Did You Know? All About Albert! - Western Canada Theatre

Have you ever felt like someone is watching you? Or maybe you’ve heard voices that couldn’t possibly be there? Us, too! Last month we told you about the flood of 1939 that dislodged gravesites and upturned coffins, resulting in the City relocating those gravesites to their current home in the Pleasant Street Cemetery. But did you know that one coffin was misplaced in the big move?

Arnold Mallott was a bartender at O’Keefe’s Saloon in the Monashee Mountains, near Revelstoke, BC. 14-months after being charged with the murder of a man he presumed was robbing his bar in 1885, Arnold was the first man in history to be hung in Kamloops. Mallott was laid to rest in 1887 in the cemetery that used to extend to where the Sagebrush Theatre currently sits, where he remained until 1939. After the flood of 1939 when the 100 disturbed hand-carved gravestones and caskets were moved across the street to their final resting place at the current-day Pleasant Street Cemetery, Arnold’s was somehow missed and was never recovered.

Mallott’s spirit, now lovingly referred to as “Albert”, has been known over the years to create mischief in and around the Sagebrush Theatre. Sagebrush staff have reported hearing knocking behind inaccessible walls and under the auditorium seats, seeing someone sitting in an audience seat and quickly disappearing, and walking around on the theatre catwalks. Theatre technicians have also reported having levels on the lighting and sound boards change and become reprogrammed on their own, and even hearing voices when the theatre was empty. Even the Sagebrush janitors have had encounters with Albert, claiming that the plugs on their vacuum cleaners kept getting unplugged while they were in use! But as much as Albert likes to have fun in the theatre, he also shows great care for its staff and team. 

When a former WCT employee was practicing her spotlight cues while alone in the theatre, she very clearly heard a voice telling her to “clip in”, meaning to attach her safety harness. As soon as she clipped her harness into place, a spotlight fell, dropped through the catwalk, and dragged the staff member over the side. She was found dangling 8-metres above the audience chamber, saved by the very harness she had originally forgotten to fasten!

Albert is also credited with somehow preventing a janitor from taking a serious fall into a hole after the lights had burnt out. Some call it luck, some call it coincidence; we call it Albert.

The next time you visit the Sagebrush Theatre, be sure to check out seat Z24. That seat has been permanently reserved for Albert, and eye-witnesses have claimed over the years that they have seen the seat lower at the start of a show and fold back up at the end. Be sure to say hello to Albert as you come in, and enjoy the show!