tagliareni

(no subject)

from: dark_fetus
date: Aug. 15th, 2011 09:43 pm (UTC)
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Actually, it has a lot to do with Webster and his dictionaries from the early 1800's.
He wanted to make American English less "British" by having the words spelled out more phonetically.
Colour to Color, Centre to Center, Theatre to Theater... and so on.
It's still relativity common to see both spellings of the word, though "theater" is more recognized as correct by this point in time.

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The Silver Wolf of Darkness

(no subject)

from: silvolf
date: Aug. 15th, 2011 09:54 pm (UTC)
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Even in its decay, it is still beautiful!

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Rusty Tagliareni

(no subject)

from: dark_fetus
date: Aug. 16th, 2011 05:52 pm (UTC)
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It really is, though in a completely different way.

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no

(no subject)

from: oculartremor
date: Aug. 15th, 2011 09:54 pm (UTC)
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Brilliant!

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Rusty Tagliareni

(no subject)

from: dark_fetus
date: Aug. 16th, 2011 05:52 pm (UTC)
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Thanks!

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Mattie

(no subject)

from: mattie
date: Aug. 15th, 2011 10:47 pm (UTC)
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So gorgeous! I agree with everyone that it's a shame it can't be saved.

Thanks again for sharing your beautiful work here.

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Rusty Tagliareni

(no subject)

from: dark_fetus
date: Aug. 16th, 2011 05:53 pm (UTC)
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I never said it can't be saved. Several organizations wish to restore it.
I can only assume that the funding end of things is where the snag is...

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