For this personal project, I'm setting the scene in Chicago circa 1921. I needed to use a grand theater to open the narrative, and my research led me to The Chicago Theatre and the movie palaces of Balaban and Katz. Like most artists today, I start with searches on the internet. My initial search was for Chicago theaters 1920.
After finding some images of The Chicago Theatre's exterior and interior from 1921, I composed a page by warping and scaling the images in Photoshop, and printing the composition in the method I discuss in my previous posts. The 1920's have always been an obsession, and it is important that the work I do be informed by an understanding of the period's history. When I began my research, I had no idea who Balaban and Katz were, and on top of that I had two low resolution images of an ornately detailed theater that I wanted to use as a backdrop.
The next phase of my research led me to the book "The Chicago Movie Palaces of Balaban and Katz" by David Balaban. What I found in the book is the real research. Everything surrounding the creation of the theater and the people behind it. I also had the high quality images I needed to bring the setting to life.
Above is the page in its initial phase. The final illustration will require that the scene take place at night, and will require a change to the lighting of the reference image I started with.