Friday, December 16, 2016

The old Red Rock Theaters - Something wicked this way comes...

Have you entered a building and something about it just doesn't seem quite right?  You can’t put a finger on it, or even define it exactly, but everything is just kind of "off."  Like...maybe...just maybe you’re being watched by something who's notice you'd rather escape?  Years ago in Las Vegas, Nevada such a place once existed, but it wasn't always so. Red Rock 11 Theaters--located in what is now, west central Las Vegas--was only a couple of blocks from the home in which I spent all of my teenage years. My family and friends watched a ton of movies there without fuss or incident...  

But then...

The owners purchased--for their customers enjoyment and pleasure--different pieces of antique carnival attractions. By way of explanation,there were eleven theaters in this place.  The various store fronts of theater vendors were located in a “town square” style atrium surrounded by the theaters you see in the photograph.  There was lounge seating in the central area and the facade appeared to be two stories, but that was merely illusion. The carnival attractions were placed throughout the square.

Old carnival type seats and a working carousel with horses were placed along the store fronts.  The benches near the rear entrance had carved gargoyles on the ends.  These gargoyles had reddish glass eyes.  If you walked around the town square, the light reflecting from the gargoyle's eyes seemed to follow you around, as if they were watching every move you made. Creepy? Unsettling? Yes, indeed.

My husband is now retired from the Las Vegas Police Department. However, back in the 1970's and 80's, he and a few other brave officers often responded to "perimeter alarms," whenever the alarm was tripped at the Red Rock Theaters. They never found a soul inside the building though...

Despite the lack of a perpetrator(s), he tells me there were some real eerie sounds going on in there, as if though there was something moving around. They could never find the cause for that. They'd turn around and have a flashlight hit the gargoyle eyes and they'd see...well they'd see those hideous creatures staring back at them. Startling to say the least.  My husband felt they were lucky no inadvertent “shots fired” ever occurred while they searched the place from top to bottom.  One of the officers made a comment after one such search. He said, "there are three things you never mess with; the IRS, the Mafia, and the unknown.” He was certain, he said, the place was infested with "haints" (ghosts).

Like I said, we have a lot of fond memories harking back to those nostalgic days in the late 60's through the 1990's. Even so, whenever the theaters are mentioned, my husband smiles and ponders “the unknown.” Sadly, the theaters were torn down in 2002, which for us was the end of an era. We sometimes wonder what happened to the scary carnival stuff. Perhaps the owners sold it to some poor unsuspecting person, who even now wonders if he bought more than he bargained for.

Are there any “unknowns" from your past? If you're lucky, then the answer is yes. After all, we’re not meant to know everything. I mean, where’s the fun if all the mystery and magic is gone?


  1. I completely agree with you about where is the fun if all the mystery and magic is gone? It's great to have those memories, even the ones that make you wonder or leave you a little uneasy.

    I would have loved to have seen the Old Rock Theaters. What a great combination to have movie theaters enhanced by old carnival memorabilia. Although I wouldn't want to be poking around there at night. Very interesting about those calls your husband responded to. I have goosebumps imagining what might have been shuffling around int he dark making those noises. And the gargoyle eyes? Creepy!

    1. Those carnival pieces were just the most eerie things. When you walked in, no matter how hard you tried not to, you looked at them anyway. My husband said that during one late night search, they very distinctly heard a steel door close. Of course, they never found a soul... Thanks for stopping by Mae! I have missed you!

    2. Loved working there under Horst and Mrs. Craigin, and Boyd. Christmas time was the best! The place was packed and the carousel was lit up and running. It felt like Disneyland.