Ghosts of the Stella Adler Theatre

Most people are aware of the reputation the Hollywood Wax Museum has earned for being haunted. However, the building itself which houses the museum, as well as the Stella Adler Theatre all have their own fascinating stories to tell, paranormal and otherwise.

The building has served as a home to a variety of businesses over the years. Before the Wax Museum moved in, the building was a luggage company. An Operations Manager who worked there was told that the luggage company might have been a front for organized crime. “And during the 1920s,” he said, “the basement of the building was used as a speakeasy, so who’s to say who might be buried beneath us that we’re not aware of.” [1]

The Embassy Club was opened in February of 1930. It was a lavish and exclusive club where the celebrities would not be mobbed by “unruly fans.” The Embassy boasted a rooftop promenade and a glass enclosed lounge with a breathtaking view of the Hollywood Hills.

Membership was restricted to 300 of the proprietor’s closest friends, including Charlie Chaplin, Gloria Swanson, and Sid Grauman. As the years went on the Embassy was run by Bruce Cabot who brought in Delores Del Rio and David O Selznick and Mary Pickford hosted all of the Motion Picture Relief Fund dinners here. Soon after, Embassy owner Brandstatter changed the club to a public entry venue. A move that rapidly heralded it’s failure.

The Stella Adler Theatre moved into the location in 1993. Students, teachers, staff and guests have claimed to experience paranormal phenomena here.

In Studio C a smoking man wearing highwater pants and suspenders has been spotted numerous times, frequently during classes. They say he looks a lot like a waiter, on his break. People report discovering him upon entering the theatre. Fearing they have taken the gentleman by surprise they apologize and say “Sorry…I didn’t know anyone was in here.” The man does not respond but instead, vanishes. However, the man isn’t always quiet. In a small hallway that runs alongside Studio C, the man was spotted again and informed passerby, “I’ve got to find the Freedman party.”

In the back hallway, near the freight elevator, unexplained banging is often heard as well as footsteps when there is no one around. The freight elevator call button also goes off when no one is present to push it.

In the front main theatre, the Gilbert, which used to house the old ballroom, there is frequent knocking on set walls, the crying of a child has been hard many times not just in this room, but in many places in the theatre complex. At one point so many things were going on that a psychic was brought in, who stated that the spirit of a little girl as well as an evil spirit could be found in the two dressing rooms to the rear of this main theatre. People have also said the dressing rooms evoke a feeling of “bad energy.”

A few years ago some renovations took place in the building. At this time a wall was knocked down to reveal what could be considered the crown jewel of the building – a hidden speakeasy, frozen in time as it were. It is a small room, complete with bar and a revolving secret bookcase that, when spun, reveals an escape ladder. In here, visitors have experienced unexplained severe drops in temperature and have described a variety of “weird feelings.”

1. Marla Brooks – – Hollywood Wax Museum