The Haunting at Kimo Theatre – Albuquerque, New Mexico

  • By: Gareth Popovic
  • Date: 19 January 2024
  • Time to read: 6 min.

Introduction of Kimo Theatre

The Kimo Theatre is a gateway to the unknown and a stunning example of architecture, located in the center of Albuquerque, New Mexico. The city’s night sky is illuminated by its marquee, but underneath the sparkle and splendor is a more mysterious, deeper tale. Not only has this old theater seen shows, but it has also absorbed the whispers of time, resonating with stories of the unexplainable and the paranormal.

History of Kimo Theatre

Built in 1927, the Kimo Theatre is a stunning architectural blend of Pueblo Deco and Art Deco styles. Funded by entrepreneur Oreste Bachechi’s vision, the theater aimed to rival the grand movie palaces emerging across the United States. Architect Carl Boller was inspired by Native American cultures in New Mexico, infusing their spirit into his visionary design.

In addition to its architectural grandeur and spectral presence, the Kimo Theatre has seen moments of tragedy. In 1951, a boiler explosion in the basement demolished part of the original lobby and tragically claimed the life of a young boy. In 1963, a devastating fire consumed the original stage, altering the theater’s landscape. The young boy’s spirit is still a regular at the movie and behaves himself nicely as long as his goodies are dangling over the water pipe.

The Kimo Theatre, where opulent architecture and a sinister past collide, is a living reminder of its fascinating history. It beckons guests to go on an adventure into the unknown, where the mysterious and paranormal blend with the exquisiteness of restoration.

Historic Postcard of Kimo Theatre
Historic Postcard of Kimo Theatre – Credit legendsofamerica

Haunting Legends and Supernatural Phenomena

Playful Spirit Bobby – Boiler Explosion

A legend of a little boy named Bobby who is destined to live forever in the sacred halls of Kimo Theatre echoes through the years in the center of the theater. This is the tale of Bobby’s tragic 1951 meeting with death.

One day in 1951, within the splendid confines of Kimo Theatre, the apparition of a little boy was seen, playing on the lobby staircase. He sported a striped shirt and blue jeans, a vivid reminder of his youthful innocence. This was Bobby, a six-year-old who found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. In the dark depths of the theater’s basement, directly beneath the concession stand, an eight-gallon electrical water heater resided, its purpose to provide hot water for the theater cleanup after each show. The stage was set for an unthinkable turn of events.

On that ill-fated day, Bobby was sitting in the balcony, surrounded by friends, eagerly watching a film unfold on the big screen. As the story unfolded, something on the screen sent shivers down his spine, sending his heart racing. In a moment of terror, he sprang from his seat and fled down the lobby staircase, which led up to the balcony. But Bobby’s flight brought him right into the lobby, just as a catastrophic explosion rocked the very foundation of the theater.

The deafening blast, triggered by the water heater beneath the concession stand, devastated the lobby and claimed young Bobby’s life. His memory eternally etched into the history of Kimo Theatre, as an innocent soul forever bound to the place he once loved.

Theatre Blast
Theatre Blast – Credit newmexico

Wandering Specters – Lady With a Bonnet

An enigmatic figure wearing a bonnet is said to roam the theater’s corridors, presumably absorbed in her age-old business, according to a spooky tradition that originated deep within the historic Kimo Theatre. This mysterious spirit has a tale of mystery and ethereal extravagance.

In the hallowed halls of Kimo Theatre, a specter takes shape. An ethereal lady in a bonnet, her presence shrouded in enigma, has been glimpsed as she roams the theater’s corridors. Her true identity remains a mystery, concealed by the passage of time. It was in the year 1988 that the theater bore witness to a curious and charming phenomenon. One day, some delectable doughnuts, thoughtfully left untouched by the living, were discovered on a table in the stage area. What transpired next would leave the living in awe. Bite marks, indicative of a tiny mouth, were discernible on several of the doughnuts.

In response to this enchanting mystery, the theater’s crew members decided to honor their spectral guest. They began suspending doughnuts on the water pipe that ran along the back wall of the stage. These spectral treats, an offering of affection, were hung as a gesture of goodwill to pamper the enigmatic little ghost who had taken a liking to the sugary delights.

To this day, the apparition of the lady in the bonnet continues to grace the Kimo Theatre with her presence, her purpose and history still concealed in the realm of the unknown. Meanwhile, the tradition of the spectral treats lives on, as crew members affectionately adorn the theater’s backstage with doughnuts, creating a connection between the living and the otherworldly.

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Popular Culture and Media Coverage of Kimo Theatre

Kimo Theatre, which is well-known for its intriguing charm and rich history, has been featured in several films and television shows that explore the paranormal. It was most famously featured in the fascinating television series “Eerie Enigmas: Unveiling Haunted Histories,” in which the detectives explored the spooky stories and chilling experiences associated with the theater.

In the realm of literature, Kimo Theatre has carved its niche in works like “The Kimo Theatre: Fact & Folklore” by Jacqueline Murray Loring and “Ghosts of Old Town Albuquerque” by Cody Polston. These literary creations uncover the uncanny stories surrounding the theater, offering enthralling narratives of its ghostly past.

These days, history buffs and those with an interest in the paranormal should make time to visit Kimo Theatre. It draws everyone looking for an immersive experience with its alluring and spooky atmosphere, where history and the paranormal converge to produce a memorable trip into the mysterious.


As the final curtain falls and you bid adieu to Kimo Theatre, you carry with you more than just the memories of a captivating show. You carry the lingering echoes of an enigmatic past that transcends the boundaries of time and space. Albuquerque’s Kimo Theatre isn’t just a venue; it’s a living, breathing repository of history and the supernatural. Its stories will continue to haunt your thoughts, inviting you to unravel the mysteries that shroud its hallowed halls. In the heart of the city, Kimo Theatre remains an enduring testament to the compelling union of the past and the paranormal, an experience that will stay with you long after you’ve left its captivating embrace.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Where is Kimo Theatre located?

A: Kimo Theatre is located in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Q: Is it true that Kimo Theatre has a resident ghost?

A: Yes, it’s true. The theater is said to be haunted by the spirit of Bobby, a young boy who tragically lost his life in a 1951 boiler explosion. His apparition has been spotted playing on the lobby staircase.

Q: Can you tell me more about the lady in the bonnet at Kimo Theatre?

A: Of course. The mysterious lady in the bonnet is another ghostly presence often seen wandering the theater’s halls. Not much is known about her, but her sightings add to the eerie charm of Kimo Theatre.

Q: What’s the story behind the spectral treats at Kimo Theatre?

A: The legend of the spectral treats dates back to 1988 when unseen hands helped themselves to doughnuts left on a table in the stage area. Crew members, as a gesture of goodwill, started hanging doughnuts on the backstage water pipe for the friendly ghost who enjoyed them.

Q: Are there any other ghostly legends associated with Kimo Theatre?

A: Indeed, in addition to Bobby and the lady in the bonnet, there have been reports of other paranormal occurrences over the years. Some visitors claim to have experienced unexplained phenomena, adding to the theater’s mystique.

Q: Can I participate in ghost tours or paranormal investigations at the Theatre?

A: While Kimo Theatre doesn’t offer official ghost tours or investigations, many local paranormal enthusiasts and organizations conduct tours and events in the area. Check with local tour operators for opportunities to explore the theater’s eerie history.

Q: Is it safe to visit the Theatre despite its ghostly legends?

A: Absolutely. Kimo Theatre is a safe and welcoming venue for visitors and theater enthusiasts. The legends and ghostly tales only serve to enhance its historical and mystical allure, making it an intriguing place to experience.

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