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Haunted theaters are haunting Southwest Florida

Added June 4th, 2009

While working on Haunted Theatres of SW Florida,
one of three books currently being researched, I toured the Sarasota Opera
House
with opera marketing associate Pat Horwell and Spiritual Medium Rosemary
Altea.

Back when I was writing Ghost Stories of Sarasota, I had been told a ghost
story about the building. Later, after the book was released, I learned more,
but it was up to Rosemary to add to the building’s history.

While the ground
floor has always been some sort of theater, the upper floors have been used
in many ways—some more interesting than others.

The building began life as the Edwards Theatre, which functioned initially as a vaudeville house
and movie theater. Over the years it received it’s share of fame. Elvis Presley played there while on his way to the top and
The Cecil B. DeMille film, “The Greatest Show on Earth,” which had been filmed
in Sarasota, had its world premier at the theater.

When the Sarasota Opera was looking for a home, the theater seemed to be a match made in heaven.
After a recent $20 million renovation and restoration project, the old theater
is better than ever. It has a new glass skylight above its grand lobby, a larger
orchestra pit, state of the art technical systems and, it seems, some additional
residents of the ethereal variety.

When I began researching the theater book, I envisioned writing something shorter than my other books. I didn’t expect to find as many ghost stories for theaters as I had for cities and towns, but apparently my expectations were wrong. Southwest Florida is rife with theaters, and not just along the Cultural Coast.

Not only are there more spirits in many of the theaters than are typical in other buildings, it seems there are simply
far more theaters than I’d realized. My goal has now expanded. I want to find every one of them
and hope people out there in the blogosphere will help. The goal is to find
every professional and community theater on the Southwest coast of Florida, from the
Greater Tampa, St. Pete area south to Marco Island. I have all the theaters
listed with the American Association of Community
Theatres
and all the Equity
houses. What I do not have are the smaller drama troops that may perform in
a church or community center. The murder-mystery troops that may perform in
a restaurant are also fair game. Ghost do not necessarily remain in one place.

If you have contact information for such a theater or drama group or know a ghost story pertaining to such a theater and would care to share it, please submit it below. I look forward to hearing from you.

Topics: Blog, Ghost Hunting

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1 Comment »
  1. Hey, Kim,

    Just wanted you to know I’m dialed in. This is a very nice site and I’m not finding typos. Of course, it’s midnight … Love your book. I’ll read it again tomorrow — or is it today? — maybe a couple of times. It’s like an old friend now. Marty

    Comment by Marty Dover — November 30, 2009 @ 9:52 pm

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