Film Talk 2

I do not believe in ghosts. I do believe in unexplained phenomena. I believe that we may perceive things different than they are because our brains want us to process the world in specific ways. Our eyes do not truly see what we think they see. I believe there can be energies that can take varies shapes, connect with matter, tweak our senses. I believe this can happen without the dead.

It is common knowledge that ALL movie theatres are haunted. Doesn’t matter what their location is or when it was built. They are all haunted. Period.

I began my career in cinema in 1991. I was a door person charged with cleaning auditoriums, wrangling the naughty and ripping tickets. I am not afraid of the dark. Movie auditoriums can get dark. Within my first week, coworkers were asking me if I saw anything strange. I did not know what they meant. They kept quiet.

After a month of this I asked a friend who also worked there what they were talking about. He answered with a grin, a mischievous grin. He asked if I had cleaned auditorium 4 after close. I had not. He said to be careful if I ever do.

The cinema had 7 screens, a seven plex. Four were built in the seventies on swampland. 3 were added in the mid eighties. I had seen very few films in four and was unfamiliar with its ambiance. Eventually, personnel changed and I began getting manager training shifts. Part of this was to walk the theatre after everyone is out. One checks every door, making sure they are securely shut, turn all the breakers off, check for leaks, broken seats, things to note for the janitors, and regulate the HVAC.

There was a temperature control in the back of each auditorium. The aisles were on the perimeter, the seat boxed in by them. 1-4 were fairly large, seating around 400-600 people. It was a distance from the back wall to the screen. The auditorium lights were dim. When you did your walkthrough the lights were typically off. The only light was the glowing red exit sign peeping thru the perforations of the screen. It illuminated the front six rows. One was to enter the auditorium, walk to the front, test the door, walk back, adjust the thermostat and exit. Simple.

It took a few tries to get used to walking in the dark. Eventually it was routine. One night the assistant manager and I were closing. He had me do the check like every night. When I got to house four, something felt off. It was summer, the ac was on, but the auditorium felt cold. We had terminator 2 in that house. Those crowds generated a lot of heat. It shouldn’t feel cold ten minutes after the patrons left.

I told the assistant and he said it happens. No big deal. He would leave a note for someone to check the hvac in the morning. So I went back in, went down to the door, checked it, walked up to the back and went to the thermostat. Something moved in my pureffural vision. I stopped and looked towards the screen. I saw two small red lights near the exit sign. They were spaced apart like eyes. I thought it was weird and interesting as the door people had discussed how exit light bounces and reflects in strange ways. Something you don’t notice unless you are in the auditorium often. Each auditorium had its unique quirks. Clearly this was one I hadn’t noticed before

I began moving, watching the lights to try to see where the reflection was coming from. The lights moved relative to me. That was very odd. I backed up. The lights did too. I walked closer to the screen and they disappeared. Back to the wall, there they were. There was no doubt they were reflections off something. I would investigate on my next shift.

I went to the thermostat and set it to its night program. When I turned to exit the auditorium, the two lights were about two feet from my face. It scared the crap out of me. They kind of hovered slightly. They did not look pleasant. I moved side to side slightly to see what they were reflecting on. Nothing. They were just there, hanging in the air. I backed up, cut thru the first row of chairs while keeping focused on the lights. They seemed to follow me. That really creeped me out. How were they doing that?

I got to the exit, pardoned myself from interrupting and said good night to the ‘eyes’. I told the assistant about it. He said, finally, I saw the ghost. Apparently the red lights were eyes of some enormous wolf or possibly, depending on the tale, a person that was rumored to have died in that auditorium. I went back to house 4. Way down in the distance we’re the eyes looking back at me. This time they were on the opposite side from the exit light. I left.

Over the next year I continued to go into house four to check the door and set the HVAC. The eyes were there most nights. Sometimes in different places. Inevitably giving me a jump scare with sudden close proximity. I could not find how this was happening with the house lights on. Some of the employees were nerds and investigated as well, within the confines of how frightened they were. Nothing was found. Theories were had and dispelled.

I began getting a small cup of popcorn and placing it just inside the door to the auditorium. I wished the eyes a good night just before leaving for the day. Once this started, I saw the lights more infrequently and never close to me again. People made fun of me for doing the salutation but it did the trick.

As time moved on I did not have the same troubles with that auditorium that others did. I offer no explanation.

© 2022, mikegallagherart. All rights reserved.

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