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The Last Blackout: The End to an Era of Theaters

In Vaudeville terminology, "blackout" refers to "A brief comedy routine ending with the quick closing of the curtain or a quick extinguishing of the lights at the punchline." The era of palatial theaters providing the primary source of entertainment in American cities is over (as movie houses or for stage productions), yet a few of the most spectacular theaters remain, shuttered and falling apart. It's an era I never knew, and perhaps one I would never believe was as fantastic as it was were it not for the fact that I have seen the remains. While theater and film are still a part of our culture, the ability to do so in a majestic palace of a theater is something I wonder if future generations will ever know.

If you enjoy abandoned theater images, you may also like the Victory Theatre, Variety Theatre, Donnely Theater*, and Lansdowne Theatre galleries on Abandoned America. Photographs and unattributed text by Matthew Christopher. For more images click the thumbnails below.