Three Haunted Theaters in Nebraska
Updated: Jul 7, 2018
Three Haunted Places in Nebraska Series
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Theaters are notorious for hauntings. They seem to hold onto the energy of those who once gathered there to linger on even after the lights are turned off and silence fills the rooms. Theaters are places where people spend time with their friends and family, make memories, and become part of a world that comes to life either on a large screen or through the performance of a live play. Like most places, tragic accidents occur, and on occasion, they happen in front of a live audience. When a death happens during a performance, sometimes hundreds of people are there to witnesses the misfortune of the final moments of someone’s life. Theaters are also busy places. The multitudes of people who visit theaters over the course of several years can leave a lasting effect on the building and sometimes those energies remain as spirits and others, who fall prey to accidents, stay behind as well.
Alliance Theater – Alliance, Ne
Alliance Theater was built in 1937. The three-story art deco style building was designed by architect Walter Simon and is located on Box Butte Avenue. Alliance Theater is most notably known for a ghost named Mary. According to the ghost story, Mary was an actress when the theater was used for live theatrical performances. One night, during a performance, Mary was dressed as a bride in a play about a love story, but this particular version would end in tragedy. At one point in the performance, Mary walked onto the stage when a light fixture came loose from above and landed directly on her below. According to reports, she was killed by the weight of the light crashing onto her body and from electric shock. Her spirit has been seen roaming the stage in a white wedding dress, as if she is repeating the night of her death over and over again.
Other supernatural experiences include the presence of shadowy figures, footsteps of an unseen individual are heard running down the aisles, and seats being moved when no one is around. People have heard the sound of screaming, laughter, and a voice of someone speaking as if reciting lines while in the theater. Some have reported feeling uneasy, drops in temperature, and have been touched when no one else was around.
Alliance Theater is still operational and provides movies at various times of the day throughout the week. Although the theater is known to be haunted, the owner thinks that the spirit or spirits in the building are friendly and have no intention of causing anyone any harm.
Alliance Theater is located at 410 Box Butte Avenue, Alliance, NE 69301.
Movie times and information can be found on their website at: http://www.gejutheatres.com/theatre/alliance-theatre.html
StarShip 9 Theater – Lincoln, Ne
Although the StarShip 9 was torn down in 2007, the ghost stories associated with the building have managed to continue to be shared. The StarShip 9 was a discount movie theater that would show movies after they had already been shown at the other theaters in Lincoln, Nebraska. By waiting a few extra weeks, moviegoers could see the same films at a much cheaper price before they were released for sale to the public.
The most common supernatural occurrences that took place in the building, while it was still in operation, were the sounds of horses in the hallways and the banging of metal-on-metal. Theater staff claimed to hear the horses most frequently when they were closing up for the night. According to early Lincoln history, around the mid-to late 1800s and into the 1900s, a stable was just around the corner from where the StarShip 9 Theater was built years later, along with a carriage maker shop, and a blacksmith shop lining the street. Since the theater was demolished, a parking garage has been built on the site and all of the noises seemed to have ceased.
Temple Theater – Lincoln, NE
The Temple Theater located on the University of Nebraska campus has a few spirits who have stuck around over the years. The theater was originally constructed in 1906, after the Rockefeller family funded construction. The building has been renovated four times over years and the only area that hasn’t been touched is the attic. According to legend, a man fell to his death during the construction of the building.
Later in the 1940s, a young actor died during a performance of Macbeth when overhead rigging fell on him during the play. Dallas Williams, the Theater Department Chair for several years, is also said to haunt the building. Williams was known for his sudden outbursts of excitement and frequent throwing of chairs across the room.
The most common supernatural experiences include hearing chairs being thrown in empty rooms, lights flickering, shadowy figures seen throughout the building, thumping noises coming from the attic, footsteps across the balcony, and tap dancing on the stage.
One night, a young man was rehearsing a tap dancing routine for an upcoming performance. As he got ready to leave, he could hear clapping in the balcony area. After hearing the sound, the young man searched the area and found the area empty. While in the balcony, he could hear tap dancing on the now empty stage. He went back downstairs to search the stage and found no one.
Temple Theater is still in operation and houses the Johnny Carson School of Theatre & Film and the Nebraska Repertory Theatre. The building also includes classrooms that are used for University of Nebraska courses. Multiple performances take place throughout the year and there is even a haunted house constructed by University of Nebraska theater students around Halloween each year.
Although one of these three theaters is no longer in existence, the other two can still be visited during business hours. Most theaters have ghost stories attached to them that seem to stand the test of time. These theaters are no different and allow for visitors to make memories of their own. Whether you are a movie-buff, performance-lover, or ghost enthusiast, these theaters will surely leave you with a lasting impression, long after the curtain falls.