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09.23.2011

Vintage moving picture theatres are treasures. They were magnificent palaces of entertainment. Ornate décor throughout expansive spaces meant going to the movies was to leave the mundane ordinary life and be surrounded by the realm of the fantastic. Anything is possible in a theatre…

Imagine a couple is running the aisles, seeking refuge as the players’ flickering sepia toned story dances across the screen. Eerie notes reach your ears. Are they flowing from the organ on the stage? Is their pounding effort of escape in your mind? Is the breathlessness, the tightness in your chest imaginary or is it real?

Suddenly you are in a decending elevator lit only by three bare bulbs. The walls are covered in Egyptian scrollwork. The car’s movement thumps to a stop. The gate creaks; slowly opening…  You wonder “What’s outside?”

“Elevator” • The Fox Theatre, Atlanta, Georgia • ©2011 Kevin Ames • All rights reserved • Sigma 24-70 f/2.8 EX DG HSM @ 32mm • 1/125th f/4.0 ISO: 100

I had the opportunity to play in Atlanta’s Fabulous Fox Theatre recently. I came across an elevator. My models, Ashley and Cody got into the spirit of days long past. A single Dynalite electronic flash head aimed at the ceiling illuminates the scene. I pulled the iron gate partially across the entryway. Ashley peers into the distance…

Old theatres, especially ones that have been restored like the Fox, are wonderful playgrounds. Go find one. Take some ideas along a model or two then play. Play for all you’re worth. You’ll love what transpires.

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