Luverne, Minnesota

The historic Palace Theater in Luverne seems to hold to the old adage that every good theater has a ghost, but in this case, the theater seems to have two. The theater, which can be found on the National Register of Historic Places, was built by Herman Jochims in 1915. It opened on September 29, 1915 for showing silent moving pictures and it has remained in operation ever since, despite undergoing some restoration work in recent years. In 1919, Herman married Maude Jochims who provided piano music to accompany the silent films that were shown at the Palace. In 1926, she would start playing the pipe organ that Herman had installed.... and some say she is still playing that organ today.

The theater has long been rumored to be haunted. People in the audience and ushers at the theater claim that they have seen the ghost of Herman Jochims standing in the balcony and looking out over the seats. It is also said that Maude returns to her place at the pipe organ too. Some believe that the couple still watch over the place and occasionally make things happen to let the patrons and staff members know they are still present. Things occasionally turn up missing in the theater, only to appear again later, and lights sometimes turn off and on by themselves.

A few years ago, during some restoration work, the pipe organ was no longer working. The organ was under repair and no one could possibly play music on it.... although someone did. People who were in the theater at night, including night janitors, would say that they had heard the sound of the organ playing in the auditorium. They would check the building and find no one was there and an organ that simply did not work.

Luverne, Minnesota is located in Rock County in the extreme southwest corner of the state. The Palace Theater is located at the corner of Main Street and Freeman Avenue in Luverne .

Copyright 1998 by Troy Taylor. All Rights Reserved.

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