These Old Movie Theater Pics Are Haunting

by Kristie Rohwedder

Here's an uncontroversial statement: Throughout the first half of the 20th century, humans went to movie theaters and theater theaters (just like present day folk!). Now, if your life motto is "pics or it literally didn't happen," one, your AP World History teacher must've loved you, and two, don't you worry, because there are plenty of old-timey photographs of old-timey theaters. Hauntingly beautiful and beautifully haunted photographs (i.e., there are ghosts in every last one of these pictures). (And by that I mean there might be ghosts in these pictures.) (And by that I mean OK, fine. There probably aren't any ghosts. I probably let my imagination run amok. But by golly, there's no denying that these pictures sure do look spooky!)

While I am no expert in the field of supernatural activity, I would definitely consider myself to be an expert in the field of looking at an old black and white picture and pretending like a specter of some sort is somehow involved. So while there’s a solid chance that not a single one of the photo below was touched by an an-ghoul, there’s also a solid chance that all of these images look like total ghost fests. And that is good enough for me.

Here is what I think is happening in these chilling photographs of theaters of yore:

1. A Spooky Poster

Hulton Archive/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

A man stands next to a presumably haunted movie poster for Rock Around the Clock.

2. A Spooky Car

George Enell/Archive Photos/Getty Images

What appears to be a ghost car pulls up to a drive-in theater.

3. A Whole Pile Of Spooky Cars

Sam Falk/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

A sea of maybe-ghost cars park before a projection screen.

4. A Spooky Theater Patron

Hulton Archive/Archive Photos/Getty Images

A woman watches a movie while a phantasm-like figure lurks several rows away.

5. A Spooky Marquee Letter

Mark Goebel Photo Gallery/Archive Photos/Getty Images

That "H" in "THE" gives major ghoul vibes. You can't spell "ghoul" without "h"!

6. A Spooky Lightbulb

Cincinnati Museum Center/Archive Photos/Getty Images

No, not thatbulb. THAT bulb. You see it now? Like, you can't deny that that one bulb seems haunted.

7. Two Spooky Empty Chairs

George Konig/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Those two empty seats were reserved for the specters who haunted the theater. They were in the concession line when this photo was snapped.

8. A Spooky Planters Peanuts Billboard

Hulton Archive/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

A haunted billboard for Planters Peanuts looms over a bustling city street.

9. A Spooky Fire Hydrant

Archive Photos/Archive Photos/Getty Images

Do mine eyes deceive me, or does that fire hydrant appear to be possessed by demon?

10. Multiple Rows Of Spooky Theater Chairs

General Photographic Agency/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Some unsuspecting theater patrons sit on what appear to be cursed movie seats.

11. Three Spooky Projectors

Heritage Images/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

A ghosts operates a row of movie projectors.

12. A Spooky Organ Console

Heritage Images/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

A rare photo of a phantom's organ console.

13. Spooky Hats

FPG/Archive Photos/Getty Images

A bunch of haunted hats congregate outside a movie theater.

14. Another Spooky Hat

Frederic Lewis/Archive Photos/Getty Images

A bedsheet ghost shape-shifted into that white hat.

15. A Spooky Empty Street

Heritage Images/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

That asphalt is almost certainly possessed by something nefarious. I can sense it.

16. A Spooky A-Frame

Cincinnati Museum Center/Archive Photos/Getty Images

The A-frame closest to the ticket booth is definitely up to something supernatural and sinister.

17. A Spooky Street Light

General Photographic Agency/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Those orbs don't lie.

18. Four Spooky Ticket Stubs

Underwood Archives/Archive Photos/Getty Images

A theater usher shows off the four haunted movie tickets he found hiding in that locked trash can.

19. Spooky Full House

Hulton Archive/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

No, those chairs are not empty. There are invisible wraiths plopped in every last one of those chairs.

20. More Spooky Lightbulbs

General Photographic Agency/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

A group of ghosts disguise themselves as light bulbs and illuminate the exterior of a movie theater.

21. Spooky Theater Energy

Topical Press Agency/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Four dogs appear to detect supernatural activity in a movie theater.

22. A Spooky Blur

Hulton Archive/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

See that blurry something on the left-hand side? That, dear reader, is most likely a ghost of a car.

And before you hit the road, here's a cheesy joke: What's a theater-dwelling ghost's favorite song?

"Let's All Go To The Lobb-BOO."