‘Rocky Horror’ fundraiser pays for the Evergreen Cemetery’s green

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Images courtesy of analuisaphoto.com

Treva Flores | Assistant Features Editor

October 30, 2014

The young, old and deceased gathered around to time warp the night away with  “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” at the Evergreen Memorial Historic Cemetery. More than 1,000 people showed up anticipating the Evergreen’s first ever movie showing Oct. 17.

In a successful attempt to raise money for the 142-year-old cemetery the shadow cast played by K.A.O.S. brought  “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” film to life. The cemetery hopes to host more film showings in the future, as well as turning “Rocky Horror” into an annual event.

There were cold drinks, popcorn and candy sold to provide additional fundraising for the cemetery. There were also prop kits sold by the shadow cast with playing cards, party hats and even newspapers so the audience could fully participate throughout the night.

A “Rocky Horror” viewing is not something people can sit still for and that’s what makes the shows so enjoyable. “Virgins,” or first time “Rocky Horror” audience members, are asked to come up to the screen as a “sacrifice.” The actors were obviously just joking around, but they did “de-virginize” a group of about 300 people with a round of limbo.

Unlike your typical movie going experience, the audience is welcomed to shout at the screen and talk back to characters during the performance. Although audience participation is never mandatory, it gets the show going and keeps everyone on their toes.

Some memorable cues include holding up a newspaper the same way the main female character Janet does when she’s caught in the rain, using noise makers to applaud with the Transylvanians and hurling Scott toilet paper when Dr. Scott comes on-screen and Janet’s fiancée Brad yells “Great Scott!”

Although the night was mostly fun and games, there was a serious purpose for hosting the event at the Evergreen Memorial Historic Cemetery. The money raised by “Rocky Horror” went to keeping the cemetery green.

The cemetery is trying to restore and preserve its grounds as a not-for-profit organization,. According to Evergreen’s website, “Our goal is to raise $2.5 million for a fund to transform the neglected landscape of Riverside’s oldest cemetery and preserve it as a significant cultural and historic resource for the community.”

Many historic figures reside in the cemetery, such as Riverside founder John Wesley North and Mission Inn founder Frank Augustus Miller. There are also 1,100 veterans who rest at Evergreen, including veterans from the civil war. In total there are more than 27,000 graves in the cemetery.

“Rocky Horror” was a spooky and nostalgic way to celebrate and to raise money to preserve the history at Evergreen.