Fugly Architecture Thursday - Cinema Style

This is a heart breaker of sorts.  For those who don't know me / are new to this blog, I will fill you in on some of my background - I have a Master's in Architecture.  However I also have an Undergraduate Degree in Historic Preservation and a Master's certificate in Historic Preservation.  This means, in short, that I am obsessed slightly with historic buildings.  I love their construction, their decades/centuries of stories, the feeling you get when you walk into a historic building, as well as an overwhelming sense of their infinite possibilities.  I despise the modern idea that old = useless, context is there only to be ignored and the only possibilities for a historic building is as a home or a museum (Fact: I also despise house museums.  Useless waste of awesome potential).  Adaptive reuse design is a passion of mine and something i absolutely loved doing back in grad school.  To hell with new buildings, bring on the old stuff.

So this brings me to today's post.  In New Orleans, we have a bit of a shortage of theatres that are within the city (minus the new canal place theatres).  But located in the Garden District, nestled next to small homes and boutiques, is a quaint little theatre that dates back to 1915.  The Prytania Theatre  is the only single screen theatre left in the state of Louisiana and really is a treasured establishment.  While it specializes in playing art films and movies from Hollywood's golden age, it is equipped with 3D technology, so you can see Inception in 3D right next door to your little shotgun house.  

The only problem?  Urban renewal and the idea that "old is ugly" that plagued the country in 1960.  So this quaint little theatre went from this lovely Italianate building:

to this:

Look mommy, a brick box!  I half expect to walk through the archway entrance and hop in a boat for a ride through the "tunnel of love" rather than going to see Toy Story 3.   This building has absolutely no character and, like last week's feature, NO respect for context (its in the Garden District for heaven's sake!!).  On the plus side: at least it isn't clad in steel or vinyl siding or, heaven forbid, turned into a museum. *shudder*

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