Theatre Town

If you know me personally, you know theatre was always a huge part of our lives. Rob & I first became close while doing a production of Lend Me a Tenor during sophomore year of high school. Theatre was my undergraduate major & I spent much of my college career in charge of an entirely student-run theatre on campus.

Oh… and we got married on the stage of an old theatre.

{photo by Dollface}

Fun Fact: Rob is a classically trained baritone {boy can SING!}

But back to the topic at hand: THEATRE.

I’ve teased the bedroom curtains here & here but have yet to buy the track, so nothing’s really happened to them since. They’re used cream theatre curtains and pretty fabulous, if I do say so myself.

If you’ve perused the blogroll, you may have happened upon the Dark Passage Travelogue {must.resist.Lemmiwinks.joke.}, run by Julia Solis. If you haven’t, check it out. She photographs forgotten buildings. My favorite series is her Stages of Decay. I’m sure given my love of theatre & old buildings in need of renovating you must be insanely shocked. {/sarcasm}

Those forgotten stages are beautiful & so deeply moving to me. I can picture the grandeur they must have possessed and the joy they must have brought to so many people. It saddens me to think about how abandoned and derelict they’ve become. Chances are they’ll meet a wrecking ball instead of being restored. {tear}

I was reminded of Julia’s work when this post about Matthew Gosser popped up on Glocally.

Matthew Gosser is a Newark based artist & architect who teaches at the NJ School of Architecture.

“As an artist, he established a new art form known as Ar+chaeology. Ar+chaeology is a combination of found object art, urban exploration and historic preservation… Artifacts are extracted, cleaned and converted into artwork meant to promote a broader appreciation of [the site where they were found]. In this respect, Ar+chaeology can be thought of as historic preservation with artistic license. Especially in cases where the site is facing rapid deterioration via natural elements or the wrecking ball, Ar+chaeology is the last line of defense- providing new life to abandoned objects and new meaning to the places they came from” {from his concept page}

His new exhibition, Theatre Town, opens Oct. 17, 2009.


While I cannot make the opening reception, I plan on making it up there sometime during the run. Pictures I found on his website explore two of my very favorite Newark buildings.

RKO Proctor’s Theatre {which I dubbed “the jukebox building”}
RKO Proctor's Theatre

Proctor’s is a rare double decker theatre that switched from vaudeville to movies according to this.

Proctor’s Upper Theatre:
proctors upper theatre

The Paramount Theatre

inside paramount

paramount curtains

paramount fly

Heart-wrenching is the first word that pops to mind.

I had no idea what the inside of either building looked like before seeing these photos. You can be sure I’m making my way up to NJIT for the full exhibit.

And then I want someone to take me inside to see both for myself.

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3 Responses to Theatre Town

  1. Eva says:

    Those theatre pictures make me so sad. What grand places they could be…

    If you get inside, let me know! I’ll come along and we’ll bring my giant purse for smuggling things out. I’m sure I can fit a row of seats in it.

  2. caitie says:

    great post- thanks for sharing all those links. the photos are amazing

  3. Sara says:

    HEY cool! I have a Bachelor’s in Voice Performance (Mezzo Soprano) so I was thrilled to learn this side of you guys. Love the theatre, opera, etc. What a wonderful wedding location. It is quite sad about the theatres, I will never understand why people think newer is better and let the old gems wither away.

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