Theater Design, Production and Materials
The Architecture for Ghost Light Theaters is inspired by Art Deco design—both the legacy of grand theaters from this era, as well as the abundant examples of modest vernacular buildings like auto shops, warehouse facades and apartment buildings. Most Ghost Light Theater designs are an assembly of numerous points of inspirations, often noticed while wandering San Francisco. However, a few theaters like "The Richmond" are wholly inspired by a single building—in this case a closed auto body shop in downtown Richmond, VA.
Each theater is individually fabricated using an intensely focused beam of light—a laser—to precisely cut the mat board. The laser machine has affinities with photography—it uses light and mirrors, lenses and focal points—to do its work. Operating it is partly technical, involving extensive testing and calibrating. On any given day, the interaction between materials and machine is impacted by conditions like humidity. However, successfully using the machine also requires a certain inspired madness and willingness to ultimately accept that certain things about it remain a mystery! On its best days, operating the laser is like having an extremely precise, methodical, powerful extensive of my own hand.
Ghost Light Theaters are made from archival, acid free 4-ply mat board, made in the USA and France. The theaters are assembled from components that are hand scored and folded, then secured together using tiny metal brads. Each includes an electric candlelight.