Photographer Julia Solis, a prolific chronicler of urban ruins and abandoned or vacant spaces, has a book coming out called Stages of Decay–with the word “stages” as a play on words. The photos are all of theaters–more than 100 in the U.S. and Europe–and include everything from the grandest opera hall to a high school auditorium. Which, not surprisingly, is where Philadelphia comes in.
Before a fire in 2011, the Thomas Edison High School in North Philly had been a popular spot for urban explorers and shutterbugs interested in so-called “ruin porn.” When asked by Flavorwire’s Emily Temple to explain the fascination people have with such spaces, Solis went beyond the conventional explanation of seeing the passage of time made real.
“I think ruins evoke a longing for freedom. They signify something wild and uncontrolled — a building breaking from its constraints and toppling into a last crackling dance — that awakens a sense of adventure and looseness that is hard to come by in most urban settings. Abandoned buildings are beautiful, dangerous and unpredictable, in other words, magically enticing.”
• Stages of Decay: Gorgeous Photographs of Destroyed Theaters [Flavorwire]