Denton’s beloved Campus Theater isn’t just a place to enjoy wonderful community plays, it is also the haunt for one of Denton’s guardian spirits, Mr. Harrison! Over the years, Denton has showcased numerous entertainment venues like the regal Wright Opera House (now home to Recycled Books) and movie cinemas in Andy’s Paschall Building as well as the infamous 1920s-50s “Theater Row” on the West side of the Denton Square. The Campus Theater was opened in 1949 with the film I Was A Male War Bride starring Dentonite Ann Sheridan and Cary Grant, then later hosted Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway’s red-carpet world premiere of Bonnie & Clyde in 1967. The theater closed in 1985 for almost 10 years before being remodeled to house the Denton Community Theater, which is about to celebrate its 43rd consecutive season as one of the oldest such groups in the nation. In 2009, the building was designated a Texas Historical Landmark.
J.P. Harrison was the Texas Interstate Theaters’ business manager for The Campus Theater when it first opened, known for sharply dressing in a gray suit and his wily sense of humor. He famously constructed elaborate lobby displays with local high school drama clubs and was an active civic leader. Theater folk are a superstitious bunch and Harrison is also said to have had great fun in pranking his employees… a proclivity that has not ended even after his passing! There are many stories of this mischievous manager continuing to startle performers and patrons with ghostly footsteps patrolling the halls, relocating objects in offices and onstage, or tinkering with the lights during late night rehearsals, but it’s considered bad luck if a production does NOT experience Mr. Harrison’s ghost! Needless to say, most shows have been very successful indeed.
The DENTON HAUNTS GHOST TOUR will share some of these hair-raising encounters during our twilight ghost walk of the haunted Denton Square!! LIKE us on Facebook to to stay up-to-date on our tour schedule!