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Zoe Jakes

I have the feeling I'll be posting these and audience shots over the next week weeks. If you want to see them faster, they're uploaded to my FB page.









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Switching trains to nowhere..
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Off to church

I've seen the ruins of this old church in central Birmingham, AL and finally got time to explore it a bit. The church was orginally a Greek Orthodox parish and as the congregation moved on, it found a second life as an African-American church. The first time I saw it, it was burned out and I knew I had to get photos. It's boarded up and shows signs of renovation.



Deep in prayer )
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Back in August, I headed down to Birmingham for a photo shoot with a local model. The model never showed, but I’m not one to waste a trip. With no particular agenda, I wandered parts of downtown and found a few surprises.



Across the divide of time.. [8 behind the cut] )
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I'm so ready to just call it quits right now. The whole "official photographer" from last year and supposedly this year, was a miscommunication on their part.
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Abandoned Places – The Lyric Theatre versus The Alabama Theatre (July 09)

Sorry for the delay since the last post. Prep for a business trip to Los Angeles, the actually journey/work and then a week to play catch-up put me behind on more than a few projects.

Like many theatres of the era, The Lyric Theatre had an adjacent office building. The day to day businesses paid the bills while the theatre brought in potential customers and made the businesses look glamorous by association. It was a business model that was supposed to bring in complimentary customers in to both. In the case of The Lyric Building, the businesses soldiered on well after the theatre shut down in the 1930’s and again in the 1950’s. By the 1970’s, many of the businesses in downtown didn’t survive the violence and social upheavals that the Civil Rights movement visited upon Birmingham. In the case of The Lyric Building, the doors closed on much of the building by 1978. The only exceptions to this were two ground floor stores.


Bottom to top and that which lies in between

Looking for that corner office [16 Photos behind the cut] )
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The Lyric and Alabama Theatres both followed a traditional mold in terms of set-up. Both complexes have extensive underground structures that are/were used for lounges, meeting halls and restrooms. Here is where the two sites diverge a bit. While the Alabama’s public areas below ground were and continued to follow these functions; the Lyric’s took another path after the theatre closed. The lower floor of the Lyric became a rescue mission for the alcoholics, addicts and prostitutes that once roamed the downtown of Birmingham.


The Lyric - The stairwell to the basement

Helping those less fortunate [22 Photos behind the cut] )
jjmaccrimmon: (Me - Sloss Steam)
These images were taken at ImagiCon 2009. ImagiCon 2010 is on May 21-23, 2010.

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The Force is strong here )
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The Lyric Theatre was originally constructed as a Vaudeville theater. For those not familiar with the term, Vaudeville is the equivalent of a modern variety show or even late night talk show. Vaudeville shows would have comedy acts, singers, dancers, burlesque performances, magicians, escape artists, animal acts and much more. Like any theater that stages live acts, dressing rooms and staging areas were critical for performers to prepare, for the staff to maintain the sets, store lights and in this case to house the boiler plant to power the steam organ and heat the stage.



Stage paint and elbow grease [25 Photos behind the cut] )
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The very core or heart of any theater is the stage and the various items, equipment, lights and controls used to make the show happen. The Lyric was designed primarily as a Vaudeville (live acts) theater so the stage was state of the art in the 1920’s. According multiple sources, George Burns, Houdini, Buster Keaton and many legendary performers graced the stage of The Lyric. Sadly, the hardwood (teak) stage has suffered the worst of the decay and rot. Only the plywood covering the remains, made walking on it for the following pictures relatively safe.


The Lyric – Stage right

The show must go on [18 Photos behind the cut] )
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ImagiCon 2009
www.imagicon.org
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The Lyric Theatre

Without a doubt, my visit to The Lyric in Birmingham has left me with a dilemma. How to show off the beautiful old building, compare it to the restored Alabama and do them justice. In this case, I’m going to take you through the former lobby of the Lyric. When the theatre closed for shows, the lobby area was used as a storefront for many years. The area is now being used as a staging area for the repairs, storage for supplies and equipment. The hope is this will again become the grand entrance to the performing arts venue the landmark trust wants to restore The Lyric to.


Lyric lobby

The past imperfect, the future uncertain [12 Photos behind the cut] )
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As promised, here’s more photos of the beautiful old theater in Birmingham, Alabama I posted before. Part of the reason I got to shoot inside The Lyric Theatre was to compare and contrast the condition of the Lyric, versus the condition of the fully restored Alabama Theatre across the street. The folks who own The Alabama also own The Lyric and due to some personal and professional connections, I had free run of both buildings to shoot over nearly six hours. Obviously this gave me and two other photographers/explorers time to see things that many folks would never notice on a causal tour. It also resulted in 400+ photos just from my camera. Thus said, I’m going to be posting these images for some time to come.


The Lyric Theatre – Original exit sign

The past imperfect, the future uncertain [12 Photos behind the cut] )
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Sorry folks, I just found this out today. Due to a number of circumstances, including a death in the SWYD extended family, SWYD has announced there will be no show until after New Years.

Venus & Bacchus Productions ....SWYD in cancelled until the new year....we'll be back in January.
Posted at 10:36 AM Nov 24
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I'm coming down to an ImagiCon meet and greet tonight at 5p. Anyone want to get together before or after?
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Sleep When You're Dead has consistently had some of the hottest acts. The last show featured "Pyro Salto" with their amazing performances with comedy and fire.



You know you want to come down for more.

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Remember, this Saturday is All Hallows Eve and time for the next Sleep When You're Dead at Matthews Bar and Grill in Birmingham.

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At the last Sleep When You're Dead, Jezabelle von Jane put on a rousing "solo" burlesque performance. She brought up two volunteers from the audience to assist her with a classic fan dance. At the end, she allowed one lucky young lady to do her own performance as well. I can only image what mayhem the rest of the Magic City Sirens have planned for this edition.

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After a scheduling glitch cancelled the September edition of Sleep When You're Dead, I'm so seriously looking forward to this show.

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Poster features model "Victorian Mourning" who I will be featuring in a set of photos next week.

Aren't sure you'll like the show? Check out the crowds from the last one! )
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For those of us suffering from withdrawls since SWYD isn't happening tomorrow, perhaps this will appease the hunger pains.

NSFW slideshow )
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Per Jezabelle von Jane - SWYD is CANCELLED for 19 Sept. Seems that there was a scheduling conflict!


In nearly a year of shooting Siren's and SWYD shows, I'm only seen Ruby perform solo once. This was fun to watch. Ladies and Gents, Ms. Ruby Loo!

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