US early 20th century theaters

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Theaters US

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Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre - pic by treehugger.com
Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre – pic by treehugger.com

persblog.be – Archives – Edition 2015.12.02 US movie palaces of the first half of the 20th century were the object of  a series of photographs by the French artists Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre.

Despite their state of decay, today the palaces still impress through their architectural grandeur which underlines their social importance during the era when cinema was still considered a magic phenomena.

Since 1910 thousands of movie houses were constructed in the US; some of which being real palaces. The photography project was realized in collaboration with the ‘Deutsches Film Museum’ in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

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SAM_4311Uptown Theater, Philadephia, PA

2046 seats. Opened as a movie house and performance space in 1929. Became a major venue in the ‘Chitlin Circuit’ which during the time of racial segregation offered safe conditions for Afrian-American performers. Converted intro a church in 1978. Closed in 1991. Waiting for reconversion.

SAM_4313Fabian Theater, Paterson, NJ

3263 seats. Opened as a movie house and performance space in 1925. Divided into five screens in the 70s. Closed in 1993. Gutted to make way for condos and retail space in  2012.

SAM_4315Eastown Theater, Detroit, MI

2500 seats. Opened in 1930 as a movie house and performance space. Became a famous place for rock concerts and later for jazz and theater plays. Closed in 1973, the theater reopened in 1980 to become a cinema for pornographic movies. In 1984 it was a shelter for performing artists. During the 90s the building became a church and was deserted by the end of  2000.

SAM_4317Uptown Theater, Chicago, IL

4381 seats. Designed by architects Rapp and Rapp. Opened in 1925 as a movie house and performance space. It was the largest theater in Chicago. By the end of the 70s the space was used as a concert hall. It was closed in 1981.

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SAM_4319Metropolitan Opera House, Philadelphia, PA

3482 seats. Opened in 1908 as an opera house. Subsequently used as a movie theater in the 20s, ballroom in the 30s, sports venue in the 40s, various churches from 1954.

SAM_4321Uptown Theater, Chicago, IL

4381 seats. Designed by architects Rapp and Rapp. Opened as a movie house and performance space in 1925. It was the largest theater in Chicago. Used as concert venue in the late 70s. Closed in 1981.

SAM_4323Alhambra Theater, San Francisco, CA

1625 seats. Designed by architects Miller & Pflueger. Opened as a movie house and performance space in 1926. Divided into two screens in 1976. Reopened as a single screen in 1988. Closed in 1998. Converted into a gym.

SAM_4325Loew’s Palace Theater, Bridgeport, CT

3642 seats. Designed as double theater complex by architect Thomas Lamb. Opened as a movie house and performance space in 1922. Switched to showing adult films in the early 70s. Closed in 1975. Waiting for restoration. It is known to be the largest theater in Connecticut.

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SAM_4332Paramount Theater, Newark, NJ

1996 seats. Opened as a vaudeville house in 1886. Remodeled by architect Thomas Lamb as a movie house in 1932. Closed in 1986. Lobby consequently used by various retail stores. Waiting for demolition.

SAM_4334Embassy Theater, Port Chester, NY

1991 seats. Designed by Thomas Lamb. Opened in 1926 as a ‘vaudeville’ theater and was gradually converted into a cinema house. At the end of the 70s only Spanish movies were shown. The place closed in the early 80s, was reopened as a teenage disco temple but was closed again in 1988.

SAM_4336Fox Theater, Inglewood, CA

1008 seats. The interior was designed in ‘Skouras-style’ (ref. Spyros Skouras, former manager of ‘20th Century Fox’.

Opened in 1949 as a movie house. Was an important location regarding ‘Hollywood’ premières during the 50s. Before it was closed in 1988, the theater specialized in the projection of movies in Spanish language.

SAM_4338Majestic Theater, East Saint Louis, IL

1767 seats. Opened as a movie house and performance space in 1928. A cinema-scope screen was installed in 1954. Closed in 1960.

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pics: exhibition in Belgium, 2015