Inventory (46 Theatres, Detroit, June 2011)
video installation, HD, 26′, 2012
In june 2011 Daniel Kötter filmed 46 urban spaces in Detroit that had been or are still used as theatre venues. All plots are filmed from outside, relating the architecture with the momentary urban surroundings in a given moment in time. An inventory.
“We are cruising along Woodward Avenue right now, just about entering the Detroit theatre district. By the mid-twenties you had almost a dozen movie palaces surrounding Grand Circus Park. By 1928 you had well over 25,000 seats surrounding the park for people to enjoy movies and stage shows. The Fox, the Michigan, the Capitol – those three were the three biggies in terms of going to see a film, orchestra and big bands. If you sat in the middle or stood in the middle of Grand Circus Park you could see a dozen blazing marquees, full of beautiful neon, large rooftop signs, it was almost like our own smaller version of Times Square in this neighborhood.
By the 1970s it really no longer was on the cards for these big downtown palaces to show first run movies, you’d already had proliferation of suburban theaters, of course later on multiplexes, the studios pretty much went where the population was going and that was, of course, the suburbs, so the theatres downtown pretty much were only able to survive showing a steady diet of horror, kung-fu and softcore porn.” (Mike Hauser)