Harvard Exit Theatre is located northeast of downtown Seattle, Washington.
In the 1920s, Harvard Exit House became the home of the Women’s Century Club for many years, whose focused members were dedicated to getting the right to vote and equality for women. From the early days of the Women’s Century Club, some women members lived in the building, on the second floor and in the apartment on the third floor, through the 1970s. The Women’s Century Club still meets in the building twice a week, though it is now known as a Theater House.
Harvard Exit Theater opened as a cinema in 1968, and was run by people described as “eccentric film buffs.” Or perhaps a more blunt point of view would see them as a “wild bunch of hippie types,” an opinion held by Allan Blangy, who was the Theater Manager at one point, but now is the district manager of the Landmark Theater chain. The Landmark Theater chain took over the operations in 1979, and put in another cinema on the third floor, during the early 1980s. Today, the Harvard Exit Theater specializes in art films; both foreign and American classic movies, and is the sight of film festivals, such as the Seattle International Film Festival.
The spirits who still enjoy the ambiance and atmosphere of the Harvard Exit Theater have been the topic of many newspapers and TV shows, not to mention many psychics and paranormal psychologists who have investigated the building through their equipment, medium contacts and personal experiences. At least three or four female spirits, one or two male spirits and a “Thought Form” have been identified by witnesses and researchers.
Main Theater – First Floor
A) Around the turn-of-the-century, a murder of a man, killed in a brawl, took place in the house that was torn down to make room for this Harvard Exit building.
1) A male manifestation, described as being portly, slightly see-through and wearing an old-fashioned suit has made his appearance known. Calls himself Peter, and described as “a very lighthearted fellow, kind of goofy.”
a) Psychic investigators, Jane Riese and J.R. Benight, producers of TV Talk Show, “Seattle in Vogue,” were watching a film in the main theater auditorium. Jane felt an invisible presence playfully toying with her hair over her neck. Out of the corner of her eye, she spied a flicker of light down front of the auditorium just right of the screen, by the exit door. She then saw a translucent form of a portly gentleman in profile, with a distinguished demeanor, watching the film on screen, enjoying himself.
2) The same psychic investigators, Jane Riese and J.R. Benight through a channeling medium talked to another male spirit with a British-like accent, but no name was gotten. This suggests that perhaps Peter has a fellow male spirit to do some ghostly male bonding within the main theater, perhaps helping themselves to free showings when the place is empty of the living and doing their part of be “helpful.”
a) On other occasions, one or both of these ghostly film enthusiasts have been known to reorganize the film canisters around this projection room, much to the annoyance of the living.
b) On several occasions during the years, Theater Managers have opened the building and found the movie projector showing a film to an unseen audience. In one instance, a projectionist arrived to start his shift and found that a movie had already been playing to an empty, dark house. He made haste to the projection room to catch the guilty party, but found that the door was locked from the inside!!!
I think that not only this spirit Peter and this unknown male spirit enjoy films, but also other unseen guests, perhaps the female apparition spotted in the balcony (mentioned below) also appreciate the cinematic arts.
B) In the 1940s, a woman was suffocated somewhere in the building. She could be the entity in the balcony mentioned in #3, and perhaps the same entity getting her kicks scaring the administration personnel on the second floor.(See below – Second Floor Experiences)
3) In the balcony of the first floor theater, a female entity has been felt and seen there.
a) A janitor who was vacuuming the rugs suddenly got the sense that she wasn’t alone in the auditorium. After turning off the vacuum cleaner, she glanced up to the balcony and saw a figure wearing an old fashioned dress (perhaps Victorian), standing there, though she couldn’t make out the face or hands. Another young woman at a different time saw this same apparition, in a more complete form also standing in the balcony.
C) For many years, The Harvard Exit building was the headquarters of the beloved The Women’s Century Club, which many women called a home away from home.