WHERE: The Royal Theater11523 Santa Monica Blvd. West LA (Map)
STATUS: Active (regular screenings)
Some places are haunted by spirits that are seen many times by various witnesses over the decades. Then, there are locations that are only visited by a ghost once, and the tale of that dramatic moment is then repeated, and past along, for the years that follow.
One such occurrence happened at the Royal Theater on LA's West side. Even though this theater, previously known as the Tivoli Theater, seems to date back to the 1920's when the area (not just the street) was called Sawtelle, this ghostly incident happened in the 1990's, according to those that tell this tale.
An elderly woman, who was late meeting her elderly husband for a screening (which had already started by the time she arrived), past through the empty lobby (their prearranged meeting spot) into the darkened theater, and searched for her husband. As her eyes adjusted to the limited lighting, she found where he was seated and quietly joined him in the empty seat next to him. Though they didn't say a word to each other during the movie, they held hands through most of the film.
When the picture ended, and the auditorium's lights went on, she discovered the seat next to her (formerly occupied by her husband) was empty. She didn't see him anywhere, but assumed that he went to the restroom before the credits rolled on the screen to beat the crowds.
She waited in the lobby outside the Men's Room. Eventually, after a while, she asked an employee if he could go in and check on her husband. To her surprise, the restroom was empty. When she asked is any of the staff had seen her husband, and gave a description, she learned the truth...
Her husband had a heart attacked in the lobby and was pronounced dead by paramedics before the movie even began. Although, his body had been taken away by ambulance before his wife arrived at the theater, it seems his spirit lingered long enough so that they could watch one last movie together.
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 LA area... )