Century-old theatre in Picton, Ont. looking for its very own ghost
PICTON, ONT. -- The Regent Theatre in Prince Edward County is joining a theatrical tradition: having its very own ghost—and it could be you.
The Regent Theatre sits on Picton Main St., in downtown Picton, Ont., and usually hosts everything from concerts and plays to movies, and it also serves as a community space. It can usually host 300 events a year but, because of the pandemic, it has been closed since March.
To help raise money, they came up with a contest. If you buy a $25 ticket, you will be put into a draw on Halloween to gain the rights to become the official ghost of the Regent Theatre after you pass on.
Chair Ben Thornton, of the Regent Theatre Foundation Board, says he believes every self-respecting theatre should have its own ghost.
"All the grand old theatres in the world, in London and New York and Toronto, they all have ghost stories attached to them," Thornton says. "Phantoms haunt the stages and the dressing rooms and scare the audience, so we thought, well, why not here?"
Thornton says the theatre is looking for someone who is a big supporter of the arts.
"But it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have someone a bit theatrical,” he explains. “Someone to practice their moans and groans. We don’t want to scare the pants off of anybody but a little bit of a jump in a dark theatre, why not?”
The fundraiser is part of a larger initiative to raise money for the aging theatre, called the "Raise the Curtain" campaign.
General Manager Alexandra Seay says upgrades, like fixing their leaking roof and modernizing accessibility services in the building, come with a $250,000 price tag.
"We need that to reopen in order to make this space safe," says Seay, "so that our audiences, our performers and our staff can all be safe."
Fittingly, the draw will take place Halloween night. The winner will be left to create their own ghostly story one day.
“When you shuffle off this mortal coil, come and join us, and watch over the place,” says Thornton.
To buy tickets, or to donate to the theatre, visit their website.