Construction of the R Theater in Auburn began in 1946 by the Mitchell family and was completed one year later. For many year...s, it was the largest building in town and locals flocked to the post-war cinema at a time when few wanted to venture to the larger city in search of entertainment. The name of the theater came from the first initials of the name of the Mitchell children, Ray and Reid, and their mother, Rayna. The Mitchell Family also owned the R Restaurant located in the theater. The kitchen was built in an area attached to the theater and the house they lived in which was attached just South of the theater. The building was originally had seating for 500 people but after many sold out showings an extra 50 seats were added to the building. There was a large wooden stage at the end of the theater were individuals and bands performed. In the late 1970s, the theater was sold to a local businessman but he soon fell on hard times. Larger, newer theaters had opened in nearby Springfield and locals, no longer hesitant about traveling, flocked to the new screens. The R Theater was closed down.
The owner of the building continued to struggle. leasing it to a variety of different enterprises, including a video arcade, a tattoo shop, as apartments and as a nightclub, which featured live entertainment. Unfortunately, none of them lasted for long and eventually, the bank foreclosed on the property and it was abandoned for nearly four years. In 1999, the old theater was purchased by Robbin Terry, who began making major improvements to the building, including building a home inside of the theater on two levels. Windows were added and the stage was removed. The building now houses Midwest Classic Insurance as well as the Auburn Haunted Theater, a haunted attraction since 2008.
Thanks to the odd happenings reported at the place, the Midwest Paranormal Society began investigating the building in 2008. They have come to believe that there are at least three spirits inhabiting the theater -- a young girl believed to be about 4 years of age, another a middle aged woman, and the last an older man that seemed to have respiratory problems. This man is believed to be Reid Mitchell, who actually died in the flower garden of his home, which is attached to the building. It's been suggested that he never actually left the theater that he once loved so much.
Since 2008, a variety of ghostly events have been documented at the theater from chilling EVPS to strange sounds and even sightings of the resident haunts. You can have the chance to experience the old R Theater for yourself and you may soon find out if the stories that are told about the place are true! The show at the Auburn Theater does go on.... and some do some of the former occupants, even after death!
We send 100% of the proceeds from investigations we do here to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital & Juvenile Diabetes. You may make the check payable to them. We have always done this and it will not change.