Colourful and bright, especially with the cherry red paint that dominates the photo, this documentary photograph of a vintage movie theatre's rainbow-like neon marquee makes a fine addition to any wall. The red-and-white marquee seems to be thrusting its way out of the 8x10 photo, the Crab Orchard stone front of the theatre just visible above the neon. Lending to the the illusion of the marquee's flight through the air are the golden-orange light bulbs studding the sign's bottom in diagonal rows--they almost seem to be lifting the enormous movie palace's sign higher into the air, traversing in the opposite direction of the marquee's right-to-left direction within the photo's frame.
The red and white Art Deco-Art Moderne marquee, with its long streams of neon seen in this photo, has drawn movie lovers to The Palace of Crossville, Tennessee since 1938. Driving down US 19 toward Nashville, the Palace came into view just as dusk was beginning to fall, its neon switching on with the promise of that distinctive buzzing. This crown jewel of Crossville, with its local stone and of course this marvellous neon marquee, didn't just function as an Art Deco movie palace--beauty pageants, political debates, and celebrities were all hosted by The Palace.
Sadly, in 1978 the theatre was closed, and sat on Main Street fading away--its windows smashed and the beautiful red and white Deco-Moderne marquee featured in this 8x10 photo beginning to rust and crumble. Residents made a little noise about saving the movie theatre, but didn't really get anywhere until The Palace was featured in David Naylor's "Great American Movie Theatres". How lucky we are--that got the ball rolling; Crossville purchased the property, and by 1994, the movie palace was on the National Historic Register. Citizens and local businesses funded the restoration of the movie theatre--and in 2001, The Palace of Crossville, Tennessee held its grand reopening. The beautiful theatre remains busy and bustling to this day.
It was nearly dusk when I reached the Palace one early summer evening, and of course stopping to document it with my camera was non-negotiable. The enormous cherry-red marquee in this art photo is simply designed, but all the more beautiful for it; vertical and horizontal white stripes both highlight the green and white neon and make up for it not being lit during the day. Slender vertical red-and-white steel "waterfalls", crowned by still more white neon, draw our attention to the big white 1930s letters with their golden neon naming the theatre, and all is crowned by a typical Deco-Moderne flair of curves and lines at the top of the marquee.
Though that delicious red really does rule the photo, a pop-art yellow light bathes the theatre, marquee, and the building behind it, just noticeable in the lower left-hand corner of the frame--once you get over the beauty of the marquee itself. Green streaks of neon at the top and bottom of the marquee bring just enough cool colour to the photo to really make it pop. I heightened the contrast in the photo for a little extra emphasis on the sign's sweeping, simple beauty.
All in all, this 8x10 documentary art photo of The Palace is fun and a little bit pop-py. It's a reminder, too, of the great things people and businesses so often do when they see something worthy of saving in their neighborhood--though The Palace suffered decades of neglect, she really is the jewel of the city today.
Professionally printed on archival-quality 8x10 photograph paper, this documentary photo of a grand Art Deco movie theatre has a white border for easy framing and to protect the image itself. I sign, date, and number each photo on back prior to mailing it.
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Inspiration/Story Behind This Product
It was on a trip to see friends in Nashville that I discovered Crossville's Palace Theatre. I don't think I've ever whipped around on the road to go back to see something so fast in my life! A delightful discovery, don't you think?
The theatre, with its smashing glossy cherry red marquee garlanded with white neon, is now considered among the best and most beautiful examples of Art Deco and vintage theatre marquees in the entire Volunteer State. The movie theatre's Art Deco beauty is a tribute not only to the fine workmanship of our past, but to those willing to be good stewards of what has been left to us.
Kodak Endura photo paper, digital, camera, canon
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