It’s no coincidence that every action hero from James Bond to Generic Murder Dude #367 in the beginning of Assassin’s Creed: American Boogaloo has found themselves sneaking around theaters and operas. They are creepy places even when the actors are on stage and the seats are packed with condescending tuxedo-wearing fuckers.
Where it gets really disturbing, however, is when the seats are empty and the doors are locked. That’s when villains like the Phantom of the Opera or Sander Cohen from BioShock crawl out of the woodwork. Villains, that is, who are precisely like you. Unfortunately, it’s not like abandoned horror movie theaters are just hanging around, ready for the taking, except, that is, for the Orpheum Theatre in New Bedford, Massachusetts.
“Man, I don’t know,” I hear you saying. “It certainly looks adequately scary, and I could definitely see myself settling down in the place and wandering its corridors wearing a mask and holding a giant mallet that makes sparks as I drag it across the floor. But I just stole all these orangutans from the zoo, and I’ve been meaning to teach them to use the miniguns I’ve had laying around since the Lyon heist. They’d wreck the interior within minutes.” To which I say: Don’t worry, the Orpheum has it all. Turns out the official name of the place is “La Salle Francs Tireurs,” or “French Sharpshooters Hall.” It combines the European tradition of enjoying the fine arts with the American tradition of shooting the shit out of everything, by which I mean that it’s a theater that also has a gun range.