Monday, March 4, 2013

Haunted Theatres of the South (Photos)

I'm currently engrossed in a project about the haunted theatres of the South. Here's just a sampling of the theatres I am looking into. Among these buildings some have been built specifically as theatres or cinemas while others have been adapted into performing spaces. Each one has a unique history and an interesting array of spirits and paranormal activity.

Annie Russell Theatre
Campus of Rollins College
Winter Park, Florida


Annie Russell was one of the great actresses of the American stage when
she retired in 1923 to Winter Park. She took up teaching at Rollins College
and this theatre was opened and named for her in 1931 by her close friend,
Mary Curtis Bok Zimbalist. After her death in 1936, it is believed that Annie
Russell continues to guide students from her spiritual plane. The door to her
old dressing room is known to open on its own accord during performances
she approves of. She is also believed to take a seat in the house during other
performances. Photo 2007, by Ebyabe. Courtesy of Wikipedia.
Sources
Annie Russell. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Accessed 4 March 2013.
Annie Russell Theatre. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Accessed 4 March 2013.
Seymour, Mary. "The Ghosts of Rollins (and Other Skeletons in the Closet). Rollins
     Magazine. Spring 2012.

Apollo Theatre
128 East Martin Street
Martinsburg, West Virginia


Built in 1913 to provide a venue for vaudeville, other live performances
and film, the Apollo Theatre remains open as a performance venue
for the citizens of Martinsburg in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia.
Apparently, one of the theatre's former managers remains with the theatre
as well. People working in the theatre often encounter the smell of the
manager's cigar smoke and his figure has been seen standing outside the
theatre smoking. Photo 2009 by Acroterion. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

Sources
Apollo Theatre (Martinsburg, West Virginia). Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Accessed
     4 March 2013.
Racer, Theresa. "The Apollo Theatre." Theresa's Haunted History of the Tri-State. 16 January
     2011.

Baltimore Theatre Project
45 West Preston Street
Baltimore, Maryland


A dancer rehearses in one of the studios of the Baltimore
Theatre Project. The theatre is housed in a structure that once
housed a men's fraternal organization, the Improved Order of
Heptasoths (IOH) and was built for them in 1883. The building
was later used as a dance hall and it is likely that the spirit, that of
a man in a suit playing the piano, is from that period. Photo 1980, by
Bradmays. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

Sources
Okonowicz, Ed. The Big Book of Maryland Ghost Stories. Mechanicsburg, PA:
     Stackpole Books, 2010.

Carolina Theatre
310 South Greene Street
Greensboro, North Carolina

The "Showplace of the Carolinas" opened as a a vaudeville house
and cinema in 1927. After falling on hard times in the 1970s, the building
was slated for demolition before a community group purchased the structure
for use as a performing arts center which opened in 1978. The theatre was
severely damaged by fire in 1981 and it is from that fire that a legend sprouted.
Supposedly, a woman killed in that fire haunts the building, though Cheralyn
Lambeth disputes this in her book, Haunted Theaters of the Carolinas. 
Photo, 2008 by Charles Brummitt. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

Sources
Carolina Theatre of Greensboro. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Accessed 4 March 2013.
Lambeth, Cheralyn. Haunted Theaters of the Carolinas. Atglen, PA: Schiffer, 2009.

Douglass Theatre
355 Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard
Macon, Georgia

Members of the Knight Foundation outside the Douglass Theatre
where a meeting was held. The Douglass was built by African-
American entreprenuer Charles Douglass. A stop on the African-American
TOBA vaudeville circuit, the theatre was saved in the 1990s. After
restoration, theatre staff began noticing odd "brown outs," where
the lights would dim mysteriously. These occurances have been
attributed to spirits in the old theatre. Photo 2010, by the Knight
Foundation. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

Sources
Douglass Theatre. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Accessed 4 March 2013.
Irby, Mary Lee. Ghosts of Macon. Macon, GA: Vestige Publishing Co., 1998.

Keith-Albee Theatre
925 4th Avenue
Huntington, West Virginia

The view down Huntington's 4th Avenue towards the Keith-Albee Theatre.
Built in 1928 as part of B.F. Keith's vaudeville empire, this theatre is said to
be one of the more paranormally active locations in the region. Among the spirits
in residence are a "Red Lady" from the 1940s. 

Sources
Keith-Albee Theatre. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Accessed 4 March 2013.
Racer, Theresa. "Huntington's Keith Albee Theater." Theresa's Haunted History of the
     Tri-State. 16 January 2011.


Should you, dear reader know anything about these haunted theatres or others, please let me know!

3 comments:

  1. I had an encounter with the Keith Albee before I even knew it was haunted! I saw a woman in a BLUE dress enter the ladies' room on the mezzanine level. Therefore, I was pretty stoked when HPIR got a very rare opportunity to investigate this location. Unfortunately, we didn't come away with any evidence, but exploring the maze of hallways in the basement area was completely worth it! And...we did have somewhat of a personal experience...several members in our group were on stage setting up cameras. Seconds before they hit record, a shadowy figure moved across the balcony, lol.

    I love old theaters...I look forward to hearing more from you on this subject!

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  2. How about the haunted movie theater, Byrd Theater, in Carytown, Richmond, Virginia? Besides the original movie manager, it is haunted by other spirits as some paranormal investigations have found.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hey Pamela!

    The Byrd is on my list and I'll be using your books as sources on the haunting there. I'm excited to include the Byrd among many other haunted landmark theatres. At the moment, my list stands at 224 throughout the South.

    ReplyDelete