Dystopia | The Palace Theater


Gary Indiana | 2008

This first image is of an abandoned theatre in Gary, indiana. the theatre was abandoned  in 1974, and it’s last performance was of the Jackson 5…their name is still on the roster outside!

As for most of my shoots of personal work, i took advantage of a professional job nearby in chicago to make time to shoot this side project. I tend to study cities or sites of interest near the projects i am commissioned to photograph, and that fall within the realm of the general concept of dystopia, which i have been exploring since the late 90s.

Gary, Indiana is the poster child for the decline of middle-America, and a collapse of the industrial/manifacturing economy that built this country. 

It went from a city of 200,000 in 1970 to a meagre population of 30,000 today. The entire infrastructure of the city has collapsed: abandoned hotels, hospitals, post office and public works buildings abound, to say nothing of the residential neighbourhoods. 

A city representative of the modern ghosts of america, shamefully quiet in their abandonment. It is now the realm of drug gangs who use these buildings for their business. More than once, i have been confronted by them. They represent the highest risk of any exploration in these modern ruins.