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Mike provides an array of photography services specializing in capturing the architecture of theatre and live events. His specialty is documenting theatres through photography and original research. You can read more about Mike’s theatre photoshoot process here, and read up about his theatre research here.
Mike is a regular event photographer for the Los Angeles Conservancy , the largest membership-based historic preservation body in the United States. Mike’s event photography for the Conservancy has been featured both nationally (National Trust for Historic Preservation ) and internationally (Vanity Fair ).
Although not working with the outdated requirements of large-format black-and-white film cameras as required for the Historic American Building Survey , Mike has carried-out photographic surveys for historic preservation requirements in theatres from California to Texas.
Mike’s attention to detail for photographing areas often unseen by audiences has proven his ability to thoroughly document historic theatre spaces on both sides of the curtain.
Mike has authored, and contributed to, written reports on historic theatres in the Los Angeles area and beyond, focusing on rehabilitation, preservation, and activation.
Mike’s work as an architectural photographer can be seen promoting many theatres across the United States and United Kingdom. He has provided theatre photos to well-known theatre owners, managers, and promoters such as:
In addition to countless independent theatres in the UK and US. For full details of Mike’s theatre photoshoot process, click here.
Mike has created a large number of video productions, most notably virtual presentations for the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation (LAHTF) during the COVID-19 pandemic when live events moved to virtual programming.
LAHTF presented a series of webinars called Coffee & Conversation, consisting of presentations on theatre-related topics followed by live Q&A sessions. Mike researched, shot, and edited many of the presentations for LAHTF.
In early 2021 LAHTF presented their Los Angeles Theatres At Risk for 2021. Mike scripted and researched the project, coordinating and editing the final product. You can watch the 50-minute presentation here on YouTube .
Mike worked with the Los Angeles Conservancy on a video tour of Los Angeles called “L.A. Vintage Cool” for the Association of Architecture Organizations’ Virtual City Walks: International Edition program which ran in early 2021.
Mike single-handedly took the script from page-to-screen for the Conservancy, filming at locations across Los Angeles, directing shots and action, and editing all content into a 30-minute virtual tour.
The professional-level production was hailed as the highlight of the Virtual City Walks program. You can watch “L.A. Vintage Cool” by clicking here .
Mike is no stranger to public speaking and regularly leads theatre tours for the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation in addition to providing tour backup and photography services to the Los Angeles Conservancy .
In his role as a member of the Board of the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation Mike has spoken at an array of city meetings in Southern California where historic theatres are at risk.
Mike has also privately presented photographic guidance workshops to select photographic groups in the Los Angeles area. Mike has a selection of proven presentations and workshops and is available to work on bespoke requirements for specialist groups.
During the COVID-19 pandemic Mike hosted numerous webinar presentations about theatres in the Los Angeles County area for the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation , including those at risk of demolition or redevelopment. The presentations won accolades from historic preservation groups, screen stars, and the City of Los Angeles.
Mike is a consultant with Historic Stage Services and has worked on historic/technical assessments of theatres in the Southern California area.
Mike has conducted many in-depth historical research projects on theatres, publishing his findings on his website Historic Theatre Photography .
As part of his work with the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation Mike has authored and edited Historic Cultural Monument applications for the City of Los Angeles leading to the recognition of historic landmarks within Los Angeles’ built environment.
Through his extensive experience of historic theatres across several countries Mike is able to provide informed advice on redevelopment projects. He has also contributed to reports on the technical feasibility of developments at theatres both in the United States and the United Kingdom, with several projects having benefited positively for his input.
Mike has conducted extensive research into the Atmospheric theatre style , a theatre design style which was popular in 1920s particularly in the United States. Simply put, atmospheric theatres were designed to evoke the sense of being transported to a far-off exotic outdoor location. The most popular design styles were Spanish and Italian, however the atmospheric theatre style includes theatres designed to look like Mesoamerican temples, Japanese Tea Gardens, Medieval Castles, and even a Dutch Village complete with rotating windmills!
Mike partnered with the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation to create an 80-minute video documentary on atmospheric theatres across the United States and the rest of the world. The documentary has been replayed numerous times including for the staff of the Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles, and as a special co-presentation with the UK-based Cinema Theatre Association .
You can read more about Mike’s research into the atmospheric theatre style on his dedicated Atmospherics micro-site here.
If you’re interested in viewing the “Escaping into Atmospherics” video, a co-production with the L.A. Historic Theatre Foundation, please contact Mike by email .
Mike has a library of CAD plans of theatres in the United Kingdom where he spent over 20 years drawing set, stage, and lighting plans for a multitude of productions. You can see an archive of Mike’s work over at theatre.mikehume.com .
To produce accurate and elaborate lighting plans Mike created a library of popular lighting fixtures and later released the library into the public domain, enabling other lighting designers to use accurate representations of lighting fixtures in their lighting plans.
Mike has participated in the production of scale drawings for theatre surveys in the United States using professional CAD tools. He is also adept at performing measurement surveys of venues and creating plans from the survey.
Mike constructed set models for a number of theatrical productions in the United Kingdom between 2003 and 2010. More recently, Mike made a working scale model of the Earl Carroll Theatre in Hollywood (Los Angeles) to demonstrate the theatre’s double revolving stage, three-story tower revolve, rising orchestra pit, and performer lift. The model has been shown on television and in the local media.
Photographs copyright © 2002-2022 Mike Hume / Historic Theatre Photos unless otherwise noted.
Text copyright © 2017-2022 Mike Hume / Historic Theatre Photos.
For photograph licensing and/or re-use contact me here .
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