Landmark Community Theatre will be producing 2 distinct Haunted Opera House tours beginning Oct. 22, 2020 and running through Nov. 7, 2020.
LCT is typically recognized as a regional non-profit arts organization presenting year round quality community theatre productions. Unfortunately, LCT has been dark since the onslaught of COVID-19. These tours will be the first activities in the Thomaston Opera House since that time. LCT has created plans for the tours that are in compliance with all of the CDC, state and regional guidelines for safe practices.
There will be two separate tours for patrons to choose between each night. One of the tours is called “Theatre of the Macabre”. This tour will begin in the Crescent Gallery of the old fire house and bring each socially separated group through a maze of Theatre based haunts ending in the main auditorium of the Opera House where each group will be seated at least 6 feet apart from each other. Once seated, they will be entertained by Juan Cardona Jr. on the Marr Colton Theatre Pipe Organ. Juan will be playing accompaniment for Halloween themed short films along with brief live entertainment by LCT volunteer performers.
The Second tour is called “Graveside Stories”. It will begin at the Clay Street entrance of the building. Socially separated groups will descend into the basement area of the original town hall and follow a path through the basement to the elevator. This tour will highlight replicated graves of Thomaston residents that were once buried in the site of the current Thomaston Opera House and old firehouse. Patrons on this tour will actually be walking in the subterranean space where the bodies were buried some 140+ years earlier. Once through the basement, these patrons will also be delivered to the Opera House auditorium for the above-mentioned entertainment.
All groups will be dismissed individually for the final leg of the tour where they will exit through the main clock tower stairwell to Main Street. There they will experience any final frights.
The two tours will be uniquely different. "Theatre of the Macabre" will highlight tableaus from past or possibly future shows seen on the Opera House stage or other venues throughout our region. The tours will contain lighting, sound, and special effects, along with actors using theatrical props and scenery to set the stage for Halloween themed entertainment. Each tableau will entertain whether you are familiar with the specific show or not. Patrons with show familiarity will have an extra layer of amusement as they experience the tours. Each group will have a costumed character tour guide ushering them through the course of displays. Each guide will be a unique character with their own story to tell as they proceed. Many of the guides will be recognized as past performers on the Opera House stage.
Graveside Stories will be very different from your typical “haunted” event. It is intended to entertain. However, it is also part of local Thomaston history that should be observed and revered by current spectators. The stories included in the tour will be dramatized from actual local historical figures and events. Tour guides will also portray actual persons from that era.
It is not commonly known that the Thomaston Town Hall/ Opera House and the old firehouse were constructed on the Northbury Burial Grounds. This burial ground was used for over 130 years between 1742 and 1875 (the year Thomaston was established). In February 1882, the young town voted 130-6 in favor of relocating the burial ground to the old Woodlawn Cemetery (later renamed Hill Side Cemetery) in order to make room for a growing town center. Shortly after the vote, a local contractor was hired to move the stones and any remains to the new location.
In the summer of 1882, the Daily American published these sentiments: “Let us hope that the new site selected will be so hedged around by law and public opinion that it will indeed be their last resting place, immovable as the hills that surround and overtop their new abode.” It is with these sentiments that LCT will attempt to tell their stories.
Tickets will be sold in small cohorted groups of family and friends. Cohorted group sizes will vary from 2-8 people. Only 12 groups will be allowed to go through a tour during each scheduled time slot. Both tours are recommended for ages 8 and older.
Admission is $15 for all ages
**All patrons are encouraged to make their reservations early to secure a time slot for their group.