French Duo Preserving Citrus Theater in Pictures

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EDINBURG – Two people from Paris, France have been touring the United States preserving historic, and sometimes forgotten, buildings in photographs.

Their latest stop was at the Citrus Theater in Edinburg.

Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre traveled over 3,000 miles in the U.S. They made their way to Edinburg and quickly got to work snapping photos of the theater.

“We are doing the work about historic and forgotten movie theaters in the U.S. We started in 2005 in Detroit,” Marchand said.

“And we just find it very fascinating. So since then we just keep going on with the idea of documenting all the theaters we could find,” Meffre said.

Edinburg attorney Felipe Garcia is the owner of the Citrus Theater.

“The Citrus was the focal point of pretty much of social activity in the late ‘30s, ‘40s, 50’s, ‘60s, ‘70s until it closed down,” he said.

He has a copy of the duo’s first book, “The Ruins Detroit.” It’s a unique look at a city. They visited abandoned warehouses and offices. It’s as if one day somebody told everyone to leave never to return.

“Right now, they’re doing theaters. Old theaters throughout the country, the United States,” Garcia said.

Their equipment is simple – one tripod and a special camera. But their finished product is impressive.

They said when taking a photo, if they see a particular view captivating they’ll snap a photo.

“One image after another and look for the small differences between each theater,” Meffre said.

Garcia donated the photographers’ book to the reference section of the Dustin Sekula Library in Edinburg.

“If the Citrus doesn’t get restored for example, it’s going to go by the way of some of these buildings. And it’s amazing. They’re going around doing this. It’s too bad it had to take some guys from Paris to do it,” Garcia said. “But I’ve met them. They’re wonderful guys and they’re doing wonderful work and I think it’s very important.”

The book on Detroit is in its sixth edition, preserving memories of forgotten places.

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