The Lucas Theatre

The Lucas Theatre, on the corner of Abercorn and Congress Street, in Savannah was built in 1921. It has a definite Italian Renaissance atmosphere which ghosts must especially love to haunt.

Back in the day, the theatre showed the newest silent movies, featured first-rate vaudeville acts and, best of all in 1927 it was air conditioned (which is a much needed commodity on a hot Georgia night).

In 1928, according to local legends, a group of gangsters did a drive-by shooting with Tommy Guns and blasted the outside with bullets.  The ticket taker was shot in the back during the shooting.  According to local legends, he dramatically stumbled out the ticket booth, staggered into the lobby, fell to the floor and vanished.

His ghost, trapped in residual energy, repeats this event from time to time. But there is no record of a drive by shooting, which makes you think it’s make-believe theatrics instead.

The theatre closed in 1976 and became a Savannah eyesore until it was saved and renovated. Naturally during the construction there were reports of paranormal activity; unexplained mechanical malfunctions, light from an empty projection booth, shadow people, and applause being heard in an empty theatre with no audience.

The Lucas theatre opened again in 2000. Today people can view classic films, enjoy operas, orchestras, and cabarets.  It’s the center for cultural events like The Savannah Film Festival.

And hopefully The Lucas Theatre won’t become the real scene for a modern day drive by rampage by Gangsta Ghosts!

Books By JK Bovi


It’s only fitting that Savannah, one of America’s most haunted cities, would have a haunted theatre. The Savannah Theatre located on Chippewa Square (the site of the famous Forrest Gump bench scenes) is as haunted as haunted can be.

People have seen a ghostly woman in costume at the left of the stage and they’ve seen the ghost of an irate director giving stage directions to nonexistent actors while using not-so-nice hand signals. There’s a projectionist, who died in the projection booth and refuses to leave. A little boy haunts the balcony playing pranks on the living, a woman spirit sings in the lobby and in the hallway a man’s voice says “get going” as if he wants to encourage the living not to miss the opening act.

Savannah Policemen have often reported hearing applause and ruckus as they drove by the closed theatre, and when they went to investigate the noise, nobody was there.

The theatre opened in 1818 and played host to some of the world’s most beloved performers like Tyrone Power, Oscar Wilde, Sarah Bernhardt, and W.C. Fields.

It has been remodeled many times and suffered damaging fires in 1906, 1944 and 1948. The Drayton Street wall is the only part of the original building. The theatre was rebuilt in 1948 and struggled to operate until in 2002 when it received new life as a live music and dance show stage.

The Savannah Theatre is the oldest continuously operating theatre in the US and yes, it is open today for business. You can stop in for a show, but the ticket does not come with a guarantee that you’ll only see a live show because the dead might be waiting backstage to perform a creepy sideshow act.

Nobody know who haunts the theatre, or why they would hang around unless the spirits firmly believe “the show must go on” and they’re in Savannah to make sure the show goes on… and on… and on…

Books By JK Bovi




YallywoodPeople in the movie industry refer to Georgia as Y’allywood. A lot of movies have been filmed in Savannah. I think it is because of the tax incentives, the weather, our interesting landscapes, unique setting, and our general friendly welcoming attitude. We aren’t bothered at all by film crews rearranging our fine city just as long as they put it back when they leave.

Since I’ve been here there have been a few movies made, and although I never was in one, it is interesting to watch.

I was impressed with how quickly Savannah changed into a pink, yellow and green beach town for The SpongeBob movie: Sponge Out of Water. They renamed the businesses and for a few days it wasn’t unusual to see cartoon characters running down Broughton Street. The Grand Army of The Republic came back in town to film The Conspirator to lynch Mary Sarratt at Fort Pulaski. The old fort was also the site where President Lincoln fought a hoard of zombies in Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies.

Tybee Beach was the setting for The Last Song featuring Miley Cyrus (before she gave herself the finger). They had a scene where she was protecting a nest of loggerhead turtles, but in truth the bright lights from the movie set had the turtle hatchlings lost and unable to find the ocean, so they got stepped on or run over. We don’t talk much about that.

Everyone knows scenes for Forrest Gump were filmed here. There is a breakfast place on State Street that tourists walk by and excitedly say “Jenny worked here!” And sometimes they take their picture standing in front of the place.

I like to watch movies that have been shot here to see if I can recognize the locations. Congress Street went back to 1931 for The Legend of Bagger Vance and for the movie Glory the streets were covered with dirt. In 1962 Gregory Peck and Robert Mitchum had a sinister meeting in front of the Customs House on Bay Street in Cape Fear. The movie, The Gift showed the seedy part of town and all bad dudes hung out at AJ’s. Almost all of the TV miniseries Roots was filmed in Savannah. (Yes, even the African landscape shots). I need to mention the movies; Forces of Nature, The General’s Daughter, and of course Midnight in The Garden of Good and Evil.

Rumor has it that Robert De Niro might be coming to town to film Dirty Grandpa. Let’s hope he doesn’t encounter Swamp Thing, The Gingerbread Man or any Hellyfish.

After all, this is Savannah and ya never know what will happen in Y’allywood