“The Art of the Movie Theater” photo exhibition at the National Heritage Museum
LEXINGTON, MA — A free exhibition of the work of photographer Stefanie Klavens entitled “The Art of the Movie Theater” will be on display at the National Heritage Museum in Lexington from now until May 16, 2010. Klavens sees the theaters she has photographed as important monuments to popular culture, and is especially impressed with neon, Art Deco, and theaters with an Egyptian or Middle Eastern theme in both large and small towns.
In taking the photos, she found a place in time when theaters often reflected the splendor of opera houses, with gilded statues and pillars. In the early 1920s, a craze of all things Egyptian and Middle Eastern led to a flowering of theaters decorated as Pharaonic fantasies, inspired by Howard Carter’s excavation of King Tutankhamen’s tomb.
“There are only six Egyptian style theaters left in the country,” Klavens said.
In later decades, neon signs created a fantasia of light and color to grace many theater exteriors.