Broadway Avenue in downtown Los Angeles contains an extraordinary collection of twelve abandoned movie theatres, all built between 1910 and 1931. In most cities worldwide, such a concentration of old film palaces would have been demolished long ago, but in a city whose identity is inseparable from the film industry, the buildings have survived mainly intact, some with interiors that are dilapidated or gutted, while others have been transformed and re-imagined as churches or nightclubs. Stephen Barber s Abandoned Images takes us inside these remarkable places on a quest to understand the birth and death of film as both a medium and a social event.
Due to the rise in digital filmmaking and straight-to-DVD and on-demand distribution, the film industry is presently undergoing a process of profound transformation in both how movies are made and how they are watched. Barber explores what this means for the cinematic experience: are movies losing some essential element of their identity and purpose, and can the distinctive aura of film survive when film s showplaces have been redesigned to serve other ends or altogether erased? Barber also forecasts the future of film, revealing how its distinctive and flexible nature will be vital to its survival.
Featuring many evocative images alongside insightful reflections on the role of film and its viewing in a global culture, Abandoned Images will be of interest to all those engaged in contemporary developments in film, visual media and digital arts.
'beautifully illustrated . . . Barber is interested in both the technological era of motion pictures, and the passing of its culture its buildings, habits and attractions.' TLS
|Details||Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Reaktion Books (1 Feb 2010)
Product Dimensions: 21.2 x 13.8 x 1.6 cm