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05 February 2010

Neat, though I suspect that some of these "theaters" are actually auditoriums in schools and places of worship.

I went to summer camp at a theatre that was originally a vaudeville place in the 1920s, then went through a period in the 70s when it was a XXX film house, then fell into (worse) ruin for a while until it was remodeled in the 80s. It's supposedly one of the most haunted places in New Jersey, and it definitely has a creepy vibe when you're there alone at night...
posted by amro 05 February | 12:20
Those are beautiful and sad. Several of these look like they were taken in institutions of some kind (linoleum floors, green tiled walls). Those are definitely the saddest ones.
posted by Atom Eyes 05 February | 12:22
So incredibly beautiful and evocative.
posted by BoringPostcards 05 February | 13:17
It's Julia Solis!) I have long had a serious intellectual crush on her. She's a pioneer of urban exploration and takes part in creating some really wild alternate-reality events.
posted by Miko 05 February | 14:36
oh, amro, I almost thought you were going to be talking about this theatre - also an old NJ Vaudeville house that fell on hard times in the 60s and 70s.

I had my first job there, selling tickets and answering phones in the box office every Sunday, and since they only had shows once every couple months it was pretty slow and I didn't have much to do - just sat and read, mostly. I don't know why I wasn't more spooked being in this creaky, dusty, faded, lonely old theatre as a young teenager all by myself. (I also don't know why that seemed like a good enough idea to the people who hired me).

When I was in high school, they raised enough money to start rehabbing it. We had a big group from the school go and do a demo party there one day, tearing up 60-year-old carpets and tearing out the old chairs. Little by little it was restored to elegance, and now it's a thriving theater. Nice to see that happen. They completed the final phase of restoration in 2008 - timelapse video here! - and it is great.
posted by Miko 05 February | 14:42
Is there any way we can identify any of these theaters?
posted by Obscure Reference 05 February | 15:27
You might try writing to her, O_R. I wrote her once a few years ago and she wrote back.
posted by Miko 05 February | 15:49
Great idea! I'll give it a try.
posted by Obscure Reference 05 February | 15:55
≡ Click to see image ≡
Here is an exterior, outside of Hilo (a city which is predominately ethnic Japanese).
posted by danf 05 February | 15:57
I could consider framing and hanging a couple of those.
posted by Ardiril 05 February | 20:16
Wow, I love that photo, danf.
posted by Miko 05 February | 20:26
One that got saved in Wichita, Kansas. (360 interior)
posted by buzzman 05 February | 20:59
≡ Click to see image ≡
Another place that got saved from the wrecking ball; this one in my hometown. It's currently a children's science museum. The Marx Brothers played here as vaudevillians, and I think this might be where Harpo stopped talking....
posted by Kronos_to_Earth 05 February | 21:58
How to get our Democracy back || Is Blackboard as much fail as it seems to me?