I went to Britton Plaza for a movie today with a friend. We also sort of scouted it out for a potential paranormal venue. I had heard for some time that it was haunted; I had never been there (despite being in this area since 1980!) and always wanted to go. One, it is like stepping back into older Florida -- 1980s Tampa -- when these little theaters used to be around. It's not a mega complex..... it was quaint, though a bit old and a bit run down.
Two, the story is that a woman died of a heart attack in one of the bathrooms. We spoke to one of the employees who said that indeed, it was rather creepy (she felt as if she wasn't alone) when she came in the morning. We did walk through the area but had no luck finding anything. I want to say Britton Plaza has been there since the 1950s; I know I heard the rumor that it was haunted in the 1980s or early 1990s. Apparently, one projectionist who was there at the time of the woman's death is still there today and might be a good person to interview if we have the opportunity. Two other ghost groups have been out there, so I'm hoping that they will be amenable to us coming.
No luck with a paranormal investigation, but finally more of a solid report on phenomena:
Tampa - Britton Cinema - Doors in the ladies room are reported to shut and lock and toilets flush when no one is in the restroom is in there (except for the frightened customer). Also, multiple ghosts have been reported by managers past in the upstairs theaters that used to be one large balcony. Voices have been heard in the hall near auditorium #5 late at night when no one was in the building. An usher once heard someone call his name in auditorium #3 late at night when no one was around. And, last, an assistant manager once told me she had been followed up the hall by a shadow figure on the wall that was not hers. (Via http://unsolvedmysteries.com/usm404671.html).
So, Sept. 8 I went to see "Paranorman". Here's to a haunted theater and a funny ghost movie! Report to follow.
Sept. 8, 2012:
When walking through the hallway with entrances to the theaters, nothing happened near theater 5 which was listed as an area of activity. This is where we saw the movie, in fact.
The person I went with said that she did sense an energy in the ladies' room, possibly a woman who was about 60 years of age, born in 1937, and died around 1997. She is jowly and gray hair that is shoulder length, pinned in the back with a bobby pin. She had a hard life, and her face was weathered with frown lines. She may have worked there with her husband, Mark". She may make herself known by moving things slightly.
When we first walked in there was a line (the movies had just let out). The EMF meter pegged out over a 3 in the lobby area of the restroom. We left and came back when the bathroom was empty and the EMF in the lobby of the restroom had dropped considerably. When I asked "Is there anyone here, and if so can you make the needle spike?" we got a spike. When I asked it to do that again to confirm that she was there, it did. We didn't get much else in the ways of spikes, but I did feel a chill go through me at one point when we were talking to her (which is unusual). We had asked why she was there and if she had a message to pass on. I felt notably cooler (almost chilled) for the later part of our questioning session in the bathroom. (And, admittedly, I do not often ask question of anything in the restroom!)
There was one other item of interest. I wanted to video the session in the bathroom via the digital camera. The camera started to show that it was out of batteries. I ended up shutting it down. Yet, when I got home I have taken at least a dozen pictures without any incident nor any battery drained image coming up.
There may have been a teenager, male outside of theater 3. He may have been there from the 1960s.
Post-event comment from a friend who met us at the theater who read this site:
Posted with permission: What's so fascinating to me about the chills you had in the bathroom is that it had to be more than the A/c. I'm not sure if you noticed, but they kept the temperature much warmer in the lobby and restrooms than in the actual theater.