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I was in Pine Bluff last February and I was blown away by the ghost-town it had become. I remember seeing movies in the Saenger and it was just an amazing place! I’m a photographer and I planned to capture the historic buildings as they stood against time….when I saw them, I found myself hoping to document their existence before they’re gone—which, given what I saw, is not far in the future. I was never there when the Hotel Pines was open but I have always been drawn to it—I remember stretching and straining to look through the boarded up/dirty windows just hoping to see what was inside. While I was there, I was allowed into the Hotel and I wanted to bawl! I shot several photos of it just to have some record of its existence. It is so sad that these places are being left to decay and be demolished because they don’t fit into our “Wal Mart and strip mall” world today.
I’ve tried to contact the owners of these old buildings to no avail. It really bothers me that they’ve become pawns in some petty “pissin' contest” between two immature ex-school rivals! How pathetic! They need to pull theirs heads out…….and realize there’s not just a “big” picture here, there’s a HUGE picture. They’re not playing Monopoly—they’re playing with history and, if they cause these places to be lost forever, history will NOT be kind to them when their stories are told in the future. I’d like to try to help save these places (and some others around Arkansas) so, any ideas………….