The season of spooks and ghouls is upon us. It would be remiss of us if we didn’t take you into the dark side of the Hollywood Pantages. In our 85 years here in Hollywood we have picked up an interesting story or two. The best stories are about our guests that never truly leave the theatre.
Many theatre employees have said to have seen a pair of sisters sitting in the mezzanine. They always seem to be sitting in the same seats in the front row of the mezzanine. We don’t blame them for never giving up such good seats.
For years theatre employees have reported hearing the barking of a dog coming from the basement. Occasionally the jingling of dog tags is also heard. No evidence of an animal trapped in the basement has ever been found…or stepped in.
The Mirror Room
If you ever want to hear creepy stories about the theatre the best people to ask are our ushers. After every performance here at the theatre, the ushers check each restroom to make sure they are clear of patrons. One evening a female usher wandered down to the the ladies restroom on the left side of the lobby near the lower bar to check for remaining patrons. (For those of you who have been to the theatre this is the restroom with the mirrored powder room attached.) When she got there she saw a woman standing near the last sink. She told her supervisor that there was one lady finishing up in the restroom. As the minutes went on and no one came out of the restroom the usher went back down to check on the woman. She was nowhere to be seen. No one had seen anyone exit the restroom. Others have reported seeing a woman’s face in a particular piece of mirrored glass within the mirror room.
Each night the ushers are assigned their positions. Many ushers dislike the position known as Tunnel 4. (also known as the mezzanine entrance on house left) When placed in this position the usher is responsible for directing patrons to their seats. After the show begins the usher in that position takes a seat at the end of the hall. Whenever a patron walks by the usher stands out of respect for the patron and to be ready to help if needed. Ushers have reported hearing footsteps coming down the hall which cues them to stand up only to find no one there.
The Gentleman in the Bowler Hat
During our renovation in 2000 the entire theatre was filled to the ceiling with scaffolding. One of the workers was on the scaffolding in the back corner of the mezzanine when he turned around to see a man standing near the door wearing a hat. At first the worker didn’t think anything of it but when he turned back around to ask why he was there the man was gone. Shortly after that the entire work crew walked off the job. This particular spirit has been seen by many of the ushers after the show is over and everyone has left the building sitting in his seat in the mezzanine. Others that have reported seeing this man in the hat claim that he is the ghost of the late Howard Hughes who owned the Hollywood Pantages from 1949 – 1959. During that time period Hughes resided in an apartment above the theatre where our Marketing, Advertising and Group Sales offices are located today.
The Singing Ghost
There is a lot of mystery surrounding this ghost. Some say she was an aspiring actress that committed suicide. Some say she died in the mezzanine during a show. (Although there are no reports of a death at the theatre) People have reported hearing a voice being picked up over the microphone system during shows. She apparently has a thing for Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber because her favorites to sing along to are The Phantom of The Opera and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat.