The Haunting at Pantages Theatre: A Stage Set with Ghosts and Haunted History

  • By: Gareth Popovic
  • Date: 8 December 2023
  • Time to read: 7 min.


Located in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, the Pantages Theatre stands as a historic landmark with a chilling reputation.

This iconic theatre has witnessed decades of entertainment, but its shadowy past and spectral encounters have left visitors and staff intrigued by the supernatural mysteries that linger within its grand walls.


The Pantages Theatre, located at 6233 Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, California, has a rich and fascinating history that spans over a century. The theater, known for its opulent architecture and association with the golden age of Hollywood, has played a significant role in the entertainment industry and the cultural landscape of Los Angeles.

The Pantages Theatre was designed by architect B. Marcus Priteca and originally named the “Masonic Temple.” It was completed in 1910 and served as a venue for Masonic gatherings and events. However, it was not long before its fate took a theatrical turn. In 1920, the theater was acquired by Alexander Pantages, a Greek-born entrepreneur and one of the most successful vaudeville impresarios of his time. Pantages transformed the venue into a magnificent vaudeville palace, reflecting the grandeur and allure of the Roaring Twenties.

Under Alexander Pantages’ ownership, the theater underwent a lavish redesign, boasting a Beaux-Arts style façade adorned with ornate details and decorative elements. The opulent interior featured gilded decorations, crystal chandeliers, and plush seating, exuding an air of elegance and sophistication.

Pantages Theatre
Pantages Theatre | Credit: ohlittleeve

Throughout the 1920s and early 1930s, the Pantages Theatre became a premier destination for vaudeville performances in Los Angeles. Renowned vaudeville acts and stars of the time graced its stage, entertaining audiences with comedy sketches, musical performances, and various vaudevillian acts.

Haunting Legends and Supernatural Phenomena

The Pantages Theatre, an iconic landmark with a storied history in the heart of Los Angeles, holds more than captivating performances within its walls. Beneath the grandeur of its stage lies a realm of unexplained mysteries and eerie encounters.

Over the years, whispers of paranormal activities have circulated, drawing curious souls to delve into the enigmatic and haunted aura that surrounds this renowned theater.

Alexander Pantages’ Ghostly Presence

In the hallowed halls of the historic Pantages Theatre, an eerie legend whispers of a man whose spirit lingers beyond the veil of death—Alexander Pantages. Witnesses claim they have seen him, a spectral figure, watching from the main floor, just as he did in life. During stage performances, his ghost is said to walk up the aisle, ever watchful. Attendees and staff have reported opening doors for him, only to watch him vanish into thin air.

One chilling encounter from the 1990s speaks of a wardrobe lady’s eerie experience. The last to leave the theater, she was left disoriented in the darkness. Suddenly, an unknown presence gently guided her towards the exit, an unseen hand upon her elbow. But when she turned to thank her mysterious helper, no one was there. No footsteps echoed, and no human presence remained—only the lingering sense of a benevolent spirit.

The Ghostly Inspector

In the year 2000, a spine-chilling restoration project unfolded at the Pantages Theatre, revealing a haunting tale that still sends shivers down the spine. As workers labored to revive the historic venue, two brave souls encountered an unearthly presence that shook them to the core. An electrician, scrutinizing the theater’s wiring, suddenly felt a chill down his spine as an unknown figure glanced over his shoulder. When he turned, his eyes met a mysterious man, defying explanation and defying time.

High above the auditorium, a painter engaged in restoration work witnessed an eerie spectacle. A man with an air of authority descended from the balcony, his hat adding an extra touch of enigma. He gracefully moved onto the scaffolding, inspecting the site with otherworldly poise. The spectral inspector reached the painter, peering at his work with a ghostly gaze. Before the brave painter could question this eerie apparition, the phantom vanished into thin air, leaving behind an unsettling silence.

Pantages Theatre
Pantages Theatre | Credit:

Phantom Of A Songstress

In the shadows of 1932, tragedy struck the Pantages Theatre when a patron and aspiring performer met an untimely demise in the haunting mezzanine. Since that fateful day, her ethereal presence has lingered, filling the air with an otherworldly melody.

To this day, her haunting voice resonates within the theater’s walls, captivating those who dare to listen. Whenever an unsuspecting microphone is left on, her spectral serenades come alive, leaving witnesses stunned and bewildered. Mysterious audio picked up during shows reveals her affinity for the musical masterpieces of Andrew Lloyd Webber, often singing tunes from “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” and “The Phantom of the Opera.

The Ghost of Howard Hughes

Even in the afterlife, the Pantages Theatre couldn’t escape the grip of Howard Hughes’ haunting presence. Legend has it that in 1990, vandals triggered a series of spine-chilling events on the second-floor conference room, where Hughes once held court.

Since that fateful break-in, employees have encountered the spectral remains of Hughes’ legacy. They’ve felt cold spots and eerie breezes out of nowhere, with ghostly apparitions materializing in the haunted conference room. Rattling desk drawers and the unmistakable scent of cigarette smoke fill the air, adding to the eerie atmosphere. In 1992, a Nederlander Corporation executive assistant experienced an encounter she’d never forget.

Pantages Theatre
Pantages Theatre | Credit: sltangst

A tall male figure glided down the hallway, vanishing into an old office. She heard door handles rattling and drawers opening and closing, all while feeling an unseen presence and an inexplicable cool breeze in a place without a wind source.

As the curtains draw to a close and the lights dim, the Pantages Theatre’s allure doesn’t fade with the final act. Instead, it leaves visitors pondering the mysteries that linger in its midst. With each passing day, the legends of ghostly apparitions, spectral voices, and inexplicable occurrences continue to cast an enigmatic spell over this historic venue. The Pantages Theatre stands as a timeless enigma, inviting those who dare to experience the captivating blend of history and the supernatural.

Popular Culture and Media Coverage

Renowned for its storied past and enchanting charm, the Pantages Theatre has taken center stage in numerous television shows and documentaries exploring the realm of entertainment and performing arts. Particularly, it played a prominent role in the captivating series “Glimmering Curtains: Unraveling Theatrical Legends,” where experts delved into the theater’s rich history, iconic performances, and intriguing anecdotes.

In literature, the Pantages Theatre has left an indelible mark, featured in books such as Haunted Theaters: Playhouse Phantoms, Opera House Horrors, and Backstage Banshees” by Tom Ogden and “Ghost Hunter’s Guide to Los Angeles” by Jeff Dwyer. These literary works delve into the theater’s illustrious past, presenting captivating narratives of its most memorable shows and the legendary artists who graced its stage.

Today, the Pantages Theatre stands as a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and lovers of the performing arts alike, drawn by its captivating presence in popular culture and media. This historic landmark exudes an aura of allure and artistic grandeur, welcoming all who seek an immersive experience in its mesmerizing and theatrical ambiance.


As the curtains draw to a close on our journey through the Pantages Theatre, the echoes of its eerie history continue to resonate. From apparitions that appear and vanish without a trace to whispers in the dark, this theatre’s enigmatic aura leaves us with an undeniable sense of the unseen.

For those who dare to step into the limelight, the Pantages Theatre promises an immersive experience where the line between reality and the unknown blurs, and the paranormal enigmas are forever imprinted on the soul.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Where is the Pantages Theatre located?

A: It is located at 6233 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028, United States.

Q: Is the Pantages Theatre haunted?
A: Yes, the Pantages Theatre is rumored to have paranormal activity. Numerous accounts of ghostly encounters and eerie happenings have been reported by staff and visitors alike, adding to its enigmatic allure.

Q: What kind of paranormal activities have been reported at the theater?
A: Visitors and employees have reported cold spots, unexplained breezes, apparitions, and even the lingering scent of cigarette smoke. The theater’s second-floor conference room is a well-known hotspot for supernatural encounters.

Q: Are there any famous ghostly figures associated with the theater?
A: One of the most famous ghostly figures believed to haunt the Pantages Theatre is Alexander Pantages, the theater’s founder. There are also accounts of Howard Hughes’ ghost making appearances, adding to the theater’s spectral legends.

Q: Can visitors experience the paranormal activity firsthand?
A: While there are no organized tours or ghost-hunting experiences at the theater, visitors attending performances and events have reported eerie sensations and strange occurrences. Keep your eyes and ears open; you might just witness something unexplained.

Q: Is the Pantages Theatre open for haunted tours?
A: As of now, the Pantages Theatre does not offer specific haunted tours. However, you can still immerse yourself in its rich history and legendary tales by attending performances and events hosted at the theater.

Q: Are there any specific spots in the theater known for paranormal activity?
A: Yes, the second-floor conference room is often associated with unexplained phenomena, where cold spots, apparitions, and rattling sounds have been reported. The balcony, particularly during stage rehearsals, is another area where ghostly encounters have occurred.

7. Q: Have any famous performers experienced paranormal activity during their shows?
A: While there are no documented accounts from famous performers, some have shared stories of feeling an unusual presence or experiencing mysterious occurrences during their time at the Pantages Theatre.

Q: Is the theater haunted during specific times of the year?
A: Paranormal encounters have been reported throughout the year, regardless of the season. The Pantages Theatre’s ghostly legends seem to transcend time and embrace the enigmatic atmosphere year-round.

Q: What can I do if I experience something eerie at the theater?
A: If you encounter anything unusual during your visit to the Pantages Theatre, you can share your experience with staff or fellow theatergoers. Many visitors find comfort in knowing they are not alone in witnessing the unexplained.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Cain's Ballroom

Previous Post

The Haunting at Cain’s Ballroom

Next Post

The Haunting at Poogan Porch: Charleston’s Haunted Dining Experience

Poogan Porch