Drowned in Dereliction: Brunson Theater, Texas

(Image: Patrick Feller (website), cc-3.0)

From the outside, the Brunson Theater in Baytown, Texas, looks like any other Art Deco cinema that has fallen into disuse and decay.  But the interior – including the roof – has been completely gutted, and now looks more like an abandoned swimming pool than a movie theater.

(Image: Patrick Feller (website), cc-3.0)

Opened on August 23, 1949, the Brunson still features a traditional canopy above the main entrance.  But the historic facade, complete with Art Deco box office, remains reasonably intact compared to the gutted shell that lies beyond.  With the roof long gone, the Brunson Theater is now waterlogged, with only the balcony betraying the abandoned building‘s former use.

(Image: Patrick Feller (website), cc-3.0)

Unlike other disused movie theaters that have been abandoned for decades, the Brunson has only been empty since 1997 when it was purchased by the city of Baytown due to mounting debts.  In that short time, all its ornate fixtures have been torn out and the building has been reduced to a shell.  Ironically, there is now talk of converting the gutted Brunson Theater into a performing arts venue.



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