Ghostly happenings at Paignton’s Palace Theatre
- Credit: Archant
There are many theatres in Torbay, and one of the earliest theatres was called The Royal Bijou Theatre, in Hyde Road, Paignton, which was formed from part of the now-demolished Gerston Hotel.
It was from this theatre that Gilbert and Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance had its premiere on December 30, 1879.
One of the reasons that it was performed in England first was to secure English rights for its future performances all over the world.
The Palace Theatre in Palace Avenue, Paignton, was built in 1890 and was initially known as the Public Hall and is now one of the oldest working theatres in the Bay.
In 1941, it was renamed The Garrison Theatre as it became used by the many American servicemen who were stationed here during the build up to the D-Day landings.
It was during this time that Glen Miller played to a packed house just three weeks before he lost his life over the English Channel on December 15, 1944. In 1948, it became known as The Palace Theatre once again.
There have been many recorded ghostly happenings in the building over the years, footsteps on an empty stage and an unknown lady who has been seen in the auditorium area dressed in a large coat, whose presence has been sensed and seen there.
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Hidden Realms Paranormal Team were invited to investigate the building many years ago. There were many things that happened that night but one of the most memorable was the sound of loud voices coming from what was then used as a dressing room.
On this particular night, this part of the building was completely empty. Perhaps someone had entered the room unseen? The door was opened quickly but the room was empty apart from a rail with theatrical costumes hanging from it, which were swinging backwards and forwards for no apparent reason and the room had become silent.
• If you have any stories of anything ghostly or mysterious that have occurred in Torbay and would like to tell me about them or share, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org - I would like to hear from you.