When French photographers Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre set out to document America’s abandoned movie theatres in 2005, they were expecting them to be, well, abandoned. Turns out many were far from retired – and some had embarked on surprising career changes.
Wired took a look at Marchand and Meffre’s findings, collected in their ongoing photographic series Theatres. There’s Brooklyn’s Paramount Theater, which once played host to Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra and is now a gymnasium. To the delight of those who insist on reminding everyone that the book was better than the movie, San Diego’s Loma Theater has been reborn as a bookstore. Baltimore’s McHenry Theater in particular really struggled to settle down, variously trying its hand at being a convenience store, warehouse, thrift store and sports facility and bar before resigning to the respectable career of being an office space.
For more, head over to Marchand and Meffre’s website.