"One night I had an idea while I was at the movies: to photograph the film itself. I tried to imagine photographing an entire feature film with my camera. I could already picture the projection screen making visible as a white rectangle. In my imagination, this would appear as a glowing, white rectangle; it would come forward from the projection surface and illuminate the entire theatre. This idea struck me as being very interesting, mysterious, and even religious" (Sugimoto quoted in T. Kellein, Hiroshi Sugimoto: Time Exposed, London 1995, p. 91).
Hiroshi Sugimoto, "Time Exposed," 1995, p. 91
'Beekman, New York' and 'Plaza, New York' belong to Sugimoto's renowned Theatres series. Travelling across America to photograph 1920s and 1930s movie theatres and drive-ins, Sugimoto fixed the shutter open at the start of the film and closed it as the movie ended. These two photographs are exceptional works from his series. Not only have they been produced at the earliest stage of his series but their content sets them apart from his other Theatres photographs. Indeed, both 'Beekman, New York' and 'Plaza, New York' contain human spectators. The rare inclusion of human figures in these photographs illustrates the origin of Sugimoto's group of work.