When I was in my early teens, an organization in a city near me finished an ambitious project: they restored an old theater. To celebrate, they held an open house and many people from the surrounding area came to tour the newly restored theater. My parents took my sister and I to go see it. I remember my fascination at the ornate detail of the theater.
After college, I became interested in abandon places. Not that I would visit one alone, but I loved looking at photos of once-grand buildings as nature and the environment reclaimed them. However, the photos of abandoned libraries and theaters always made me a little sad. Maybe it’s the decline of civilization, or maybe it’s because I’ve seen an old library and an old theater in preserved or restored condition. I often thought it was a shame more couldn’t be saved.
Several months ago, my father informed me that the local photo club had arranged to visit the theater we had toured all those years ago and visited a few times since. The club had purchased a tour and several hours of time to wander the building with cameras. I had the opportunity to photograph the very same ornate building that had fascinated me years before – and it is still in restored condition.
Since I ran out of retouch time (dynamic range is a big concern in this building!), here are the photos from the entryway and upper mezzanine:
Next time, I will continue with the inside of the theater. In a world with so much entropy and decay, it’s always a ray of hope that some things can be saved.
When my sister and I were little, we played with a toy called Marble Works. It was basically a bunch of curvy ramps and various other parts you built a structure with and watched your marbles twirl around in. Strange as it may seem, we could spend hours building these mazes and watching our marbles navigate them. Of course, this was only for normal sized marbles. The large “shooter” kind did not fit through the holes.
Recently, I dug my marbles out of hiding and put them in a glass jar on my dresser. Most of the ones I still have came from a booth at a historical reenactment. My favorite, however, I found in the dirt at my grandparent’s home. No one is sure how it got there.
Next Time: Nature or Old Camera
Yes, those are probably the two most common subjects on this blog. If I do an old camera, it will be a movie camera this time.
A while back, I was sorting out some stuff and happened to pick up an old box of prints and negatives from highschool when I still shot with my old Minolta AF-C (https://mycameramyfriend.wordpress.com/2011/05/30/my-first-camera/). They are weighty boxes that smell of the emulsion stored within.
Although I shoot digital these days, film conjures up strong emotions in me. I took several film photography courses, and, if that wasn’t enough, I was also a film student. The smell of emulsion takes me back to learning to process black and white film, making prints in the darkroom, and learning to load and shoot with different kinds of cameras. Sometimes I can almost feel the magazines as if I were about to turn off the lights and load them. I’m a sentimental creature, sometimes. I suppose that’s why I have a 16mm reel that I got as a prize for the department handbook quiz hanging on my wall with a short end of black and white reversal film on it. The green antihalation coating goes with my decor.
Smell is said to be one of the strongest memory triggers. What smells bring back memories for you?
Next Week: Outdoor Portrait or Classic Camera
If the weather and people’s schedules cooperate, I’m adding some portraiture to the blog. If not, it’ll be the camera.