“Rocky Horror” draws business from all over state to Grand Ledge

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by Ariel Rogers

Grand Ledge Gazette staff writer

GRAND LEDGE- The small town of Grand Ledge is relatively conservative during the day, but on some Saturdays at midnight, fans of all ages come out to the Sun Theatre for a night of fun.

The Grand Ledge Sun Theatre draws people from all over the state to see the cult classic movie, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” Photo by Ariel Rogers.

Dylan Sowle organizes the showings of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” at the theater with the help of his friends.

“I first went to ‘Rocky Horror’ at the Sun when I was in my sophomore year of high school, and I gradually got more involved,” Sowle said. “Around my senior year of high school, my friend who organized the showings decided she didn’t want to do it any more, so I helped take over so we could keep ‘Rocky Horror’ going in Grand Ledge.”

Sowle is on his sixth year of running the event that draws fans from as far as the Flint and Detroit areas.

Die-hard fans

Russ Duce of Grand Blanc has been involved with the “Rocky Horror” community for four years and travels as far as Chicago to see casts perform. Duce attended a 2013 showing of “Rocky Horror” in Grand Ledge.

“It was a really long drive, but it’s worth it,” Duce said. “[The cast] has a lot of fun and I admire that.”

The December showing of “Rocky Horror” took place during one of the many winter storms Michigan endured this year, deeply impacting the attendance. But Jason Millward traveled all the way from Belleville to Grand Ledge to see the show.

“I had a blast,” Millward said. “I came to support the cast, even during that ice storm.”

Rocky related business

“Rocky Horror” events draw a large number of fans of all ages. Photo by Ariel Rogers.

The event brings in large profits for the theater with a $5 ticket charge instead of the usual $2. “Rocky Horror” events can draw up to 200 people and nearly fill up the entire theater. People from all over the city and state attend this show, giving the small theater a boost.

Nikki Nicolaou is a member of the Grand Ledge “Rocky Horror” performance cast and has been involved for two years.

“I think [‘Rocky Horror’] has really improved the promotion of the theater,” Nicolaou said. “We also get a lot of the youth from the high school coming. It makes [The Sun] their home theater too.”

After the show, it is a tradition that audience members and cast members go for food at the local Steak ‘n Shake. The large group of hungry, strangely dressed people brings a pleasant late-night rush to the business.

“Bringing a group of 25 fishnet-clad kids into the restaurant at 3 a.m. has become a great part of the annual event,” Sowle said. “It makes the fun last even longer.”

 

The next “Rocky Horror” event in Grand Ledge is planned to be this spring. Keep an eye on the Sun Theatre’s website or Facebook for more information.

For more information, contact Ariel Rogers at roger219@msu.edu

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