This is the second blog series on the Eastown Theater. If you happened to miss the first you can read it here. The Eastown Theater was the second building we entered on our trip, but we were still packed for time. We only had about 30 minutes to spend inside, and very little to spend outside as we had to move on to other buildings, and also avoid being caught or interupted by the locals. It was a bit unfortunate that we didn’t get to spend to long outside, because that is where I seen some of the saddest things on the whole trip. Cars up on cynder blocks, every other house was abandoned, and so many people living on the streets. The neighbourhood, simply put, was rough!
Inside, what could I really say about it? It was a dump, literally. People desperate for money had ripped all of the chairs out to sell the metal for scrap and left the cushions in a huge pile. People dumped a whack load of tires, and other garbage inside this place. I’m not really sure why this building was picked to dump tires over any other building, maybe there was an auto garage around that couldnt afford to take the tires to a real dump?
Eastown showed a variety of classic films up until the 60’s when it closed down due to lack of attendance and the development of multi-screen theaters. In 1969, Eastown opened up again, but as a rock venue hosting some of the biggest and most influential rockers of all time. Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper, Bob Seeger, The Doors, and the Grateful Dead are among the biggest names that graced the stage at Eastown.
The sounds of rock and roll only lasted 4 years when, again in 1973 the theater closed down. The theater seen numerous changes between then and the 90’s including a church, an adult theatre, a rave house, a jazz theatre, and a performing arts theatre.
Taking pictures was very difficult in this building. The stage had a very large hole that was covered by a piece of plywood. The roof between the main floor and the balcony was falling apart and was basically supported by just re-bar. This, all while dodging all the garbage that was all over the floors.
The lighting in this building was absolutely terrible as well. There was only 2 sources of light really, some coming in through a hole in the wall above the balcony on the second floor, and some coming in from behind the stage where the fire had ripped through. I can only imagine what this place was like in its hay days, playing old black and white movies. The amount of popcorn that was spilt on those floors, and the number of first dates this place probably entertained. So many people have passed through this building, but the shape it currently is in, I have a feeling we will probably some of the last people that got to enjoy this magnificent place.
I tried to edit this whole series and give the photos a classic film feel, by converting them to black and white and adding some grain. I hope you enjoy the series on the Eastown Theater.