Get outta town: the haunted KiMo

by Patty Templeton

The dead love the theater. Point an electromagnetic field reader at any stage and you’re bound to find a spirit in a rage. The KiMo Theatre, 423 Central Ave SW in Albuquerque, isn’t any different. The KiMO has weekly, free guided tours or you can go on your own quiet walk-through. The fanciest haunt in ABQ even has guided, haunted tours on Halloween weekend, but grab your $5 tickets early because they sell out quick.

Who the heck would haunt a 90-year-old theater decked out in red and gold filigree? A tiny little 6-year-old, that’s who. On Aug. 2, 1951, nearly 1,000 people were crammed into the KiMo to see “Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man.” Little Bobby Darnall left his seat to get popcorn. Hell and fire, that’s when the basement boiler exploded and broke the lobby to bits. Darnall died and eight others were injured.

Now, Darnall is credited with a many number of misdeeds, including but not limited to tripping actors, causing lights to explode, and generally freaking everyone the F out.

You can hear more about the mischievous dead kid, a 1960s fire at the KiMo, and how the theater narrowly escaped the wrecking ball in the ’70s, if you hit up a guided KiMo tour.

For deets on getting the creeps, go to

Patty Templeton


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