Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Asylums, Final Curtain and Heritage

There’s something forlorn and haunting about long abandoned buildings.  Sad really. 

If you think about it and come to realize that people worked and lived in such buildings, it’s almost as if their ghosts haunt the abandoned places.

On the other hand old, decrepit buildings hold a special fascination.  Behind the cobwebs, dust, strewn about furniture or equipment, graffiti and intrusions by beast, birds and bugs explorers get the sense as if they are traveling to the past.

I am one of those people who love watching videos on You Tube that feature urban explorers, seeking out and. sometimes clandestinely, delving into the dark and dank rooms and corners of old, long forgotten buildings.

Jonglez Publishing has just released a trio of books that take urban exploration one-step forward. 

Matt Van der Velde dared the dust, dirt, decay and danger to explore old ‘Abandoned Asylums’, and documented his discoveries.

Join Matt as he chronicles the past of several famous and infamous asylums providing interesting historical backgrounds coupled with haunting (and sometime disturbing) photos of each asylum.

Follow him as he explores children wards, medical facilities, rooms, wards, offices, chapels, restrooms, kitchens, hallways and other rooms long since falling into decay.

I could almost smell the mildew and decay around me as I joined Matt on his quest.’ After The Final Curtain’ compiled by Matt Lambros, explores the fall of the American Movie Theater.

I’m old enough to remember (just barely) the heyday of the American Movie Theater.  Not merely rooms with screens, the classic American Movie Theaters were decorated and furnished to the hilt.

Ornate wall hangings and decorations, embellished ceilings with beautiful plaster work and lights, lush theater chairs, balconies and more guaranteed that the movie-goer got more than their money’s worth when he or she went to watch a film.

In his book Matt explores a number of classic theaters (some derelict, some under renovation and some fully restored).

Marvel at the lush surroundings, lavish screens and curtains, luxurious seats and accommodations and try to picture in your mind enjoying a film in just such a place.

Many theaters have seen better days.  Travel the lobbies of old and derelict theaters. 

Take in the tragic sight of demolished lobbies, dilapidated seats, crumbling ceilings and walls and projector rooms with rusted and broken equipment.

In this age of lightning speed advancement in all areas of technology and applied sciences and coupled with the rush and hurry state of our society its easy to forget the past.

History seems to play a small part in our modern society and it’s a shame.  Paraphrasing a famous quote, “Those who fail to learn from the past are destined to make the same mistakes again.”

It’s important to appreciate the past and those who lived in it.  Sadly many of the buildings, institutions and architectural wonders of yesteryear are crumbling into obscurity.

This is true in United States and around the world.

Author Matthew Emmett has traveled the globe visiting old factories, homes, power stations, barns, castles, military installations and the like and taking photographs complemented by historical text background information.

Take the time to look through each page carefully, immerse yourself in times past and let your imagination take hold.  Picture people rushing about intent on their individual tasks.  Imagine them clothed in period costumes and fashions and just for a moment place yourself in their shoes amidst the dust and decay.

The past will come alive as will your appreciation for it.  ‘Forgotten Heritage’ is a fascinating journey to times past and it’s well worth the trip.