Grab Your Popcorn for These Spooky Stories of Strand Cinema in Skowhegan, Maine
The Strand Cinema is a historical landmark in Skowhegan Maine. They are now Spotlight Cinemas at The Strand. The Strand Cinema first opened over 90 years ago and sat 1000 people. The theater has gone through numerous renovations over the years but one thing remains consistent, the tales of the hauntings.
According to the word of mouth legend as reported by the Bangor Daily News, a woman who lived above the theater passed away in 1978 while in her home. Her spirit never left. Haunted Places reports that when construction workers were renovating and expanding the theater that year they were met with shocks from power tools that weren't even plugged in, tools were thrown without anyone around to throw them, stains appeared on newly painted walls, and wallpaper began peeling on its own.
Numerous employees have reported over the years seeing a woman appear out of the corner of their eye and disappear once they turn around.
One employee reported being overtaken by an angry spirit rendering her ability to move. She quit her job at the theater soon after. One manager, Montana Murray, told the Bangor Daily News,
She couldn't move and just started crying when she told everyone...she said she thought she was possessed.
Others have reported seeing a man sitting alone in the theater chewing gum and leaving a few minutes into a movie.
One commenter on Haunted Places recalled being there with her daughter in 2017 and felt an "overwhelming feeling of dread and despair while sitting in the balcony," she also noted "feeling that someone or something was sitting beside me, definitely a malevolent presence."
General manager, Katy Oliver, doesn't believe that the theater is haunted but has had experiences she can't explain. According to her interview with Main Street Skowhegan, one night she and her manager at the time had just mopped the lobby, put the mop and buckets away, and just as they were about to leave heard a noise. They want to investigate and the mops had been moved, propped up against the lobby doors.
The theater even caught the attention of the Travel Channel and was featured on "Most Terrifying Places in America: Devil's Playground". You can watch the episode here with a cable or streaming log-in or catch an upcoming airing here.
The episode recalls a tale of a woman who committed suicide jumping from a balcony in the 1930s. No one was able to identify the woman. A Skowhegan resident recalled a time she attended a matinee and sat in the balcony. She heard a woman sobbing downstairs. Curious, she looked down, and no one was there. She heard the crying once more in the bathroom and again, she was alone.
Professional ghost hunters, hobbyists, and unsuspecting moviegoers alike have explored the theater. Some with unexplainable stories, others experiencing nothing out of the ordinary.
This Halloween season see if you can get spooked at The Strand! Keep up to date on showings or rent out the whole space with your friends, all the details can be found on their Facebook page here.