Germain Amphitheater In Ruins

July 8th, 2011

Germain Amphitheater (previously known as Polaris Amphitheater) closed in 2007 and has yet to find a buyer. Photographer Cary Whitt recently shot an exceptional series of photos documenting the current state of the buildings on the property, many of which have fallen into extreme decay. All photos (except the first) are by Cary Whitt and are used with permission. (8 Photos)

fans on the lawn of germain amphitheater during a 2007 def leppard show
Fans watch a Def Leppard show from the lawn of Germain Amphitheater in July 2007, the last year the Amphitheater was in operation. (Photo by: Erica Blasdel (flickr))
germain amphitheater main stage
Germain Amphitheater (previously known as Polaris Amphitheater) opened in 1994. (Photo by: Cary Whitt)
Germain Ampitheater main pavilion in black and white
The main pavilion once seated 6,700 people, but now many of the seats have been removed. (Photo by: Cary Whitt)
germain amphitheater lawn as viewed from the main pavilion
The lawn could seat another 13,000 people. In the foreground you can see the bolts that once secured the pavilion's chairs to the concrete foundation. (Photo by: Cary Whitt)
Germain Ampitheater main stage now covered in graffiti
The main stage of Germain Amphitheater which once hosted some of the biggest names in music for 20 to 30 shows a year now sits silent and graffiti covered. (Photo by: Cary Whitt)
broken drywall in a vandalized building at Germain Amphitheater
Many of the buildings surrounding the pavilion have been heavily vandalized since the amphitheater closed its doors in 2007. (Photo by: Cary Whitt)
graffiti on an abandoned building at Germain Amphitheater
Graffiti artists have used the abandoned buildings as their canvas. (Photo by: Cary Whitt)
Germain Amphitheater's restrooms and concession stands are now covered in brightly colored graffiti.
Restrooms and concession stands are now covered in brightly colored graffiti and vandals' tags. (Photo by: Cary Whitt)
  • Frank White

    That’s so damned sad. Those stupid people that bought their houses behind it AFTER the place was constructed complained to a point they shut it down. Had many, many good times there.

  • Kate B

    I agree with Frank, this is definitely sad. Houses should not have been built there knowing it was so close to an outdoor concert theater. Polaris is going to continue to struggle as it keeps expanding beyond it’s capability to support itself.


    How Sad! I agree with Frank. You shouldn’t build houses that close or if you do- and you buy it knowing it is there- then shut up about it. You bought it knowing it was there. I used to live in a house where the train tracks were right up close to my house and at first I had a hard time sleeping through it but I got used to it. Why would you not want an area that brings in business to local restaurants and hotels rather than a place that is attracting vandals and is falling to the ground.

  • Jim

    Columbus Commons is purporting to be a concert venue while also suggesting that apartments will be built on the site. I can’t imagine an outcome for this that will succeed, for similar reasons.

  • Daddybigdik

    bUrN iT aLL

  • Tallie

    Sad. I grew up in the Polaris area and hearing about the amphitheater. I’d always hoped that someday I could go to a show there but I guess now I’ll never have the chance.

  • Agora Fan

    I agree that the Polaris neighbors hurt the concert experience by forcing them to turn down the volume, curfews, etc.., but the real demise of the amphitheater (along with many others around the country) came down to one thing: Artists’ greed. A 20 dollar ticket would still provide these performers with enough income for one show than most of their fans make in a good year. A few of the acts understood this, but a lot of them didn’t. Canceled tours meant fewer shows for the venues. When you only have so many nights to make your nut for the season, the math is pretty easy to add up. The end.

    • June

      Lol@ thinking artists chose their ticket prices.

  • Mattyvetter

    Artist greed? No. You mean the RIAA and Live Nation.

  • Facts matter

    Just want to set the record straight. The neighbors who complained about Polaris noise and traffic were there years before when that land was one big huge open cornfield. One of the most vocal opponents of the ampitheatre built her house six years before Polaris opened. Don’t believe it? Believe the Delaware County Auditor’s website:

    No. of Stories 2.00
    Sq. Ft. * 3439
    Year Built ** 1988
    Total Rooms 9
    Full Bathrooms 2
    Half Bathrooms 1
    Bedrooms 5

  • Until_lisa_sleeps

    This makes me sick! Was my favorite venue ever! Someone needs to reopen this great place!

Support for Capture Columbus is provided by:

Become a Capture Columbus Sponsor