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Cairo, IL - Gem Theater

The abandoned Gem Theatre in Cairo (pronounced CARE-o), Illinois, a small city at the southern tip of the state, wedged between Kentucky and Missouri. Once a booming river town of 15,000 population in the early 20th Century, Cairo declined into what some call a ghost town one-fifth the population a century later following several racially tinged riots and severe flooding, including one in 2011 in which the entire city was evacuated. Photo by Carol Highsmith, 2019.
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Keywords:carol m. highsmith, america, illinois, cairo, cairo illinois, river towns, gem theatre, abandoned movie theaters

Cairo, IL - Gem Theater