Alliance’s “Haunted” Theater

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Shelbee Burke, Web Editor

With Halloween in a few days, we are in the height of spooky season. In the town of Alliance, there are a few buildings that are believed by some people to be haunted including St. Agnes, the “Cow House” a few miles out of town and of course, the Alliance Movie Theater.

The theater started as the Charter Hotel in 1903. It then became a theater for performing arts, the Imperial theater. In the 1930’s, it became the Alliance Theater. 

The Alliance Theater is believed to be haunted by a woman named Mary. She was an actress who worked there when it was for performing arts. Mary died wearing a wedding dress during a performance when a light fixture fell on her. 

AHS graduate Hannah Middleton worked at the theater since October of 2016. She stated, “Lots of tiny things happen, you’ll hear footsteps or laughing, but I have two super memorable stories.” She went on to say that one time when she was working concessions with another employee, she was walking up the stairs while they were opening and she heard the other employee yell, “Hannah!” so she turned around and said, “What?” The employee said that they were not the one that yelled it but they heard it too. 

Middleton explained that the other occurrence happened when she was working with another AHS graduate, Margaret Hoff. She said, “We were closing for the night and chatting behind the concession stand, and then we both heard someone in a heavy coat walking down the hallway. We were the only ones in there.” Hoff added to this saying, “We had gone through the theaters to make sure everyone was gone and when we were behind the concessions we both heard someone walking over to the side of the theater we were on. We both freaked out and locked up the theater as quick as we could.

Hoff has worked at the theater for 3 years. She remarked, “A few times I would be up in the upstairs bathroom and would look out the doorway and see someone walk past but then I’d look to see and no one would be out there.” She continued saying, “Another time I went to the back room to get oil and I looked down the stairs to the basement for a second. I thought I heard a splash and what sounded like something, maybe an animal scattering away, which was weird because nothing should be down there.” She explained that there has also been times when she got to work a little bit earlier than everyone else, or when she unpacked shipments, where she walked through the main theater and swore she saw someone sitting in the seats even though no one was there.

Is the movie theater haunted by the former actress Mary? We may never truly know the answer. The Alliance Theater is currently closed but will be reopening as soon as possible. When it does reopen, be sure to go and check out a movie, or maybe even see a ghost…