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Prestel : Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre : Movie Theaters


In 2005, Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre discovered for the first time a real “movie palace”, when they began their work on the ruins of Detroit. Immediately fascinated by these veritable “cathedrals of cinema”, they will not stop over the 15 years which will follow to document these movie theaters fallen into oblivion.

From the mid-1910s, accompanying the meteoric emergence of cinema which in a few decades had become the dominant leisure activity, the major American studios built several hundred theaters in often monumental and extravagant styles, mixes of Italian operas. , Baroque influences, various historicist styles and Art Deco. From the 1950s however, with the flight of populations to the newly built suburbs and the massive arrival of television, these theaters began their slow decline.

Photographing in the 4×5 chamber and often equipped with their own lighting, the photographers have thus documented these auditoriums with their once triumphant settings and their backstage, often abandoned but sometimes also become “hybrid ruins, like a form of subconscious memory, a chimera made of our past hopes and our current condition ”therefore inhabiting car parks, storage spaces, supermarkets, sports halls and even churches …

The fruit of this work has been compiled into a vast work of more than 260 illustrations and 300 pages.


Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre ‘Movie Theaters’

by Prestel Publishing

Hardcover, 35.6 x 29.2 cm, 304 pages, 220 illustrations, English, 9783791387741 – € 78


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