Thursday, 13 March 2014

SA Paranormal Investigation: The Capitol Theatre - Peterborough, SA (2011)


Capitol Theatre
 Peterborough Antiques and Removals
South Australia
Location:Peterborough -South Australia
Location type: Old Theatre (now a cafe)
Antique Store
Old Garage
Location status: Public during business hours

The Capitol Theatre opened Monday the 17th of May 1926 in Peterborough, South Australia. The opening was a grand spectacle in the Mid North, attracting such a large crowd that hundreds were turned away from the vestibule to listen from the street as Mr A.R.G. Hawke, M.P. presided over the gala event and opening.
( Mr Hawke was later to become Premier of Western Australia)
 The Theatre was erected by the Rees Brothers

Below are news stories we have collected from various publications to further our research about the Theatre, Antique Store and Garage

The Register (Adelaide), Friday 21 May 1926


  PETERBOROUGH, May 17. — On Saturday evening the new Capital Picture Theatre was opened by Mr. A. R. G. Hawke, M.P. Over 1000 persons filled the ball, and hundreds were denied admission. Mr. Hawke said the town had required such a building for years, but the local council could not agree whether to build a new hall or enlarge the old one. They so dallied that it was left to a private firm to further the matter. Messrs. Rees Brothers, who had been the town hall tenants for about 15 years, were responsible for the erection of the building. The speaker wished the proprietors every success. Mr. L. Lester suitably responded. The building is situated in Main street west. It is 50 ft. wide, and 140 ft. long. The body of the hall is 50 ft. by 100 ft., and the dress circle will seat 220, the stalls 600, and the pit 200— a total of 1,020. The building is of the latest design, and though it was built for a picture hall, it can be used by theatrical parties also. The ventilation of the ball is excellent, the ceiling being of lattice-work, and 12 electric fans are installed. All the wood work is of polished blackwood. There are two shops In front, the vestibule is lined with tiles, and the wall is also tiled up to the height of 12 ft. The dress circle is reached by a 10-ft. staircase that is beautifully polished. The stage is 50 ft. long and 25 it. wide, with two dressing rooms at the rear. The dynamo and electrical plant are housed at the back of the building. There are 20 windows and six exit doors available. The building throughput is lit by electricity. The proprietors are Mr. H. W. Rees (known under his stage name of Mr. L. Lester) and Mr. T. Rees. The contractors were Messrs. Silver and Ollrich, of Rosewater. Mr. Matthews, of Adelaide, did the ornamental work, and Mr. Lowe, of Port Adelaide, had charge of the electric light installation. There is a fine orchestral pit for 10 performers.

The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA)
Friday 1 October 1926

Found Dead
Peterborough, September 30.
At 4:30pm today, Mrs P.H. Chinner, who lives at the north end of Jervois street, heard a man crying out in Jubilee Park. On her husband returning home Mrs. Chinner sent him to investigate, and he found the dead body of a man lying under a tree near the quarry on the west side of the park. There was a poison bottle close by. Mr Chinner communicated with the police, who removed the body to the cells. It was later identified as that of Stanley Major, aged about 28, who recently opened a garage near the Capitol theatre. An inquest will probably be held

Barrier Miner (Broken Hill, NSW ) 
Monday 21 March 1927

Bishop Killian, who recently returned from Europe, will be giving a welcome home in the Capitol Theatre, Peterborough, to-morrow night, when the mayor of that town will preside.

Barrier Miner (Broken Hill, NSW )
Thursday 14 February 1929
During the interval of the picture show, at the Capitol Theatre, Peterborough opportunity was taken to present the bracelet won at Peterborough races last Saturday to Mr G-. Dale of Broken Hill, on behalf of his son, Mr Allan Dale, owner of Lady Alda (says the "News").
Mr J. P. Keane .(president of the club) said that Mr Dale had visited Peterborough whenever possible. He had always been a good supporter, as was his trainer (Mr Tom. O'Brien)
Mr S. D. Jones (mayor) trusted that success would continue to shine on both the owner and trainer, and that Peterborough would always receive their support.
Mr Dale, who was received with acclamation, stated that he was pleased on behalf of his son to receive the bracelet, especially as he was to become a-father-in-law at an early date, and his new daughter-in-law would doubtless have no objection to receiving an extra wedding present. He complimented the club on the manner in which its meetings had been conducted, and assured the committee that he and his son would always be pleased to bring horses to Peterborough.
Monday 11 April 1938
The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954)
Mr Thos Rees proprietor of the Capitol Picture theatre, Peterborough received a surprise visit from about 80 of his friends at the Hotel Peterborough. Dancing to music by Mrs M.A. Grubb (Gawler) Miss Molly Deed and Messrs Naish and Tom Casey, was interspersed with community singing and vocal solos by Miss Dawn Reid and Mr Laurie Malycha. Mr F.P. Adams, on behalf of all present, presented Mr Ress with a leather lounge chair
The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA )

Saturday 12 July 1941
Movements Of R.A.A.F. Mobile Unit
After showing films for an hour and a half to 400 people in the Capitol Theatre, Peterborough, on Thursday night, members of the Mobile Recruiting Unit of the TLAAF. had a particularly busy morning yesterday interviewing applicants. The unit, of which Flying Officer R. Goodman is in charge, will be joined by Mr. W Law Smith, of the Recruiting Drive Committee, and an education officer, who left Adelaide last night to go with It to Broken Hill It  will return to Adelaide on Wednesday,
As most of Eidolon Paranormals Fans are aware, our research continues long after the investigation, this ensures that future investigations on the site will get tailor made EVP questions, trigger objects and experiments that are configured to the site and people who used it.
It also gives an insight into the history of a location for the client, and you, the reader.

There are numerous reports of spirits roaming the Theatre, Antique Store and Old Garage. One spirit is said to be that of a little girl, she is often seen near the stage or up in the balcony area, young, around 7 years old and wearing a long white dress with frills at the bottom.
Another Spirit is said to be that of a man who looks down over the balcony above the entrance way, he appears with a very long drawn out face.
Disembodied footsteps have been heard walking through the Antique store, as well as full bodied apparitions near the glass cabinets that make up the check out area - could a spirit be attached to one of the old Antiques for sale?
In the Old Garage are numerous old tools, disembodied voices are heard in here. In this section shadows are often seen from the corner of the eye, and on rare occasions, full bodied shadow people have been witnessed. Did someone die whilst utilising one of the old tools in the workshop?
Behind the stage a door that is locked at night is often found to be open again in the morning - the door locks only from the inside and has no handles on the outside - in the same area voices of a man and younger female have been heard...


Our investigation started with a meet and greet with the owners of the Capitol Theatre, Phil and Leanne White. John and Allen then set about making a photo and video map of the theatre to document where everything is for our records.
We then, as a group, discussed the locations where our cameras should be placed for the best overall view of the theatre, so as not contaminate view finders with the glow of IR lighting.
We left the Theatre for a while and converged on The Junction Hotel for dinner.
On our return to the theatre John and Ben from Adelaide Shadow Hunters began an EMF sweep while Allen
(E.P. ),John Murphy (S.R.P.I.) and David Size (A.S.C.) began setting up the various cameras.
Lisa (S.R.P.I.) began an EMF sweep of the front rooms of the theatre whilst Karen (E.P.) set about taken photos of the various locations we would be investigating.
Eidolon Paranormal and Shadow Riders Paranormal Investigations set up laptops in one corner of the theatre which would become a H.Q. of sorts for all the team members to view D.V.R. and temperature recordings which the laptops were set up to record.
At approximately 7:30pm  we were ready to go live and dim the lights - we had a brief team meeting where we discussed different experiments and how we would approach our EVPS and who would start where - we them dimmed the lights and began our investigations.
At this point Allen went into the Antique shop and started to take full spectrum photos of various areas in the shop, he then went back into the theatre and took more, some in the balcony and some behind the stage curtain.
Karen set up a number of trigger objects on the Pianola, including a mirror and make-up, all things a stage performer may need before the big performance!
We began our first EVP session by breaking into the different teams and going to various parts of the buildings - John and Lisa sat out and timed us, giving us 1/2 an hour to start with - Allen and Karen began in the Antique shop, but had various equipment problems for the first 15 minutes with all equipment malfunctioning. That wasn't the only problem, the team inside the Theatre realised that their voice carry extremely far from the stage and that questions asked behind the curtain, could be clearly heard in the book store and the Balcony, over 150 feet away!

We decided to rethink our strategy, but as we were discussing our approach, David noticed what appeared to be a little girl near one of the entrance doors of the stage - Allen and David decided to take a closer look, taking video and full spectrum photos. Allen and David then climb the stairs into the backstage area, only to hear the soft sounds of a little girl speaking - Quiet was asked for in the theatre and David and Allen sat and listened. 
A male voice and a female voice could be faintly heard, whispering, David began to tell the child not to be scared and talked of his own child, it wasn't long after this that David was touched by an unseen force!
It was also around this time that the team from Adelaide Shadow Hunters were experiencing paranormal activity in the Antique store, with footsteps being clearly heard, they began to take photos and video and do EVP recordings.
Mid North Paranormal and Shadow Riders Paranormal Investigations monitored the DVR system, noting the large amount of contamination to our video by insects and dust.
Our investigation continued long in the night, with different teams observing the DVR systems, taking readings in various rooms and doing EVP sessions.
Mid North Paranormal tried an experiment with crystals and candles but without much success.
Eidolon Paranormal tried an experiment with a strobe light, but also without much success.

Allen, Lisa, Karen and David sat in on a "Ghost Box" session behind the stage curtain, which we recorded for future reference, but we believe it was in vein as there were no real audible replies.
As Allen left the Theatre to check out what John and Ben (A.S.H.) were doing in the Antique store, 4 investigators heard the sound of what they described as "music from an old cartoon" play for about a minute - unfortunately the sound was not recorded on the audio equipment present, however it may be embedded on the video.

Much later in the night, as some of the teams were heading off to bed a voice was heard by at least 4 investigators calling for Karen, when asking around through the various teams no-one had called for her, this also happened with someone calling for "John"...John Murphy ( S.R.P.I.) or John Broeckelmann (A.S.H.) ? Of which they were asking for we were not sure.
This is just a brief summary of our investigation, for more information, photos and stories please visit the facebook pages of the teams involved, these can be found below:


Vitalstatistix Theatre Company


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