Embassy Theatre manager Damianos George in the foyer of the new cinema. CRAIG SIMCOX/Fairfax NZ
The supernatural raised its ghostly head during the construction of the Embassy Theatre’s two new 70-seater boutique cinemas which open to the public tomorrow.
The site of the new fully-digital theatres beneath the upstairs auditorium still resembled a building site when visited by The Dominion Post a couple of weeks ago.
But the visit did reveal the opulence of the makeover which includes a tiled fireplace and marbled-topped bar in the new foyer. It also revealed that a ghost could be haunting the 87 year old theatre.
First of all the camera being used by the newspaper photographer Craig Simcox unexpectedly started displaying photos in black and white. There was no explantation for the spooky occurrence.
It was suggested to Embassy Theatre manager Damianos George that theatre could be haunted.
“I have heard a few ghost stories… so there could be a ghost.”
The latest eerie occurrence happened during construction of the new theatres when a breathless staff member ran into the office asking what Mr George had been doing hanging around in the dark recesses of the cinema.
“I said ‘I wasn’t up there’. She said ‘oh my God who the hell was up there’ because we were the only people in the building.”
There have also been plenty of sightings of ghostly figures and unexplained lights over the years, Mr George said.
James Gilberd earlier this year co-authored Exploring the Paranormal in New Zealand which investigated, and sometimes debunked, paranormal activity in New Zealand.
Wellington’s top four hot spots for reported ghostly events were Inverlochy House, St James Theatre, Opera House and Downstage Theatre.
“I would love for us to do an investigation of the Embassy Theatre. I have heard some interesting stories about that place,” he said at the time.
The two new theatres tonight get an invitation-only opening on December 8 with a special one-off screening of Steven Spielberg and Sir Peter Jackson’s 3-D flick The Adventures of Tintin which goes on general release on Boxing Day.
Event Cinemas operations general manager Carmen Switzer said the theatres would open to the public on December 9 when there will be a two-for-one ticket deal.
– The Dominion Post