“Picture House” Photography By Steven Rood

posted by Ross Melnick on February 18, 2005 at 8:54 am

“My name is Steven Rood. I am a Los Angeles based fine art photographer. My work is well collected. Pieces now hang in many private and corporate collections.

I am a year into my current project entitled Picture House. An homage to classic and vintage movie theaters. A retrospective that started locally and is quickly gathering steam to become a nationwide project. Currently, over 50 theaters have been shot. 27 of these are now represented online, with many more to be added soon. These images are receiving a lot of attention from the entertainment community, the photographic community and theater preservationist groups.

And that is why I in turn bring them to your attention. America’s classic and vintage movie theaters are vanishing at an alarming rate. Structures that represent a more innocent time in
our country. And as they fade, so do our memories of a time before urban and spiritual decay.

It is my hope that these images will receive enough attention so as to attract additional funding for this project. The eventual goal is a traveling gallery show and fine art book with a
percentage of the proceeds donated to various preservationist groups in need.

My photography is my voice. A voice that I am able to use to bring attention to issues of importance. And it is my hope that you can help make it heard. So any coverage of the Picture House project would be greatly appreciated. I thank you for your time and consideration."

For more information and images, please visit’s Steven Rood’s wonderful website.

Comments (9)

howell on February 18, 2005 at 9:40 am

Hello Steven,

I like the faded shot of the United Artists marquee. Let me know when you may go on tour so that I could arrange for you to display your work:

JimRankin on February 18, 2005 at 12:40 pm

If I understand your mission correctly, your planned book is primarily a photo artist’s Portfolio, not a scholarly review of the theatres presented. I conclude that you are looking for publicity for your prints and book, not donations of photos by others of theatres no longer open for you to photograph. There is certainly nothing wrong with a book/portfolio, but it is a different thing than the great effort of the owners of this site when they created their “Cinema Treasures” volume last year. Vintage photos are abundant in there. I hope your efforts will give us new and better views of the theatres still with us. Best Wishes. Jim Rankin, member Theatre Historical Soc. of America (www.HistoricTheatres.org; you might contact them for publicity in their NewsFlash or “Marquee” magazine).

Hibi on February 18, 2005 at 2:37 pm

Good luck! Anything that can bring attention to these endangered works of art is worth the effort.

David Wodeyla
David Wodeyla on February 18, 2005 at 3:00 pm

This was a nice effort to sell photo-art, and thank you for showing us your products. The darkened and blurred images make the theatres appear closed, as though once colorful and bright, now in a blighted neighborhood, dark and abandoned. I enjoy looking at the marquee styles though, and wonder what the entrance areas look like today. Very mysterious, thank you for sharing your vision.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on February 18, 2005 at 4:03 pm

I’m curious which of these are open and which are closed. To my knowledge, the Nuart, NuWilshire, Fox Village, and Laemmle Monica 4 are all very much alive. The Aero just reopened last month. I’m less familiar with the others.

UAGirl on February 18, 2005 at 9:42 pm

Very eerie indeed but I dig it. Thanks for posting the photos. In fact you whole website is rather cool. Have you thought about doing a little bit of “urban exlporing” and taking shots of the buildings?

sdoerr on February 18, 2005 at 10:39 pm

Speaking of Urban Exploration, I do it myself and it isn’t for everyone. Most people don’t understand the ethics and proper clothing. Not to mention it is dangerous.

uncleal923 on February 18, 2005 at 11:23 pm

Mr. Rood;
There are several theaters along Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, NY that may be of interest. The Albmarle is now a Jehovah’s Witness Hall. The Brooklyn Rialto is now a church. However, the one I am on the committee working for is the Loew’s Kings, and that is closed, and in need of repair. This will make a fine study for your book because they are within a few city blocks of each other just souty of Erasmus High School.

May I also recommend some Long Island Theaters. The Smithtown Theater (Now a performing arts center) on Main Street in Smithtown, NY, the Suffolk Theater on Main Street in Riverhead, NY, and the Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Afts (A former movie house) on Main Street in Patchogue, NY.

These may be worth looking into.

UAGirl on February 18, 2005 at 11:46 pm


Oh, I understand. I’ve done a bit myself. I wasn’t suggesting that he go in more-as locate some great structures and take some shots.

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