Thursday, September 8, 2011

Cinema Redux: Putting on the Ritz

I have a passion for finding and photographing old and abandoned movie theaters.  It is a subject I've been intending to feature here at Boom Pop! for quite some time. I have only recently started to actively pursue the matter, due in large part to the recent advances in technology as represented by Google Maps and its ever so resourceful street-view function.

I live just outside of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, a city almost completely bereft of its historical theaters.  Even the Stevens Center for the Arts bears little resemblance to the Carolina Theatre, its original incarnation.  But in the course of my research I did stumble upon a still standing vintage theater quite photogenic in its currently decaying state.
The Ritz is located in the northeast section of the city, near the intersection of Patterson Avenue and Greenway Avenue.  It opened in 1968 and was likely a second-run, B-movie house; it debuted with a double feature of Duel at Diablo and Goliath and the Vampires.

Inset photo from Digital Forsyth collection.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Photo Retro! - The Central Hotel

The Central Hotel occupied the upper floors of the John B. Ray Building in downtown Leaksville. Leaksville was one of three small towns that were combined to become the greater metropolitan area of Eden, located in central North Carolina just south of the Virginia border.  Its now age-worn and broken neon sign could have been a set piece in a classic Hollywood film noir.

A vintage postcard shows the whole of the building; the entrance to the Central Hotel can be seen at the rear corner.  The sign featured above remains hanging above that entrance, however the artist chose not to include it in the postcard rendering.  The vertical HOTEL sign at the front also survives, albeit in equally poor condition.