The Pantages Theatre


The story of the Pantages Theatre.

Sitting at 6233 Hollywood Boulevard, California, is one of the oldest and most beautiful theatres ever built. There stands the Pantages Theatre. Designed in Art-Deco fashion and looking more like a palace than a theatre, this beautiful landmark was named after Alexander Pantages. The stunning ceilings and beautiful interior design, this theatre is toted as one of the most beautiful theatres in the world.

Construction of the building was completed in the 1930s and was home to many musicals and other popular shows of that era. It consists of a lobby, powder rooms in the lower level, a massive auditorium, grand balconies, a huge stage area, dressing rooms behind the stage, and an orchestra pit. Upstairs there are offices and a conference room.

The theatre was mainly for stage acts, until 1949 when Howard Hughes bought it to be the first in a national chain of movie theatres, RKO pictures, which was another acquisition of his. A huge movie screen replaced the stage and it became the prime spot to watch movies. After Hughes’ sold his entire stock in RKO in 1954, he slowly began his complete withdrawal from public life.

Pacific Theatres purchased the once grand but now run down building in 1967 and began work to restore it to its original beauty. Pacific Theatres joined with Nederlander Corporation Inc. to redo the interior of the building in the art deco style that was once found on the entire inside of the building. They also restored it to a stage theatre, and it became home to many Broadway touring companies.

One of the oldest ghosts at the Pantages Theatre has been there since 1932. This ghost was once a female customer of the theatre and died in one of the balconies while watching a popular musical. Shortly after her death, a woman could be heard singing in the theatre when it was dark and quiet. As the years drew on, she became louder and once a microphone from a live performance even picked up her voice as she sang along with the show!

It’s also believed that Howard Hughes’ is still around the building, staying mainly on the second floor conference room, which once held his office. There was an executive assistant for Nederlander Corporations Inc. in 1992 that would feel a presence in the room. She would feel it in the form of cold spots, wind passing when there was no air conditioner running, and on occasion she also saw a figure of a tall man. This man would turn the corner to where his office used to be. Once inside the area, the sounds of drawers opening and closing, and brass handles being picked up and then dropped could be heard. She was never scared of the presence as she knew it was Howard and that he simply loved the Pantages too much to leave. The passing cold wind that she would feel could also be felt at times in the executive suite and was sometimes accompanied by cigarette smoke.

But the main floor has its own resident as well. This presence was felt by a woman in 1994 that worked in wardrobe at the theatre. Being the last to leave one evening, she was walking up the aisle when the lights turned out. She tripped over something and became disoriented, then started to feel very panicked. Someone came over and took her by the elbow and gently guided her to the exit doors. After she had opened the door and could see by the light pouring into the theatre, she turned to thank the person that helped her but there was no one there. It all happened too quickly for a living being to flee and she hadn’t heard any retreating footsteps. It’s believed that this ghost was that of Alexander Pantages himself.

It is said that all three ghosts still take residence at the beautiful Pantages Theatre. They are not at all malicious ghosts and are there simply to help out when they can and to enjoy life at the Pantages.

The Pantages Theatre

The Pantages Theatre

The Pantages Theatre

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