While Knott’s Scary Farm may be the oldest Halloween haunt experience in Southern California, it’s far from the only one. From home haunts to the movie set horrors of Universal Studios, Southern California is full of a wide range of spooky experiences at a variety of venues. Recently we had friends rave about Angel of Light, housed inside the old Los Angeles Theatre, and decided to venture in ourselves last weekend.
The LA Theatre District is full of both grand and decaying old movie palaces from the early decades of the 20th century. Some have been turned into non-movie related business, such as jewelry stores, one is even an Apple Store, but a handful remain as performing arts venues, such as the final movie palace built in downtown, the Los Angeles Theatre. Opening January, 1931, the Los Angeles Theatre was designed by S. Charles Lee, who was heavily influenced by French-Baroque style.
Stepping inside to the Angel of Light experience, we were instantly taken back to the 1930s, but as if in the Twilight Zone. Alluring, yet off-putting cigarette girls giggled creepily while calling out “Cigars! Cigarettes!” and a handsome, but sinister looking photographer flashed his camera, while whispering “Don’t wake the angel!” to guests. We were welcomed, and told we were to experience a concert for the ages, and then we found ourselves in a twisting hallway throughout the theatre, filled with disturbed clergy members and maniacal starlets, before then being ushered into a grand ballroom for cocktails. Elegant members of old Hollywood drifted through, but soon burlap shrouded creatures arrived, causing guests to shriek with terror, before we were then guided to the auditorium.
What begins as a sophisticated concert gives way to devilish madness as the performers become pocessed and horrifying sights take over. But miraculously we all survived and ventured out of the theatre, but not before being starred down by the various inhabitants of the theatre.
A more elegant scare experience than others, Angel of Light is surreal at times, but still partially relies on the tried and true jump scares that are synonymous with haunted house walk through experiences.
The ballroom was used briefly in American Horror Story: Hotel, notably in the first and second episodes. Sadly I didn’t get too many good snaps of it, since it was relatively crowded and extremely dark. You can catch it in action in this clip. Hopefully in the future I’ll be able to do this stunning movie palace justice!