phillips_sequence.jpg


A ghost light is a single bulb left illuminated near center stage when a theater is unoccupied and would otherwise be completely dark.

Superstition holds that a ghost light provides opportunity for the resident ghosts of the theater to perform onstage when everyone else has left for the night.

About Ghost Light Theaters

I grew-up going to the movies almost every week at the Stanford Theater in Palo Alto, CA—a restored Art Deco movie palace built in 1925. Showing only films from Hollywood’s Golden Age, I munched my popcorn and raisinets while memorizing Bogart and Bacall. This immersion in glorious black and white movies I consider my introduction to photography, and Ghost Light Theaters is an homage to that formative experience. Although I work with still photographs, my love of moving pictures influences my work—a single snapshot sets me to wondering: what’s the story? What frames came before? What happened next? For me, Ghost Light bridges the space between the decisive moment of a single photograph and the extended gaze of a movie—how can photography be both?

 A theater is a lot like a camera, they are both dark spaces for holding pictures. I like to think that within both spaces, pictures take on a life of their own.