Monday, July 25, 2016

The film set of the abandoned town of Spectre from Tim Burton's Big Fish

Those of you who've watched Tim Burton's Big Fish remember the town of Spectre, where everyone tossed their shoes on a clothesline so they could walk around barefoot forever. When Ewan McGregor ends up there, he decides he can’t settle, vows to come back, and leaves to return years later when the town is abandoned.

To bring Spectre to live, Tim Burton chose a small island which stretches over Jackson Lake, near the town of Millbrook, Alabama. After filming ended, the production didn't tear down the film set. Although most of the film set has collapsed after years of neglect, part of the "abandoned" town with its fake houses and even some fake trees is standing on the island till this day.

The film set is on a private land. The owner allows curious visitors to take a look around the set or even camp on it after paying a fee.

SEE ALSO: More abandoned film sets around the world // More abandoned ghost towns // More abandoned islands // More abandoned places in the United States // LIST OF ALL DESERTED PLACES 
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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Inside Washington Coliseum, where the Beatles gave their first concert in the US

Washington Coliseum is widely known as the venue where the Beatles gave their first concert in the United States. In its 75 years of history it has hosted a wide array of performances and athletic events, including ice skating, martial arts, ballet, music, circuses, and speeches until it then became a jail, a waste management facility and a parking lot.

Washington Coliseum opened in February 1941, as Uline Ice Arena built by Miguel L. "Uncle Mike" Uline for his hockey team, the Washington Lions. The first act was Sonja Henie's Hollywood Ice Revue while one of its first events was a pro-America rally designed to promote U.S. entry in World War II, just weeks before Pearl Harbor.

The arena was renamed Washington Coliseum in 1960 after it was bought by jewelry wholesaler Harry G. Lynn. It then became the basketball court for Washington Capitols where Earl Lloyd became the first African American athlete to play in the NBA. 

In 1964 the Beatles gave their first concert in the US, less than 48 hours after their historic appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. 8,092 fans attended the event with the Beatles playing for approximately 40 minutes. Concerts in the arena were banned in 1967 after a riot during a performance by The Temptations

Between 1969-1970 Washington Coliseum hosted a sport event for the last time, becoming the home of Washington Caps. In 1971 it was briefly turned into a makeshift jail for up to 1200 male and female prisoners arrested during the 1971 May Day Protests against the war in Vietnam.

From 1994 to 2003 the Washington Coliseum served as a trash transfer station by Waste Management, the company that handles trash disposal for the District of Columbia. Then, Waste Management applied for its demolition, however in 2007 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places

In 2015, Outdoor retailer REI announced that Washngton Coliseum will be redeveloped and will be turned into their fifth flagship store with additional office and retail space for other businesses. 

SEE ALSO: More abandoned arenas and theaters around the world // More abandoned sports facilities // More abandoned places in the United States // LIST OF ALL DESERTED PLACES 
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Monday, July 18, 2016

This photographer went inside Fukushima's nuclear disaster exclusion zone

Five years after the devastating 8.9 magnitude Japan earthquake and tsunami, as well as the nuclear disaster that followed, Malaysian photographer Keow Wee Loong sneaked inside the Fukushima exclusion zone with his friends to take photos of what's left behind.

Since April 22, 2011, an area within 20km (12.4miles) radius of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power was quickly evacuated and cordoned of to public. Residents abandoned it quickly taking only necessary items and leaving behind clothes inside washing machines and supermarket shelves filled with goods, even luxury items.

Even though the photographer was wearing a gas mask to protect himself from the contaminated air, he said he could still feel his eyes burning. He had only a few hours to spend inside the red zone, which he entered at 1am to avoid the police. 

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Monday, July 11, 2016

Romania's abandoned Casino Constanta

Built in Consțanta, one of Romania's most historic cities, Casino Contanța was commissioned by King Carol I around 1900 and inaugurated in August 1910. For the next 80 years it gathered the country's wealthy as well as international jet setters. Built in Art Nouveau style by Romanian architect Petre Antonescu, the casino overlooks the Black Sea and has become a symbol for the city. 

During World War II, Casino Constanta was used as a hospital and was later refurnished as a restaurant. After many years of operation, though it was considered too expensive to maintain. After passing hands several times over the years, it closed down in 1990 and has remained abandoned and in disrepair ever since. However, it was declared a historic monument by the Ministry of Culture and Religious Affairs of Romania and remains well-guarded. 


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Thursday, July 7, 2016

Lebanon's abandoned Grand Aley Hotel

Grand Aley Hotel was built in 1926 on a hilltop overlooking the old resort town of Aley, just off the main highway linking Beirut to Damascus. The area was a popular destination for visitors from Beirut and neighboring countries and the 3 brothers who owned the hotel called on the services of an Italian architect working in Lebanon at the time to design Grand Aley Hotel.

During World War II the hotel was requisitioned by the British army and used as their headquarters in the region. Later, it also became the headquarters of the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) who, along with British and French troops, invaded Syria and Lebanon. 

During the next 20 years Grand Aley Hotel became again a popular venue for evening entertainment - gambling, concerts and dancing, while its garden was large enough to have a pool with rowing boats. 

Then came Lebanon's civil war and the hotel was once more sporadically occupied by foreign mercenary allies of local militias. Damage suffered during the war was too expensive to fix and its owners were forced to sell the hotel for a fraction of its worth. The new owner turned a part of the hotel into a school that taught a bilingual Arabic and English programme. In 2008 an unpaid loan forced foreclosure. Since then Grand Aley hotel remains abandoned as there have been no potential buyers.

SEE ALSO: More abandoned hotels around the world // More abandoned schools // LIST OF ALL DESERTED PLACES 

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Monday, July 4, 2016

The Dead Cities of northern Syria

In the northwest of Syria, between the cities of Aleppo and Idlib, lies on of the largest concentration of archaeological sites in the world, the Dead Cities of Syria. More than 700 settlements grouped in 8 archaeological parts provide an insight into rural life in Late Antiquity and during the Byzantine period.

The well preserved remains include houses, churches, pagan temples, cisterns and bathhouses. Located along major routes, these cities were prosperous between the 1st and 7th centuries. After the Arab conquest, the trade routes changed and the cities lost the majority of the business. They were finally abandoned between the 8th and 10th centuries as settlers left for more prosperous lands. 

Before the Syrian Civil War, these abandoned cities were often visited by tourists although the Syrian government had done little to restore the ancient ruins. In 2011, the "Ancient Villages of Northern Syria" were inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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