For my documentary project, I will be photographing and interviewing small theaters in Austin, Texas. Each of these unique and historical venues have been an interest to me because of how, like many small businesses in Austin recently, are facing foreclosure due to gentrification.
I met with two small Austin theaters, Hyde Park Theater and Salvage Vanguard Theater, and interviewed the current owners to discuss the history of the theaters, how they have personally impacted the owners, and how gentrification affected their businesses. By learning the past and present of each theater, I believe I can shed some light onto the reality of Austin’s theater companies through these interviews and photographs of the location and people who are a part of these venues. Each theater has it’s own struggles and strengths when faced with the ever changing Austin population, but both share something in common; they both have seen the impacts that gentrification and population growth can have on Austin’s businesses.
Because of the unsure future of local Austin theaters, I feel that it is a valuable addition to the City of Austin archives. Although one can hope these theaters can remain popular desitnation for thespians and theater lovers alike for years to come, the future is unclear if Austin continues to grow at its current rate.
The following photographs and captions are from my interviews with Hyde Park Theater’s executive producer Ken Webster and Salvage Vanguard Theaters co-artistic director Diana Small.