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NOW SHOWING - NEON MAGIC

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1: Neon is a light source that came from France about one hundred years ago. This light form is as beautiful now as it was so long ago. Mixed with the gas that flows through the tubes is the magic and beauty that is difficult to ignore. In the daylight, the heart of the neon is barely seen, struggling to be noticed. But once the sun goes down, it comes to life as flowers blooming in the night. Some of the best displays of how the colors of neon come together with their magic potions are the classic movie theaters. During the day, the shell of the theaters sit as plain as any other building around them, But at night, they come to life with the glow of the vibrant colors. This glow of the neon signals the excitement implying something special is coming. I remember as a little girl my dad took me to the movies for our first date. It was such a special event, getting all dressed up, walking up to the ticket booth, it was overwhelming to a little girl. The bright lights and colors added so much to the excitement. I remember the movie was "Lady and the Tramp", it really was a grand occasion. It is in honor of this event that I am compelled to do this project. It is my hope to convey a bit of the magic onto the following pages of some of the classic movie theaters in the area. Lately, my favorite time to shoot is after the sun goes down. I really love the effects of lights coming out to celebrate the darkness, without the competition of sunlight. With this project, I want to capture the colors and the magic of the neon of the classic movie theaters, before the lights go out forever. They are so beautiful, yet they are dying over time. A sad example of that would be the old Alhambra Theater. I was not fortunate enough to see it, but there are so many stories I have heard about how beautiful it was. We need to realize, as the lights go out, so too goes the heart of a time when movies were an event to remember. The good news is that many of the old theaters are finding new life in the realm of performing arts centers. Some have been restored to their glory days, neon lights and all. Yet, so many theaters have been lost forever. My hope is that people will once again be touched by the magic and see how we need to hold on to the theaters we have left, magic and neon are never to be wasted.. | "Hello darkness my old friend, I've come to talk with you again..." - Simon and Garfunkel

2: "I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day." - Vincent Van Gogh

3: Next year marks a huge milestone for this landmark of "K" street. It was built in 1913, as the Empress Theater, a vaudeville emporium. It did not become the Crest until 1949, which was totally rebuilt inside. It was closed at the end of the 70's with the decline of "K" street. In the 80's, it was resurrected, receiving a serious face-lift in 1995. It has been home for 3 screens, but very recently opting to close two screens. They have hosted everything from movies to weddings and concerts. Artists from Sam Kinison to the Sacramento Symphony have performed here.

5: This was opened in 1941 as the Esquire. At one time this was split into 2 screens. Like some of the other theaters this was office space for a time. Currently, it is showing movies in the IMAX format, bigger than life in both sight and sound. There was another theater right next door called The Studio Theater. At this time it is a restaurant. Both of these gems are part of the unique beauty of "K" Street.

7: This local landmark was built in 1938. Like many other theaters that have survived over the years, it has been divided into 3 smaller screens. The exterior of the building has managed to keep it's original art deco design. Currently, this is home to independent art films. The hope for this theater is that it is not demolished like the old Alhambra theater.

9: Just down the street from the Roseville Theater, this is like the other bookend for old Roseville. The Tower is the younger of the two locations, having opened in the late 30's. There was some time it was closed in the early 80's. It was reborn around 2002 as a performing arts location. These days it is open for classic movies, though I read that it is in danger of closing, that would be a great loss of such beauty.

11: Built in 1926, it has always been The Roseville Theater. In the beginning, there was even an old pipe organ that was played during the silent movies. During the late 40's, this lovely place was remodeled with a slight oriental theme. These days, the old theater is home for live theater events in the area. It has a small, intimate environment with only 584 seats. Even though this location doesn't have a fancy ticket booth, the glow of the lights is amazing.

13: The State Theater stands proudly in Auburn. This art deco style gem came to life in December 1930. During the early 1970's it was divided into a 2 screen theater. What was once the balcony was converted into offices. It has since been restored to it's original beauty, including restoring the balcony. It survives today as a performing arts center.

15: Located in downtown Lincoln, this jewel has been around since the 1920's. During the 50's this was actually a bowling alley. It fell into disrepair and sat empty and cold for about 20 years. This is now owned by a church, it is still beautiful and useful.

16: This location opened prior to 1941, located in Berkeley, it's a simple beauty. Originally, this was called The Strand, renamed just a few years ago. It has been closed and re-opened a couple times. The vertical portion of the marquee was removed in the 60's. This is truly a quaint little neighborhood theater that still shows movies.

19: In Oakland there are three mega theaters, this is the smallest of them, but no less amazing. Built in 1926, it is also the oldest of the three. It opened to silent films and vaudeville acts. It has changed hands 5 times over the years, in spite of which it has maintained it's charm and appearance along with it's original sign. This theater still has a working organ in it. This location still shows current movies nightly.

21: This historic treasure is on the National Register of Historic Places.. It is the counterpart of the Radio City Music Hall in New York. Art Deco in design, it has 3,200 seats. It was almost lost in the 70's as it was considered obsolete from an economic standpoint. Tours are given here every first and third Saturday. The third of the mega theaters is the Fox. At one time the Fox was almost torn down for a parking lot. All three of the three mega theaters are well worth seeing.

22: Linda Taylor is a freelance photographer currently based in Sacramento California for over 25 years, taking numerous classes and seminars during this time. There is a great deal of pride in knowing herself to be a 3rd generation camera "junkie", with 2 more generations coming up quickly. Being behind the camera for most of her adult life, she has sold several prints and won a competition with a fireworks photo. The interest in this art form was ignited while out in an open pasture years ago. Having come upon the remains of a couple long dead cows,noticing a bizarre beauty of the sunlight on the bleached out bones, the texture of the dried hides, all against the sandy color of the ground, all came together as a catalyst to begin a journey that will last a lifetime. Currently, Linda's focus is night photography, finding the reaction of light in the darkness to be mesmerizing. Light and color behave very differently, so much more delicious in the dark. Linda points out that there are gems in almost any subject matter or conditions if we just look for them. In order to see some other examples of her work, try these options; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Hold-The-Moment-Freelance-Photography/150752748328829 2nd Saturday Artwalk (Cuilla Bros Auto shop2413 "J" Street) prints on display at; 1011 12th Espresso Bar It's a great little place for coffee, or a quick snack.

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  • Title: NOW SHOWING - NEON MAGIC
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  • Published: about 4 years ago

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