There’s a Dead Presence at the Moviemax Cinema in Carlsbad

Many Carlsbad residents will take advantage of a rainy Sunday afternoon to visit the Plaza Cinema to see a new movie. To them, the building represents a cozy way to spend a few hours with a loved one. But for employees and former employees of Plaza Cinema (Now branded Moviemax, but many locals still refer to it by the old name), the building has become quite a terrifying place.

One anonymous former employee has come forward to discuss his own encounters at the Plaza. He had been working there for several months at the time of his departure. “To this day I don’t regret it,” he said.

“I’ll start off by saying that I knew the cinema was haunted before my employment there. A friend of mine was already working there, and she told me about a spot opening up. I was in need of a job and I found the idea of working someplace haunted kind of thrilling—at the time.

“Everything seemed perfectly ordinary my first month or so. Other staff members continued to report activity in theaters three and four, but nothing ever happened to me. I started to wonder if it had all been some kind of joke,” he speculated.

The Invisible Phantom

Sometimes, the memories of an event can be even more haunting than the event itself. It's because in the moment, we can convince ourselves it isn't happening...but in hindsight, we know.

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But by my second month there everything changed. I started to loathe the task of going into the theaters to sweep after a viewing. In theaters one and two, the most terrifying thing you found was gum stuck to a chair, but in three and four….

“It always felt like someone was in there with you,” he whispered. “You never saw it, never heard it…but you could always feel it. When that didn’t scare me off, the spirit took things up a notch.

“It would knock the broom out of my hand every time I went in theater three to clean. Then it started to turn the lights out on me when I was in theater four. Each day was filled with such dread and uncertainty, it became a very stressful environment.

“Still,” the man shrugged “I needed the money, and I hadn’t seen any other good opportunities at the time. To me, quitting didn’t really feel like an option. I endured extended hours of constant fear for the paycheck.

“Until the day came where having a roof over my head didn’t matter compared to the fear. I had gotten to work late that day, and I had been struggling to catch up with my duties for two hours. I rushed to theater three to give it a quick sweep before the next showing began.

“I had made it all the way to the front of the theater when I heard my name whispered from the farthest row back. I told my friends to quit playing around—the next show was five minutes away. But someone whispered my name again and I realized it wasn’t a voice I recognized.

“I started to hyperventilate, and I peeked my head around each row to no avail. With dread I realized that I was the only living thing in that theater at the time,” he murmured. Finally I couldn’t take it anymore, and I threw the broom down, ran out of the theater and out of the Plaza altogether.

“It took a while to find another job in Carlsbad, but I’m happier for it. I want the Plaza to remain a fun place for me, not a place of fear and uncertainty.”