The Fall of the American Movie Palace


The Variety Theatre in Cleveland, Ohio

An illustrated lecture with architectural photographer Matt Lambros.

***SOLD OUT***

Date: Saturday, August 18th

Time: 7:30

Admission: $10

Presented by Atlas Obscura

There’s nothing remarkable about a movie theater today, but there used to be. When the great American Movie Palaces opened, they were some of the most lavish, stunning buildings anyone had ever seen. With the birth of the multiplex, theater companies found it harder and harder to keep these buildings open. Some were demolished, some were converted, and some remain to this day. “The Fall of the American Movie Palace” will take you through the history of these magnificent buildings, from their opening in the early 1900s to years after the final curtain.

Matt Lambros is an architectural photographer who began photographing abandoned buildings ten years ago. Struck by both the sadness and extreme beauty of the Loew’s Kings Theatre in Brooklyn, he began further exploration into the history and architecture of early Twentieth Century American theaters. A graduate of Boston University’s digital imaging and photojournalism programs, Mr. Lambros has since been documenting the decay of America’s abandoned theaters in the hope of shedding light on these forgotten buildings and the efforts to repurpose them. Part of raising awareness for these treasures is his involvement with various organizations who work to restore and reopen abandoned theaters in the United States. Mr. Lambros has donated time and photographs to support such organizations as the Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts, who in 2009 acquired the historic Victory Theatre, derelict since 1979. Recently, Mr. Lambros’ abandoned theater photography has been featured in several publications, including Gawker, Gothamist, Curbed, and The New York Times. His work will soon be featured in several northeast art galleries. For more information go to and

This is part of the “Atlas Obscura Speakers” series of talks at Observatory.


Comments are closed.