Originally, the Palace Theater in Gallatin started as a jewelry store owned by Bill Roth. Bill Roth Sr opened the jewelry store in 1887 and planned to turn it over to his son, Bill Roth Jr. After his daughter was born, Bill Roth Sr. bought the building next door and opened a theater that would eventually be given to her. Unfortunately, Mr. Roth’s daughter died at an early age, and it wound up being passed down to Bill Roth Jr when his father passed away.
The theater sat empty from 1977 until 1993 when it was put up for auction when Bill Roth Jr. died. Local businessmen bought the jewelry store and theater and donated to a family that renovated the building and now run it showing family-friendly films and live acts year-round. The jewelry store is now used for the theater offices. The lights hanging from the ceiling were found during the restoration and actually used in the early 20th century by the Bill Roth Sr. You will also notice an advertisement for the Hampton Saloon as you enter the theater. The art on the wall was discovered during renovation and was an advertisement for the bar next door in the 1860s.
Strange things tend to happen in the balcony. When the theater reopened in 2000 after six years of renovations people saw the ghost of Bill Roth Sr., the original owner by the projector. In addition to apparitions theater, patrons have also experienced strange sensations like someone was pushing them or touching them in the balcony, where the ‘Colored Section’ was before Segregation in the early 20th Century. Chairs also have been known to move on their own.
The spirit in the theater can be quite mischievous as patrons have seen candy roll across the floor in the theater when no one was behind them. The large garage door to the side of the stage has been known to close on its own and latch itself shut.
The bathrooms are also a hotbed of activity. Toilets flush, and sinks run on their own in the theater.
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