Haunting images showcase an abandoned theme park after the rides have stopped
These haunting images showcase the remains of a once-thriving theme park after the rides, laughter and screams have all stopped.
Matthew Christopher’s visit through the former Six Flags Theme Park, in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, allowed the photographer to shoot from upon rotting roller coasters; capture bumper cars and merry-go-rounds; and simply highlight the eerie dilapidation of what was once a bundle of noise.
The park was badly impacted by Hurricane Katrina, Matthew, 39, said, and after water damage had hit the rides and buildings, the park was later declared a total loss.
Matthew, from Philadelphia, said: “There really is nothing like this place in the world right now; certainly there are other parks, but this is really a unique phenomenon and may not be around for much longer.
“Finding cheerfully colored rides being swallowed by weeds is a jarring juxtaposition and I think says a lot about the times we live in.
“It also is a very dangerous location; alligators, water moccasins, and wild boards all roam the property and are very much a threat to people onsite.”
The photographer, whose Abandoned America series has proven extremely popular in recent years, said that he had to obtain permission to visit the park, which is often patrolled to deter trespassers.
Since the park closed, the city has been working diligently to reuse the site – plans are in motion currently to reopen a portion of the site as an amusement and water park, and a resort.
In the meantime, several movies have been shot at the park, including Jurassic World, Deepwater Horizon and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
Matthew plans to shoot more abandoned theme parks in the future, he said, adding to his collections of “Abandoned America: Dismantling the Dream” and “Abandoned America: The Age of Consequences,” where he has chronicled his travels.
He said:”The roller coasters were pretty spectacular, and I loved the art style of the rides – many of them had a music theme which is from the park’s original days as Jazzland and which is a tribute to the history of New Orleans.
“It also is jarring, seeing something as fun and familiar as an amusement park changed by nature.”