Kent architecture

One Man’s Six-Year Mission to Document Abandoned Theaters

Dimitri Bourriau, wants to keep a photographic trace of old theaters so that “nobody forgets them”

These fascinating photographs show the abandoned and crumbling theaters of Europe.

Dimitri Bourriau, 38, says he has visited more than a thousand abandoned places around the world, but is passionate about old performance halls.

The Paris-based photographer’s work has taken him to Italy, Belgium, Portugal and as far as Morocco.

He says his mission is to keep a photographic record of “old theaters so that no one forgets them”.

Dimitri explains: “My photo series ‘Innuendo Teatro’ is a series that I have been working on for six years. It brings together some of the most beautiful theaters I have visited.

“I am passionate about architecture and theatres, so I combined my two passions by photographing old theatres.

“I have traveled several continents in search of abandoned theaters. I try to transcribe what I see in photos.

“Photographing old theaters is not easy, it is often very dangerous. Buildings are often at risk of collapsing. You have to be very patient.

“One of my favorite theaters is the Gran Teatro Cervantes in Morocco. It was an emblematic place of Tangier. It was abandoned for over 60 years. It was an old Spanish theater built by a wealthy merchant in 1913.

“I had come across an old newspaper article that talked about this theatre. I had no idea if it still existed. I had forgotten its existence until the day when one of my contacts in Morocco told me about it.

“I decided to buy a plane ticket and go see this theater for myself. I was surprised by the imposing size of the building. Once inside, it was extremely dark. I had to wait for the light to come in.

“There was a real atmosphere, everything was still there, the seats, the stage, nothing had changed for 60 years. Everything was covered in dust.

“I stayed several hours to visit all the rooms. It was the most beautiful abandoned theater that I have discovered.

For more stories of where you live, visit In your region.