With the rapid approach of the 2018 TEDxSanAntonio annual event, and with Halloween only a few days before, we felt it best that we make everyone aware in advance of certain supernatural occurrences you might encounter when you visit San Antonio’s historic Charline McCombs Empire Theater on November third. Long-time residents of the city may know of the theater’s sometimes colorful, sometimes troubled past, a past that has included floods, makeovers (some better than others), and the presentation of an immense array of entertainment that has included vaudeville comedy, films (both silent and talkies), concerts, and plays.
The theater was built in 1913, on the site of a previous theater that had been in existence since 1879. That 140-year history has provided a vast collection of personalities, a few of whom are reputed to still wander the halls, restrooms, and sidewalk in front of the theater. One ethereal denizen of the property harks back to the heart of the Great Depression. A small man, dressed in formal suit and tie, is said to accost strangers on the sidewalk before performances, requesting only that they provide him with a quarter so that he can participate in the festivities inside. Nothing more is known about the man, but numerous theatergoers have reported being lightly touched on one arm, only to turn and find no one there. Thus, the best advice we can offer to our guests on November third is to come with a quarter in your pocket, because, well, you just never know, do you?
And if you’d like to learn a bit more about the theater, its nearly century and a half of history in San Antonio, and its occasional otherworldly guests, check out this link: https://ghostcitytours.com/san-antonio/haunted-places/empire-theatre/. And don’t forget that quarter!