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The Eclipsed Shrine





The Eclipsed Shrine

For over a decade now this grand temple has sat in silence, though just beyond its darkened interior the city around it clamors with life. Years of dust and flaked paint have come to collect upon every surface here, muting the crimson velour of the many hundreds of seats in the theater hall, and layering the aisles therein and corridors beyond with a carpeting of fine debris. Still, against the years of disuse a life persists here, a faint pulse in the walls which keeps the building from fully fading away into whatever part of the aether forgotten things eventually come to dwell. It's an omnipresent feeling that welcomes you as soon as you step foot within the old theater hall. “Look at me” it pleads, “Peer through the neglect in front of you and see me for what I was. For what I still am.” An amber light radiates from the massive domed skylight of ornate stained-glass which resided high above. The room shifted slowly from dim to bright, then back to dim again as the passing clouds partially blotted out the sun in the unseen sky above. This constant rhythm of light in the theater hall gave the domed glass the semblance of a slowly beating heart. Figuratively and literally, the light of this building has not yet been extinguished.

Like any theater - This is a place of stories. Not just of those which took place on stage, but of the generations of people who celebrated life in this hall, with their families and their loved ones. Completed in 1908, the Neo-Moorish design of the temple stands distinctly against the surrounding cityscape, adorned with four copper-crowned spires which stretch skyward over the rooftops of its neighbors. The temple could be seen from miles off, and for decades was a celebrated gathering place for the community. This grand venue hosted everything from live performances, to graduations, to weddings, but eventually its popularity waned due to increasing competition with newer and more modern theaters opening up within the city. Though the temple suffered through a steady and slow decline, it shuttered for good in 2005.

Today the building exists as a relic of the old city. Weathered, but all the wiser for it. You need only look upon it to see that it wishes to shine again, for its hall to come back to life with light and music, to once again be a part of the community. The temple hasn't yet given up, this much is obvious. We just hope that the citizenry of the city haven't given up on it.












Lobby corridor, the carpeted stairwells were side-entrances to the mezzanine seating.


Lobby entrance as viewed from the second-floor landing.





 Main entry hallway to the mezzanine.














The stage behind the curtain was heavily shadowed. High above on the far wall you can still see some artwork which was once a backdrop, the very same backdrop which the shrine members in the newspaper photo above posed against back in the early 1980's.



A massive lighting control panel was also hiding in the shadows backstage.



The ritual chamber, located within the dome above the front-most portion of the shrine.


 A piano stands on a raised landing in the disused ritual chamber.




Looking up at the domed ceiling of the ritual chamber.






 Within a spire, looking skyward. 
The shrine's spires are actually four minarets, with inner ladders and standing platforms at the top.