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Hanna Theatre



Hanna Theatre

Cleveland’s nationally recognized Hanna Theatre is celebrated for its show-stopping performances and grand decor. The spirits inside the historic theatre light up Playhouse Square every night as they act among the living. Paranormal professional and amateur investigators have labeled The Hanna Theatre as the most haunted theatre in Cleveland since its reopening in 2008. 

 

Experience it firsthand with a ghost tour with US Ghost Adventures! Our knowledgeable and experienced tour guides are the best in Cleveland. 

 

Quick Facts: 

  • The Hanna Theatre was built in 1921 and closed in 1988. It reopened as the home of the Great Lakes Theatre Festival in 2008. 
  • Renovation of the theatre cost $14.7 million and was spearheaded by the Great Lakes Theatre.
  • Celebrities Harry Houdini, Henry Fonda, Katherine Hepburn, and many more have performed here. 
  • The Hanna Theatre was one of 12 theatres across the US to screen the Disney film Fantasia.

 

Cleveland’s most haunted theatre has decades of magic built into it, and the spirits that reside here are a lively bunch, animated as much as their living co-stars. 

 

Let’s look into the dazzling lights and sounds of Cleveland’s answer to Broadway and let the drama unfold. 

 

The Hanna Theatre In Playhouse Square

 

The Hanna Theatre was one of five theatres constructed for Cleveland’s premier entertainment district, Playhouse Square. In 19 months, these five theatres rose out of Cleveland’s thriving post-war economy and soon rivaled the bright lights of Broadway. 


Anything from vaudeville, opera, theatre performances, and the latest motion pictures were brought to the public in Playhouse Square. 

 

On March 28th, 1921, the Hanna Theatre opened to the general public. Its first performance was Mark Twain’s classic The Prince and The Pauper. Only The Keybank State and The Mimi Ohio Theatre came before it, making it one of the oldest active theatres in Cleveland! 

 

The Downfall and Revival of Playhouse Square

 

Playhouse Square became a thriving epi-center of nightlife in Cleveland and the largest entertainment district outside New York! But by 1968-69, all five of the major theaters except the Hanna had shuttered, struggling to compete with the onset of television and white flight out of metropolitan areas. 

 

The Hanna’s doors remained open until 1988/89, when the Italian Renaissance theatre finally put on its final performance. The abandoned theatre remained starkly barren for the next ten years, reopening in 1997. 

 

In 2008, the neighboring Great Lakes Theatre purchased the old building, and it underwent a full $14.7 million renovation. It is now the home of the Great Lakes Theatre Festival and continues to serve the people of Cleveland with great entertainment. 

 

Playhouse Square is fully resurrected, its former glory restored through a series of renovation projects and great entertainment. Nearly 1 million people visit the district per year, producing $359 million in revenue. 

 

Not everyone comes just for the good times and world-class entertainment, however. Haunted by multiple spirits, the Hanna Theatre is a reputable spot for paranormal investigations and one of Cleveland’s most haunted!





 

Ghosts of The Hanna Theatre 

 

The misty form of a woman in a white dress was caught on film around the re-opening of the Hanna Theatre. This intriguing photograph was a key moment in the paranormal history of the theatre. Soon, many began to notice a large amount of spectral activity happening inside the old theatre. 

 

A psychic was brought in to investigate the illusive woman. She discovered that the lady in white was a lover of the theatre, and although she was known to follow certain employees around, she was harmless. However, she will not appear to those who are afraid of her! 

 

There are numerous reports of people seeing shadow figures in the highest reaches of the balcony. It appears the lady in white is not the only former patron still hanging around. The lights in the theatre often flicker on and off, so much so that an electrician has been called on numerous occasions. 


The spirits like to play tricks on employees, third-party handymen, and the players of the theatre themselves! Jewelry has been found in the dressing room, bundled up in odd shapes and sizes. Actresses in the theatre try to hide their jewels from the mischievous phantoms, but they constantly are found tangled in well-knitted balls. 

 

Most Haunted Cleveland 

 

Interact with the Spirits of the Hanna Theatre and the numerous other haunted locations around Cleveland on a ghost tour of The Big Plum. The vibrant stories and a menagerie of spirits that inhabit the city come alive every night through our experienced tour guides. 


Not planning to make a visit to the home of Superman quite yet? Refer to our blog for further information on haunted Cleveland and other US paranormal hotspots. 

 

Our social media is alive with the paranormal! Check us out on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok! 

 

Sources:

 

https://www.heritageohio.org/cleveland-hanna-theatre/

 

https://ohiochannel.org/programs/program/applause-hanna-theatre-at-playhouse-square

 

https://www.greatlakestheater.org/about/history

 

https://www.wdw-magazine.com/today-in-disney-history-1940-fantasia-first-released-in-theaters/

 

https://www.playhousesquare.org/about-playhousesquare-main/history

 

https://www.cleveland.com/entertainment/2016/04/vintage_cleveland_theaters.html

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