Photos by Steven Rood entries for Photolucida's Critical Mass 2009
With photography there is sometimes a responsibility, social message or a true cause behind it. Steven Rood photo series to me is important because it is trying to demonstrate the importance and beauty that the movie houses had in the past and by portraying them in a photo series. It also makes a statement about their sometimes bleak present state and future. A YES!
There was a time when going to the movies was a bonding cultural event second only to church. A reaffirmation of our identity as social beings. When the magic flicker of projected light brought us together to learn of the world’s happenings, to catch up with one another and to be swept off our feet as one collective body of wonder. A time before we became fragmented by the Multi-Plex, Blu-Ray and Netflix. And now, so many of these icons of escapism and togetherness sit abandoned, forgotten, or repurposed. Surviving only in name, with new identities within. Remnants from when the world seemed to be just a little bit more innocent. More optimistic. More bonding. When the movie theater was hallowed ground for both form and function. Sure, some survive. And others are rebuilt to their former glory. But the status of the movie theater as a destination for the common shared experience, has faded. Picture House is a series of images serving as both remembrance and warning. Because, as goes a society’s gathering points, so goes society. These aren’t just a retrospective. But a toast. To who we were.
Studio City, CA