The Bijou
1064 State Avenue

Once an opulent movie house, the Bijou is now a worn-down brick and stone building that only vaguely recalls brighter days of Saturday serials and grand moviegoing experiences. The theater has long since been eclipsed by the multiplex in East Shadowgard, and after decades of trying to appeal to a sense of nostalgia that many of the townsfolk honestly don't possess, the owners have more or less given up the fight. The Bijou's four theaters are now given entirely over to second-run shows, old "classics," various special-interest presentations and movie marathons, and the odd concert. The popcorn is stale, the soda is watery, the snacks are older than most of Greyson University's students, the floors are sticky and the bathrooms constantly reek, but the tickets are cheap and the ushers are nonexistent, so the Bijou remains popular among students looking for a cheap date and possible make-out session.

Like many of Shadowgard's older buildings, the Bijou has its own particular ghost story. This one concerns a projectionist who surprised a gang of robbers late one night in 1952, only to be murdered by one with a particularly itchy trigger finger. The rest, panicking, hacked the body to pieces and dumped it in the river; the rest of the staff only began to figure out what had happened when the projectionist failed to show up for work for a full two weeks, and a mysterious bloodstain appeared on the lobby's carpet. To this day, no matter how thoroughly the carpet has been cleaned or how completely it's been replaced, the bloodstain continues to reappear, spreading in gruesome brownish-red from a point near the refreshments stand, forming the vague outline of a prone man with his head turned to one side. It's also said that the projectionist sometimes appears late at night, always on the silver screen itself. If a movie is playing as part of some late-night movie marathon, he appears as a hazy, grainy film "ghost" in the background of one or more scenes; if all the theaters are quiet and empty, then a projector starts up on its own, always splashing some classic film that hasn't even been threaded into the machine on the screen, and placing a crystal-clear image of a thin, scrawny, middle-aged man in suspenders and a stained shirt in the midst of all the glamorous stars.