Hundreds of fans swarmed the Granada Theatre last Friday night to take part in the object-throwing, aisle-dancing cult classic known as “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” The show played at both 8 p.m. and midnight.
Shelby Lindsey, junior art major and volunteer at the Granada, said that the show appeals to viewers because it is a “cult film,” which means that fans are highly devoted to it.
“It’s interactive,” Lindsey said. “We had prop bags for everyone.”
The first 200 people at each showing received a prop bad, which contained rice; a newspaper; glow sticks; rubber gloves; noisemakers like whistles; a strand of toilet paper; pieces of toast; party hats and playing cards, Lindsey said.
All items were used during certain parts of the show and were most often thrown towards the stage. For example, during the opening scene of the movie, audience members mimicked the actors by throwing rice at the newlywed couple leaving the church on screen.
“We have concerts every month but this is really the only interactive event we have ever had,” Lindsey said, “I love it because it’s just strange – in general it’s just creepy.”
Some audience members came dressed in unusual outfits, which included maids in fishnet stockings. Two such viewers were Brenna Mercer and Daya Williams, Emporian sisters who said they came to enjoy the show and relive pleasant memories from their teenage years.
“The first time (I saw it), my dad took me when I was 18 and it was with the audience participation,” Mercer said. “It’s one of my most fun memories from when I was younger.”
Williams is an Emporia State secondary education graduate. She donned a maid costume.
“I love the audience participation,” Williams said.
Along with using the items in their prop bags, viewers sang along with the music and danced in the aisles to the song “The Time Warp.” Members of the audience also shouted at the screen during key moments in the performance.
“It was nice having the prop bags – I didn’t have to remember what to bring,” said Janet Burenheide, Emporia resident.
Maria Morris, Flint Hills Technical College student, said that she loved the audience participation and her favorite part was when the volunteers at the Granada threw water at the audience during a rainy scene to simulate being rained on. Audience members put newspapers over the tops of their heads to keep dry from the “rain.”
The next show on Granada’s calendar is “Beetlejuice,” set for 7 p.m. this Friday night. Admission is $5 and the doors open at 6 p.m.