Photos of an Abandoned Cleveland Vaudeville Theater Turned Rock Music Venue

Photographer Matthew Christopher, author of Abandoned America: Dismantling The Dream and founder of the Abandoned America website, which documents the beauty of derelict buildings across the United States, photographed the Variety Theatre in Cleveland, Ohio. The 1,900-seat theater closed its doors after its last concert in 1986, a Motorhead show. “Warner Bros. purchased it in 1929 and kept it until 1954, as one of the busiest movie theaters on the West Side,” writes Laura DeMarco for Cleveland.com. “The 1970s and ’80s were less glamorous for the venue, but no less busy, as it became a second-run theater and finally a concert club for metal and punk bands ranging from X to R.E.M. to Motorhead — who got the venue shut down with a court order after a plaster-and neighbor-rattling show.” There are plans in the works to hopefully resurrect this beauty, but Christopher — who we discovered on Design You Trust — captured the Variety frozen in time, with vintage posters peeling from the walls and dusty rows of seats that were once filled with excited fans.