The Movie Palace Series: An Introduction

posted by Patrick Crowley on August 31, 2004 at 7:00 am

Cinema Treasures is featuring the beautiful work of artist/photographer Larry Grossman throughout this week. Today, we begin with an introduction to Grossman’s work and artistic process. During the rest of the week, we’ll also be showing several pieces of Grossman’s work each day, as well as an interview with the artist.

The “Movie Palace” series is a collection of images of vintage Movie Theaters created by artist/photographer Larry Grossman. These images depict classic theaters and their environments, as they looked in their “Golden Age”.

“I begin each image by shooting a photograph of the theater (note my original Pantages photo next to the completed Pantages image). To ‘transport’ the theaters back in time to their ‘heyday’, I digitally remove all contemporary items such as cars, signs, parking meters, streetlights, and stores from the photos.

I then painstakingly add authentic period details (using only my own photos as source material) appropriate to the era of each theater, such as cars, stores and people. I even digitally ‘restore’ the theater’s facades and neon marquees to their original splendor, using carefully researched archival photos (usually black & white) for my reference.

In addition, I add classic movie titles and the actors' names to the marquees, along with the corresponding classic movie posters to the theaters' display cases. In most cases I also replace the skies for a more dramatic effect.

My ‘Movie Palace’ series combines many of my passions: classic films and vintage movie theaters (one of my short films played at The Vista theater in Hollywood), old cars, and vintage clothes, which I collect (in fact, I’m in several of my pictures, dressed in period clothes, doing an ‘Alfred Hitchcock style walk-on’).

Lastly, all of these elements are brought together utilizing two of my favorite artistic mediums, my camera and my computer".

Comments (3)

Bway on August 31, 2004 at 11:54 am

That is beautiful. Is the Hollywood Theater pictured in the photo currently the theater that became the Guiness Book of World Records museum? I remember going to that a few years ago.

GaryParks on August 31, 2004 at 2:01 pm

Yes, that is the theatre that is now the Guiness Museum. The theatre was built in 1919 and is said to be the first movie theatre on Hollywood Boulevard. The facade and signage shown in the above image (which appear almost the same today) are from a 1930s remodeling designed by S. Charles Lee.

JimRankin on August 31, 2004 at 2:17 pm

I can’t tell which is better: the image of the HOLLYWOOD itself, or that wonderful sky! Best Wishes, Mr. Grossmann; I look forward to your future achievements, and a book of them all, a la that of Davis Cone.

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