Haunted theatres figure into two newsworthy haunts this evening.
Valrico, Florida’s JAMES McCABE THEATRE (506 5th Street) has recently been the scene of a fund-raising investigation by two paranormal groups, Fire and Ice Investigations and Plant City Paranormal. With the recent recession and many arts groups and historic sites hurting for funds many have tried using their ghosts to help raise money. In conjunction with local paranormal organizations, they will put on ghost hunts where participants can pay a fee for ghost tours and helping with a paranormal investigation. This is what this historic theatre has done while raising money to restore and renovate this more than century old building.
Built in 1915 as the Valrico Civic Center, the building served as the home to a woman’s club later. The building was repossessed in the late 1970s and The Village Players, a community theatre group, was allowed to use the structure. The building was deeded to the theatre in 1994. Over the years, local thespians have noticed odd occurrences in the building including many odd noises and the occasional apparition. The June 16th investigation uncovered a few interesting pieces of evidence including some EVPs
- About. James McCabe Theatre. Accessed 24 June 2012.
- Kenney, Linda Chion. “’Ghosts’ at James McCabe a Test for ParanormalEnthusiasts.” Patch.com. 18 June 2012.
- White, D’Ann. “Paranormal Investigators to Gather Tonight at James McCabe Theatre.” Patch.com. 16 June 2012.
The second theatre in the headlines is the RICE THEATRE (323 North Parkerson Avenue) in downtown Crowley, Louisiana. This location is one of two being investigated by Louisiana Spirits Paranormal Investigations though, according to the article, neither location has a reputation of being haunted. The theatre was built by The Southern Amusement Company in 1940, but its opening was delayed by damage done by a hurricane. It opened in 1941 with the film This Thing Called Love. Sold to the City of Crowley in 1986, the building now serves as the Rice City Civic Center.
Also up for being investigated is CROWLEY CITY HALL (425 North Parkerson Avenue) just down the street. There are, however, a few tales of ghosts from city employees. A freight elevator has been known to function on its own accord, something that, according to a city hall staffer, is impossible. Another employee has seen shadow figures and heard voices. This 1920 structure was not built as a government building but as a car dealership and later served as a recording studio before becoming city hall.