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This website celebrates and promotes historic and culturally significant theatres from across the world.
Our intent is to document these buildings of public storytelling and performance through photography, capturing significant details from both sides of the curtain.
Our aim is to educate and engage current and future generations on the importance of theatre and the arts, and the importance of preserving the significant buildings our society has created for the purpose of public storytelling. To this end, our scope includes movie theatres of significant cultural or historic merit.
We are always on the lookout for additional historic or culturally significant theatres to feature on our website and social media channels. Please get in touch for collaborations or photoshoots.
You can also check out more about the story behind Historic Theatre Photos, and its author Mike Hume.
Click here to check out special events happening at theatres featured on our website.
For our purposes the Southwest is defined as the states of Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, and Colorado. The majority of the largest population centers (Phoenix & Tucson in Arizona, Albuquerque NM, Salt Lake City UT, and Denver CO) have retained at least some of their historic theatres, although some have not – such as Las Vegas.
California has a wide range of theatres ranging from the last remaining theatre built for the Orpheum Circuit at the turn of the century, to modern-day arts centers which rival the Lincoln Center in New York. Outside of Los Angeles, California boasts a large number of historic theatres and movies theatres.
Chicago is home to many historic theatres and boasts a thriving “Broadway in Chicago” production company, formed by the Nederlander Organization in 2000, which programs touring Broadway productions. Chicago has been home to the only resident production of “Hamilton” in the US, outside of New York, since October 2016.
Downtown Los Angeles was the site of LA’s first two theatre districts, the first on Main St and the second on Broadway, which is said to pre-date New York’s Broadway theatre district. With 12 movie palaces along a six-block stretch, LA’s Broadway is the largest remaining concentration of theatres and movie palaces in the United States.
The Hollywood theatre district of Los Angeles came about as a result of booming development in the area during the 1910s and 1920s. Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre was the site of the first Hollywood movie premiere and was soon followed by Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, currently home to the largest number of movie premieres in the world.
Outside of the historic Broadway and Hollywood theatre districts, the Los Angeles metropolitan area and adjoining counties have an abundance of theatres, and more than their fair share of neighborhood single-screen movie theatres.
New York’s Broadway theatre district, nicknamed the “Great White Way”, has been entertaining audiences since the early 1900s. There are some 40 “official” Broadway theatres alongside countless others ranging from small off-Broadway houses, the Lincoln Center, and large even spaces such as Carnegie Hall and Radio City Music Hall.
Texas is the second-largest US state by both area and population. It boasts the fourth largest city in the US (Houston) and the second most populous state capital (Austin). Accordingly, Texas has numerous theatres ranging from grand opera houses through mid-size theatres and small community playhouses.
London is home to the famous West End theatre district, the largest concentration of theatres in the world, and is on a par with New York’s Broadway for its diverse range and high quality of productions.
The UK is home to hundreds of historic theatres, including the oldest continually operating theatre in the English-speaking world. Here we concentrate on historic theatres in Bristol (England) and Edinburgh (Scotland). London theatres will be added soon.
Photographs copyright © 2002-2019 Mike Hume/historictheatrephotos.com unless otherwise noted.
Text copyright © 2017-2019 Mike Hume/historictheatrephotos.com.
For photograph licensing and/or re-use contact me here.
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