THIS WEEK IN 1974: It wasn’t just movies that went bump in the night at ABC cinema

The old ABC cinema, Commercial Road, Portsmouth PPP-161011-164303001
The old ABC cinema, Commercial Road, Portsmouth PPP-161011-164303001
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Something spooky was occuring at a Portsmouth cinema –and it had nothing to do with horror movies.

A mystery had grown around a nighttime visitor to the ABC Cinema at Commercial Road, pictured, which was demolished in 2002, who ‘ghosted’ in and out without leaving signs of how they did it.

Detectives who investigated the first ‘ghost-in’ at the cinema were puzzled as to how the intruder got in – although, in that raid, they established how it left the building.

There was then a second entry, after which even the police admitted to being ‘mystified’.

There was no clear sign of where the intruder entered or exited. However, there was certainly evidence that it had paid a visit.

Police found that the cinema’s staff room had been partly ransacked and searched.

What added to the mystery was that neither intrusion had resulted in anything being stolen.

The first time around, matches had been discovered strewn throughout the premises, and it was thought that an attempt at arson may have been made.

A police spokesman at the time, said: ‘We seem to have quite a mystery on our hands.’