Come tour some of the prettiest decaying theatres on earth

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Spotted recently on Flavorwire: the works of ruins photographer Julia Solis, whose new book, Stages of Decay, offers shots of theaters in U.S. and Europe torn asunder by neglect. "We're brought up to believe in progress and nothing shatters that illusion as much as the crumbling of the edifices that were meant to transport us there," Solis says. "Such epic failure is a taboo of almost tantalizing proportions." There's something quite lovely about seeing the grandeur peel away; at this space in Germany (above), for example, plants arise from the rubble and flakes of paint the size of plates fall off brick like slow-cooked meat off the bone. More of Solis' "beautiful, dangerous and unpredictable, in other words, magically enticing" abandoned buildings, below.

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↑ A theater in Michigan. "Ruins tend to be seen in terms of how they reflect the passage of time, the slow decomposition that clings to its own history as a kind of last resort," says Solis. "But at the same time—and maybe more interestingly—I think ruins evoke a longing for freedom."

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↑ A theater in Wisconsin. Says the artist: "[Ruins] signify something wild and uncontrolled—a building breaking from its constraints and toppling into a last crackling dance—that awakens a sense of adventure and looseness that is hard to come by in most urban settings."

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↑ Norwich State Hospital, in Connecticut.


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