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What The Haunting Beauty Of Abandoned Theaters Reveals About The Movie Biz

Most of the architectural photography we post depicts buildings when they’re so new and glittery, they look like they’ve never been breathed on, let alone lived in. Photographer Matt Lambros is interested in an entirely different side of architecture: His latest series shows abandoned movie palaces–dusty old theaters on which the final curtain fell many years ago.

Lambros, who hails from New York, spent two years traveling around the United States capturing theaters in various states of disarray, from the faded red-velvet glamour of the Loew’s Kings in Flatbush to the full-blown wreckage of the Paramount Theater in Ohio. Their life and death parallel a larger narrative in the film industry: Built at the onset of Hollywood’s Golden Age, many of the theaters shut down in the ’70s and ’80s, when multiplexes started sprouting up, and thriving, thanks to the explosive commercialization of movies.

ArchDaily’s Irina Vinnitskaya ventures that the intrigue of Lambros’s theaters “lies in their history, in the stories they have left behind, and in their past social value.” But they’re also something of a cautionary tale. “These spaces that have been left for ruin reveal the shifts in our social priorities and leave behind an eerie image of what the urban environment we have created can become without our care,” she writes. Put another way: All those barely breathed-on monuments of today could become the ruins of tomorrow.

[See more images at ArchDaily.com]

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