Venue frozen in time
When it comes to photography, there are so many paths to explore. Weddings and portraits are the most socially popular. But photography, itself is a tool to tell a story. How we tell those stories is a personal reflection of style and vision. One such instance is something that has intrigued me for a while. In a world obsessed with UFC fight night, I find myself as a nuance of old school style. What happened to the craze of good old fashion boxing?
There is something to be said about the gentlemens fight. Two men facing off head to head, strategically setting up lightning fast defenses and punches. Throughout the match, it’s what surrounds the ring that truly sets the mood. Not just the people, but the actual building, the lights, the smells.
At a glance the building is just a typical abandoned, forgotten, Gilded Age like structure. At the front door, plywood replaces the plate glass windows. Paint chips slowly peel off the siding and mold beginning to grow.
The subtle note written with a sharpee on the wooden window:
“Knock twice -Thomas”
A few minutes later the door opens. Standing with one foot outside the door, the man dubiously peering back and forth. A short conversation, twenty dollars, and a second set of instructions followed.
Walking around the block we debated the outcome and possibility that our curiousity had just gotten the best of us. The once infamous boxing venue now presents with a gimmicky and ghetto like muesem tour. That’s when the rain started, and of course we weren’t sure of the outcome. We posted up under a rusty old fire escape which worked well as a steel umbrella. Did I mention waiting in the rain elevates anxiety levels? It does.
A few minutes in the rain increased the suspicions, we just got fooled. To our surprise the double grey doors popped open. Thomas looked around concernedly as we walked in without hesitation. I think he realized we weren’t playing games, we were here to see what we were looking for.
Walking through the dark corridor atop a metal grate scaffold to another set of doors. The maze continued around another corner and up a dark stairwell. The thought of danger lurking over our heads for a short time, but for some reason we entrusted our “tour guide”.
The last set of double doors opened up and about sixty feet away was the sight of a blue and red roped ring. Thomas disappeared for a moment and the sound of electricity flowing through the ring lights rushed through. The old halogen lamps slowly heated up setting the mood for a main event.
I knew we didn’t have much time, so Donnie hurried to set up and I grabbed what little bit of gear I brought. A few settings dialed in and we jumped at the opportunity to have a mini shoot. I wanted to recreate the feeling and vision of a main event at “The Blue”.
As our time ran out we noticed the access to the balcony was opened. We weren’t leaving without a shot. I immediately charmed my way to the balcony and it was absolutely worth it!
The short time we had at The Blue Horizon was awesome. We soaked up every minute and I’m very pleased with the photographs I was able to create. Who knows what will eventually happen to this place. Many movies were filmed here, including ‘Rocky V’ and fight scenes for ‘Annapolis’. If they film more movies here though I will be surprised.
From our conversations with the so called “care taker/tour guide” it seems as though the owners are not very humble to history. We were told recent film makers have been denied access because they weren’t offering enough money. Who knows the dollar amount, but any exposure would be great for this once world renowned boxing venue. Hopefully this beautiful building remains for many years to come.
This blog was also published on my website