18.11.12, Week 66: A Not So Royal Exchange
I went for another wander around town with one of my friends this weekend. She had been to see a play in the Royal Exchange Theatre in our first year, and I had met her after the play so had briefly seen inside the building. I didn’t have my camera with me (a rare occurrence) at the time, but the building looked very interesting from the little that I saw. This time, however, I did have my camera, so as we had a bit of time, I took a few pictures. I knew the building had been the centre of trading in Manchester during the height of the Lancashire cotton trade, but I didn’t realise that it was still in use until quite recently. The exchange ceased to be used for trading in 1968, and was converted to a theatre in the 1970s. The theatre is a bit odd, it looks like a moon landing vehicle placed in the middle of the exchange hall. Presumably because the building is listed and could not therefore be extensively remodelled it required a standalone structure for the theatre.
The building is a strange palimpsest of old classical architecture meeting modern day lighting and neon signs. I’m not a big fan of the interior myself; it’s gaudy and detracts from the building’s architectural beauty. I was interested to see that the trading board had been left in place and that caught my eye because it really contrasts with the rest of the building. The board itself is so utilitarian and functional which is strange when the rest of the building is so flamboyant. It’s not a particularly brilliant photograph; I just thought it was interesting because it documents the building’s change in use. The framing isn’t ideal, but the board was too wide to get in frame without taking a picture of it diagonally. I guess it’s a more interesting angle, but it’s not really in line with my general style of composure.
Date taken: 17.11.12
Speed: 1/60 sec
Focal length: 24mm