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These Theaters Were Once Grand...Now They're Decaying, But Still Striking

NOVEMBER 26, 2016  —  By Corinne Sanders

It's always a huge shame when beloved theaters are shut down and forgotten.

My city's favorite old movie theater closed its doors for the last time when I was a teenager and was quickly replaced by a rug gallery, which made everyone a little sad. We all mourned the loss and moved on with our lives, but I'm sure we'd be overjoyed if it was ever restored.

Architectural photographer Matt Lambros feels the same way about abandoned theaters, because he travels to these derelict buildings all over the U.S. and documents their decay in an effort to get them restored and repurposed. In his new book, "After the Final Curtain," he shares these strangely beautiful photos that still manage to capture the magic of the theater.

1. The Adams Theatre in Newark, New Jersey, opened in 1912 and was used for theatrical productions and movies. It closed in 1986 because of a 400 percent increase in its interest rate, and hasn't reopened since.

Read More: 16 Super-Eerie Photos From Underwater Shipwrecks

2. The Boyd Theatre in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, opened in 1928 and hosted multiple movie premieres in its prime, but eventually closed in 2002. Though efforts were made to restore it, the theater's auditorium was demolished in 2015 to make room for an apartment tower.

3. The Eastown Theatre in Detroit, Michigan, was originally intended to show motion pictures in the 1930s, but it became a music venue beginning in 1969. When it began deteriorating, nobody was able to pay for renovations.

The building was condemned after the apartment section caught fire in 2010, and it was demolished in 2015.

4. The Embassy Theatre in Port Chester, New York, held live performances and events in the 1920s, and over time, it began showing silent films and motion pictures. It shut down in the 1980s and was sold in 2012, never to reopen.

5. The Fox Theatre in Inglewood, California, was owned by 20th Century Fox until 1948, when it was ruled that movie studios could no longer own theaters. It closed in 1988 but it is now on the National Register of Historic Places and is currently for sale.

6. The Grand Theatre in Steubenville, Ohio, first showed live entertainment in the 1880s, and then it became the first air-conditioned movie theater in the state.

After closing twice, it is now in the process of being renovated into a performing arts center and museum.

7. The Kenosha Theatre in Kenosha, Wisconsin, opened in the 1920s, offering live entertainment and silent films. It was permanently closed in the 1960s and fell into disrepair.

Parts of it have been fixed since the 1980s, but the whole building would cost millions to restore in full.

8. The Liberty Theatre in Youngstown, Ohio, also featured live entertainment in 1918, but later showed films. It closed for good in the 1980s, and despite later intentions to restore it, it was deemed too expensive. It is now a parking lot.

9. The Loew's Kings Theatre in Brooklyn, New York, opened in 1929 as a live performance and movie theater, but low attendance led to it closing in the 1970s.

However, it has since been restored and turned into a performing arts center that reopened in 2015.

10. The Loew's Poli Theatre in Bridgeport was the biggest movie theater in Connecticut when it opened in 1922. Like most other theaters at that time, it began showing live entertainment and silent films, then motion pictures.

It closed in 1975, but it is now on the National Register of Historic Places and will hopefully be restored at some point.

11. The Paramount Theatre in Newark, New Jersey, opened in 1886, changing hands and undergoing remodeling several times over the decades to keep up with the times.

Because of rising insurance rates, it permanently closed after being open for almost 100 years. It is in the process of being turned into an entertainment complex, which will require the auditorium to be demolished.

12. The Studebaker Theatre in Chicago, Illinois, opened in 1917 and hosted plays, operas, and musical acts. It was also used as a television studio and a church before being closed in 1982. It was restored and reopened in 2015.

Read More: These 22 Creepy Abandoned Amusement Parks Will Give You Nightmares

To learn more about these stunning photos, be sure to check out the photographer's book and visit his website.

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