Tuesday, January 2, 2007


WHERE: The New Beverly Cinema
(7165 West Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles) Map

: Active (regular screenings)


Despite its size and simple decor, this little theater has had a life of ups and downs more dramatic than most of the movies that have graced its screen. The New Beverly Cinema started as a night club and vaudeville theater with mob ties. It then graduated from this low-brow entertainment into L.A.'s first Art House movie theater that was so smart and sophisticated, it set the template for all of the art houses and revival theaters to follow decades later in this city. From there, it shifted away from it roots into just foreign fare, which lead it down a path of increasingly more risque films. Eventually, it hit rock bottom and became a local porno palace, until it was pulled out of the gutter and transformed into the local gem it is today.

However, having a spectacular life isn't enough for this cinema. It also apparently dabbles in the after-life. It seems this theater has two separate ghosts. Both of whom can be seen inside the theater, itself. From the seats, looking up through the little windows against the back wall, a phantom projectionist is seen walking back and forth, apparently busy completing some long forgotten task. The other apparition involves an elderly patron sleeping (or possibly dead) seated with his eyes closed and head tilted back. Although this is not an uncommon sight at the end of night for this theater, this patron (unlike the other elderly sleepers) does not stir when told to wake up and go home. Not only is there no reaction, but then he seems to vanish into thin air. It is impossible to know if these two spirits are connected to each other or even from the same time period or incarnation of the theater. But, just as this little theater keeps chugging along so do these two ghosts. One forever showing movies, and one forever not watching the movies shown. It seems that even in the after-life, everyone is a critic.


If you know of another ghost story (or another version of a story mentioned), or if you have personally experienced something strange at this theater, please leave a comment.

(to read about another haunted theater in the L.A. area...)

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