Unforgiving Spaces

I work in a movie theater. Booth has to be one of the scariest places I have ever had to step foot in. I don’t know any history of the building, I don’t know any history of the land, but I do know that someone is watching me… they are watching when I am alone in the morning, turning lights and projectors on. They are watching whenever I go upstairs, to check on a theaters sound, lights, content.

But they are watching me the most at night, between midnight and 3 AM. They are loud then, they move things around and they don’t care who hears it. They don’t like it when you interrupt them, either.

I had to stay later than usual one night, to change the bulb in a projector.

I finished my usual paperwork around 12:30 AM, and gathered my equipment for a bulb change. Usually, this takes around an hour, maybe more, maybe less depending on the projector.

With the equipment in hand, I walked upstairs and set everything down at projector 2. There are a few specific tools needed to change a bulb, and all of them were in front of me. It was Christmas eve, I wanted out of there as soon as possible, so I got started right away.

I used a screwdriver to pull the back panel off, allowing access to the bulb and lenses. When I reached for my 3mm hex, it was no longer where I had left it. I looked around the top of the projector. Nothing.

“That’s odd,” I wandered around booth, thinking maybe I had set it down on the wrong projector?

It wasn’t up there, so I went back down and checked in the office. The 3mm was in the toolbox, but I specifically remember bringing it upstairs with me.

Not a huge deal, I must have forgotten it when I gathered what I needed.

I returned to booth to finish my project. I had issues almost every step of the way, installation to adjustments, this project was not going according to plan.

A good way to tell if your bulb is bright enough is to test it on two screens and compare. I prompted both projectors one and two to play a solid white screen.

I looked through the glass on the wall and down at the screen. The glass was only about 6″x6″, but even then I could tell the whole screen wasn’t bright enough. I walked over to theater one and peered through the glass.

Another set of eyes were peering back at me. They were grey and dull, seeming to look through me rather than at me. I stumbled back, and fell to the ground.

After collecting myself for a moment, I had convinced myself that it was a moment of insanity. The girl in the grey, with grey eyes and black hair, was nothing more than a figment of my overactive imagination. There’s NO way that she could’ve been there. It was 12 feet from the ground.

I made my way back to the screening glass. But I didn’t dare look though it at first. I looked down at my feet for what felt like a very long time. When I finally looked up again, the grey girl was gone. There was nothing but a bright white screen and an empty theater.

I finished with projector two, turned off the lights and went back downstairs. But I couldn’t bring myself to look inside theater 1. I didn’t want to know what could be looking back.

After shutting down the lights and arcade, I was ready to leave. Down the back hallway, I locked the door and turned on the alarm. As I closed the door behind me, I turned to look down the long hallway. The grey girl was at the end, looking at me.

I’m not sure why she’s there… or why she’s watching. Sometimes she gets close to the door at the end of the night. Sometimes I don’t see her at all. All I know is that she is a warning, one that I may not understand until it is far too late.