As a child growing up in Indiana, there were fewer things I loved more than going to the movies with my dad. One of my earliest memories of being at the movies is seeing Independence Day one hot July 4th with my mom and dad. I’m pretty sure he’s the one that convinced my mom into going, too. But it wasn’t the multiplexes in the city that I loved, it was the little historic theatres that I could walk to that made my heart all aflutter. In fact, my most treasured movie memories come from the Artcraft Theatre in Franklin, IN. I saw all three Indiana Jones movies, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and even convinced my parents to take me to a midnight screening of Star Wars: Episode I. I’m just glad that the theatre has now been renovated, and not fallen victim to disrepair and negligence like some of these other theatres.
Seeing these photos of 75 abandoned theatres from around the country just makes my heart hurt. So much history has passed through those doors. So many memories, so many stories. It just depresses me to no end. Even though my hometown theatres in Indiana haven’t closed down, I fear that they’ll soon end up like the ones in the gallery. I mean, look at the Loew’s Kings in Brooklyn. It’s one of the most beautiful buildings I’ve ever seen, and it’s just sitting there, rotting away. Thankfully, renovation has begun on it, and the theatre is hoping to open it’s doors again in 2014.
If you have any love of movies, history, or just want to support your local businesses, I urge you to go to your historic theatre and see movies there. Support them. That’s the only way these American beauties can stay alive and entertaining people for years to come. And if you’re interested in theatre preservation, check out Cinema Treasures. An awesome website dedicated to the preservation and protection of America’s historic theatres.[via BuzzFeed]