Discover America’s Abandoned Theaters

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Before the era of television, theaters were where people went for music performances, movies and vaudeville. But the once demanded spaces gradually fell into disarray as the sources of entertainment diversified. Although the curtains have been called on the theaters below, you can still get a glimpse of their glorious past through the rubbles. 

Paramount Theater, Newark

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The Paramount Theater, originally named the Newark Theater, first opened its door on Market Street in Newark, N.J. in 1886. The curtain closed exactly a century later in 1986, but an ambitious revitalization plan for downtown Newark might revive the once beloved space. 

Michigan Theater, Detroit

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The Michigan Theater in Detroit once played host to a bevy of music icons such as Duke Ellington, David Bowie and Aerosmith. Now it is partly used as a car park.

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First opening in 1926, the Michigan Theater was designed in the French Renaissance style. It was constructed on the same site as Henry Ford's workshop, where he built his very first automobile, the quadricycle. The aging building now stands as a reminder of Detroit's glittering past, as the city has struggled to cope with financial turmoil in recent years.

Paramount theater, new york city

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The art deco-style Paramount theater in Staten Island, New York City opened in 1930 and was briefly converted into a nightclub and concert venue in the 1970s. It eventually closed its door in 1980s. 

boyd theater, philadelphia

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The Boyd Theater in Philadelphia was built in 1928. It was demolished in 2015 to make way for new development, despite activists' years of efforts to preserve the structure. 

loew's majestic theater, bridgeport

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The Loew's Majestic Theater is a Neo-Renaissance style structure in Bridgeport, Conn. The once popular venue opened in 1922 but only enjoyed five decades of glory, before permanently shutting down in 1975. The image above shows the upper tier of the abandoned theater. 

paramount theater, marshall

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The Paramount Theater in Marshall, Texas is an Atmospheric-style theater, a type of movie palaces designed following European themes, popular in the U.S. in the 1920s. The space closed in the 1970s. The current owner tried unsuccessfully to sell the building on eBay in 2007. 

embassy theater, port chester

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The Embassy Theater in Port Chester, N.Y. opened in 1926 and showed not only live performances but also movies. It was shut down by police in the '80s after operating as a dance club for teenagers.

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