(Not for nothing, but I just Googled the Fulton and found that there’s a recently published book out there titled Staging Ground: An American Theater and Its Ghosts about the Fulton. Don’t worry, I’m on it.)
Opened in 1852 and considered by some to be the oldest continually operating theatre in the United States, the "Grand Old Lady of Prince Street" really does have a doozy of a past. Built on the site of a horrifying massacre of the last of the Conestoga Indians, in its early years the theatre welcomed everyone from illustrious superstars like Sarah Bernhardt to lecturers like Mark Twain to … saucy burlesque performers. (Guess which one the Lancaster Law and Order Society had a big time problem with?) For awhile there it was transformed into a cruddy movie joint, but have no fear, by the 1960s the community had had enough and it’s been staging live theatre ever since. Today, you can catch more than a hit play or musical there: The Lancaster Symphony Orchestra and other cultural arts groups also use it as their home base.
I just love and adore the Fulton … so much so that every year my mom and I go for what is, apparently, an annual mystery extravaganza. You know The Mousetrap, Arsenic and Old Lace, Dial M for Murder, that sorta thing. The sets and staging are always seriously on point (for real, they did Dial M in black and white which was awwwwwesome), the acting and directing fantastic, and of course the setting fabulous. (Full disclosure: We went to see And Then There Were None this weekend—which was great, and my mom only screamed super loudly twice—but we were bummed to learn that Fulton Theatre is going in a totally musical direction next season which I can only assume means the death of our beloved annual tradition. And eardrums.)
Anyway, yeah, you should go to the Fulton on your next trip out to Lancaster. Sure, you can, apparently go see the Legally Blonde musical, but you could also check out the sympathy, the opera, or see some avant-garde productions in the fourth floor studio theatre. Trust me and just do it; it is, in my humble little opinion, the best theatre out there.
Just be sure to watch out for the ghosts in the ladies room.