Revisiting the Palace, 2016

I enjoy repeat visits of places that I’ve photographed before. Not only because I like to see how they’ve changed over the years, but because I enjoy the challenge of finding something new to take a photo of every time.

Before heading out west earlier this year, Elise and I revisited an old stand-by – a theater and apartment complex that was one of our first urbex destinations ever, nearly a decade ago.

Upon entering the building, through a hole in the brick wall, you’re greeted to a room so dark that you’ve got to wait as your eyes adjust. As the scene slowly comes into view, you’re greeted with a sweeping, decaying room. The floor squishes under your feet, years of decaying ceiling tiles and whatever else might be down there, and the smell of wetness and mold surrounds you.

When I first visited this spot nearly a decade ago, orange theater chairs dotted the whole lower level. Shortly thereafter, I believe a scrapper grabbed them all for the metal they held within. I’ve taken this photo just about every time I’ve visited, but it’s just so grand that I can’t leave it out. I can only imagine how beautiful this place was when it was in operation.

Overview of the abandoned theater - backdrop intact.

One thing I love about this building is the huge number of rooms in the attached apartment building. I feel like I find a new perspective every time that I visit. In the past, I’d completely missed this room, but I was attracted to it this time around by the overhead lights, which would gently swing with bursts of wind coming through the open windows. I’ve attached a video alongside my photo, because that movement was quite eerie in person.

 

Most of this building is simply falling apart. The concrete structure remains, but many of the walls are busted down, whether from vandalism or just the weight of decay, water, and nature. I believe this room used to be a kitchen, complete with cupboard. Now it sits in the center of one of the only paths through this part of the building, walls crumbled to the ground around it.

Another thing that I love about this place, and abandoned buildings in particular, is that I can get a completely different shot of something I’d passed many times depending on the time of year and the time of day. This shot was taken through a window, with the sun shining through a series of windows and doors behind me. You can see my silhouette in the center, if you look closely enough.

Again, you can see the way the light works for me. Where this room might be completely dark, or at least in shadow, at other times of the day, it’s illuminated by the setting sun. Bright blue wallpaper remains on the wall to the right. I’m not sure what, exactly, that chair is, but it’s got a hole in the center where you’d sit. I’ve been told that it may have once sat above a bedpan or chamber pot of some sort. Or maybe it’s just wicker that has decayed away with time. I’ve really got no way to know.

Remnants of some very, very gaudy wallpaper. You can’t see it in this photo, but the “white” bits are actually reflective, like aluminum. Very shiny, very green. I kind of wish I could have seen what this room looked like back in the day.

Generic hallway shot. I tend to take at least one or two of the exact same shot that I’ve taken many times before every time I visit one of these places. If only to watch the progression of decay and to capture the light at any given moment.

Hallway

I’ve never really gotten a photo of one of these that I truly like, but I always have to take a photo of them. It’s so interesting to me how some trends can be so encompassing that they can come to represent an era to me. I’m honestly surprised that Murphy beds aren’t more popular now. The space saved is pretty significant.

A Murphy bed folds out of the wall in an apartment at the abandoned theater.

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