Following on the heels of their incredibly successful The Ruins of Detroit, this major new project by the prolific French photographer duo Marchand/Meffre, poignantly eulogizes and celebrates the tattered remains of hundreds of movie theaters across America.
They are in every American city and town-grandiose movie palaces, constructed during the heyday of the entertainment industry, that now stand abandoned, empty, decaying, or repurposed. Since 2005, the acclaimed photographic duo Marchand/Meffre have been traveling across the US to visit these early 20th-century relics. In hundreds of lushly colored images, they have captured the rich architectural diversity of the theaters' exteriors, from neo renaissance to neo-Gothic, art nouveau to Bauhaus, and neo-Byzantine to Jugendstill. They have also stepped inside to capture the commonalities of a dying culture- crumbling plaster, rows of broken crushed-velvet seats, peeling paint, defunct equipment, and abandoned concession stands-as well as their transformation into bingo halls, warehouses, fitness centers, flea markets, parking lots, and grocery stores. Using a large format camera, the photographers' carefully composed images range from landscape exteriors to starkly beautiful closeups. Presented here in a gorgeous oversized format, exquisitely printed with superior inks and spot varnish, this illustrated eulogy for the American movie palace is certain to become a modern-day classic.