The Ghost Adventures Crew and their visit to the Old Idaho Penitentiary was not the first time the Travel Channel has made their way to the City of Trees.
The Travel Channel also runs a show aptly named “Ghost Stories.” These episodes are hour long stories of places that are rumored to be haunted in cities across the United States. The production crew had gotten wind of the Egyptian Theatre from local reporter-turned-ghost hunter, Dan Hamilton, along with confirmations of experiences from other paranormal investigators and employees of the theatre. Travel Channel made the decision to feature the Egyptian in one of their shows (avaible for viewing at travelchannel.com), and thusly named Boise on of the most haunted cities of the Northwest. This is the story of why…
Built in 1927 to replace the Pinney Theatre, built by former mayor James Pinney, in an attempt to thwart the image of our stagecoach-manufacturing epicenter. Larger cities had begun to built larger, more extravagant theatres, and these were being erected around the era that silent films would be replaced by films with sound. However, the Egyptian Theatre was built initially as a silent movie theatre, and still has the original pipe organ, making it the only surviving theatre from the silent-film era in Boise.
The ”picture palace” was given the name Egyptian Theatre and it’s current–and original–appearance because of the discovery of King Tut’s Tomb in 1922. However, the name was breifly changed to the Ada Theatre, but changed back only a few years later.
During Urban Renewal in the late 1960s-early 1970s, the buildings on the blocks leading up to the Egyptian were being torn down to make way for progress. The building was on the list to be destroyed when an anonymous donor purchased the property for an undisclosed amount, making it impossible for the city to destroy. In 1979-80 the inside of the theatre was remade, that is, the seating. The original artwork only required a little cleaning to look as good as new.
Throughout this process, since the early 1960s, there was a man who ran the projector; his name was Joe. Joe was the projection engineer for the theatre for the better part of 50 years. One day, on his way up to the projection booth, Joe suffered a massive heart attack and passed away in the theatre he loved so much. The atmosphere hasn’t been the same since. Employees have reported odd smells in the theatre, disembodied laughing, and being physically touched by something that was not visible.
The location has been investigated by more than one paranormal group, and the evidence collected suggests that it is quite an active location. One example of this: an investigator was standing on the stage of the theatre and looked up into the projection booth to see the same of a man standing there, appearing to be looking down at him. When he went up the stairs to check the door, he quickly realized that it was locked, and no one on the investigation was given a key to any doors. Making his way back down to the stage, he attempted to make contact with Joe, and when he attempted to comment on an odd feeling he was experiencing, a fellow investigator told him to stand very still. On one of the devices they were using that evening, there was the distinct shape of a man standing right next to him.
Throughout the evening, they reported more touching on shoulders, a disembodied laugh, and a shadow projected onto the stage from the projection booth. Part of their investigation is also available for viewing on YouTube.
An interesting fact to consider about this property: all of the images on the wall, the original Egyptian hieroglyphs, are from the Book of the Dead.