Of the Valley

On Sept. 6, three workers at Showtime Utah — formerly known as the Grove Theater — in downtown Pleasant Grove witnessed a 20 oz. root beer mug rise up in the air and move at an alarming speed toward the dishwasher, which was about 5 feet away, shattering on impact.

Head chef Josh Southard, chef’s assistant Chris Southard, and waitress Stephanie Tobias were cleaning up after a show that Saturday. Josh Southard thought that the incident was “cool. I never thought I would ever see something like that.”

Workers in the 82-year-old theater have heard footsteps and strange noises before, but they remained relatively ignored.

Several weeks before the mug incident, Josh Southard set some kitchenware on top of a refrigerator and continued about his business. From another room he heard a loud crash, and upon returning to the kitchen discovered that the bowl and pans were scattered on the floor — the glassware broken.

This certainly isn’t the first time a theater has claimed to house the supernatural.

The Caine Lyric theater in Logan, for example, houses an established friendly ghost, Everett. According to the Lyric’s website, Everett was killed by a jealous fellow performer during a run of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The theater even has a special seat in the loge for Everett, directly behind a chandelier that arbitrarily sways, supposedly reminding cast, crew, and patrons of Everett’s presence.

The idea of a haunted theater is particularly delicious. A live theater is a place where reality and logic are intentionally cast off, where the stakes are heightened. What better place for a poltergeist to loiter?

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