The El Rey Theatre sat in the center of Manteca, California on Yosemite Avenue, a short bit east of Main Street. It was built in 1930s Art Deco style, and it became a famous landmark for the small town. Both movies and shows played there. During the Christmas season, the owners allowed children in for free, and they played cartoons and The Three Stooges for them.
The ghost of a young Shakespearian actor named Malcolm is believed to haunt the Harrison High School Auditorium. His footsteps can be heard on the stage and the catwalk above. Mysterious orbs of light without any kind of source have appeared on the catwalk.
The Swedish Theater in Turku, Finland has been the location of several sightings of a woman wearing a white dress, as reported by multiple employees from the theater. However, she never makes a single noise. In the older parts of the theater that date back to the 19th century, visitors claim to feel the presence of a woman. It is believed that the woman is an actress who loved the theater so much that she didn’t want to leave.
The Pachette Playhouse was closed in the summer of 1999. It was used as a dance hall and playhouse in its day. There have been several reports of paranormal activity from the building, including paintings and photographs on the walls animating, bleeding mirrors, strange purple lights moving around the rooms, and unseen entities pushing visitors down the front steps. From the outside, faces can be seen in the second floor’s windows.
For more than fifty years, the Belasco Theater, located in New York City, New York, has been considered one of the most haunted places in America. Hauntings have been occurring ever since the death of David Belasco, the former owner of the theater as well as its namesake, in 1931.
Construction on the Wellington Opera House started in 1911, designed by William Pitt and Albert Liddy. It was named the Grand Opera House at the time, and was made out of brick with wooden floors. The theater was restored in 1977 in order to make it safer and nicer looking.
The Finnish Temperance Hall, which is also known as the “Finn Hall”, was built in 1905 by the Finnish Temperance Society. During its early days, it was one of Rocklin’s most impressive theaters, featuring school Christmas programs, receptions, dances, and fraternal meetings. It is said to be haunted by old playwrights who died there in their early 1920s.
Located on North Main Street in Decatur, Illinois, the Lincoln Theater is one of two grand theaters still standing in the city today. Opening in 1916 with a massive stage and a large number of seats, it featured high balconies, mezzanines, basements, and sub-cellars. Prior to the theater’s construction, it was the site of the Priest Hotel.
In 1860, W.S. Crissey opened the Priest Hotel, even despite it was owned and operated by Franklin Priest. Twenty years later, the building was taken over by Riley Deming, who renamed it “New Deming”. It was purchased by Augustine Wait in 1892, and she renamed the hotel “the Arcade Hotel”.
In 1900, he remodelled and expanded it, and again renamed it – this time calling it the Decatur & Arcade Hotel However, a horrible fire broke out in 1904 that destroyed the building. The hotel was rebuilt on the same spot only a short while later. On April 21st, yet another fire raged through the hotel, this time killing two people and damaging the adjacent buildings.
The fire is believed to have been caused by some oily rags left near the hotel’s boiler, as one of the watchmen found them smouldering, attempted to put them out, but was forced to stop when thick smoke made it impossible to see. The flames quickly spread throughout the rest of the hotel, and the fire department came within minutes.
The hotel was covered with smoke so thickly that firefighters could not enter, and they were forced to simply pump water on the building since they could not see the flames. By the time it was extinguished, nothing but ruins remained. The neighboring structures, the Bachman Bros. & Marine Co. furniture store, the YMCA, the First Presbyterian Church, and the Odd Fellows Building, were salvaged, but part of the hotel’s wall had collapsed onto the furniture store, though not much was lost.
The sole casualties were that of William E. Grahm, an engineer from the Decatur Bridge Co., and C.S. Guild, a traveling salesman from New York. They were the only bodies found in the wreckage, though it is assumed that there were other victims in the blaze, as the guests were never found.
The already-devastating fire could have been much worse, though, if it were not for the rain that helped extinguish it. The hotel was never rebuilt, and the Lincoln Theater was built in its place. However, the spirits of those who died in the fire still haunt the grounds even though the hotel is gone.
Since the initial disaster, Decatur has suffered from a large number of fires, and several buildings have been destroyed because of them. Designers of the theater made it “absolutely fireproof”, being aware of the danger fire held in the town. Built in 1916 by Clarence Wait, the Lincoln Theater’s plans were designed by Aschauer & Waggoner, an architectural firm. The firm also designed the adjacent buildings, such as the Odd Fellows Lodge and seven small stores on Main Street.
The grand opening for the theater was on October 27th, 1916, which attracted some of Decatur’s finer citizens. The first show present at the theater was George M. Cohan’s stage comedy called Hit the Trail Holliday, which starred Frank Otto. Speeches by Clarence Wait and Mayor Dan Dineen were given that night as well. Guests said that each of the 1,346 seats delivered a great view and incredible sound.
During the first years of the Lincoln Theater, it was used for stage shows, vaudeville, local productions, and Decatur High School graduations and plays. Several famed actors and actresses appeared at the theater as well, including Ethel Barrymore, Al Jolson, Ed Wynn, and Jeanette McDonald.
One of the ghosts that is said to haunt the theater is known as “Red”, who supposedly worked in the backstage of the theater. Although he seemed happy with his job, he actually wanted to be an actor himself. His life came to a tragic end when he fell off a catwalk during one of the shows and hit the stage, horrifying the audience. Now, visitors have claimed seeing and/or hearing Red. Sightings include odd shadows above the stage, whispering, or seeing his misty apparition.
The Orpheum Theater (now called the Capitol Theatre was first opened in 1913, and had “groundbreaking architectural designs” of its time since it used terra cotta as well as other materials that were not generally used. There were enough seats to have 2,000 viewers, and it had vaudeville acts twice a day.
In 1923, the theater was purchased by the Ackerman Harris Vaudeville Company. While vaudeville was very popular in the US, movies began to dominate the entertainment industry. In 1927, the building was sold to mayor Louis Marcus, who turned the theater into a movie and play theater. It was then he renamed the theater the Capitol Theatre, being that Salt Lake City was Utah’s capital.
Seating capacity was increased, a Wurlitzer organ was added, and the first “talkie movie” played in 1929. The focus of the theater between 1929 and 1975 was playing movies, but it did have the occasional travelling stage productions.
On July 4th, 1949, part of the Capitol Theatre caught fire. Even despite the huge blaze, the only casualty was that of the young new usher, Richard “Dickey” Duffin, who perished while saving those who were inside the theater at the time.
Now, he haunts the grounds and has been able to unplug extension cords, move lights, slam doors, and move the elevator up and down. Other occurrences include electronic equipment malfunctioning inside the theater when they were working fine prior to entering the building.
However, not all of the paranormal activity may be Duffin’s fault. An area next to the Capitol Theatre called the West Temple and 2nd South area has a haunted past as well. The areas banks and hotels are known for their spiritual idea. One such hotel was the spot of the murder of the Emanuel David family. A mother threw her children off the 12th floor of the site, and people can now hear a child screaming “Mom, don’t make me do it!”. Several other murders have taken place in the area.
Located in Central California, the Kofman Auditorium serves as Alameda High School’s theater. The old building features Greek-style columns in its design. Visitors have reported seeing the apparition of a young woman in the backstage area. Mysterious noises have been heard without any reasonable explanations for them.