Twenty-Five Years Of Absolute Pleasure
_____The Rocky Horror Picture Show has been a part of San Diego for over 25 years. It started in 1977 when the film began showing at The Strand in Ocean Beach as a midnight movie and admission was just $1.25. When The Strand stopped showing Rocky Horror, the cast split and moved to different theaters around town such as The Guild, Cinema Plaza Five and eventually absorbed a rival production at The Parkway in El Cajon. The film began a ten-year run at The Ken Cinema in 1984 and was soon Rockys only home in San Diego. During this time, The Ken cast performed at various special events, colleges and parades in addition to the regular shows every weekend. After departing The Ken in 1994, the cast returned to The Guild for a year before moving to The La Paloma Theater in Encinitas where they now perform on Friday nights.
_____I had the great fortune to be a Rocky performer at The Ken Cinema from 1986 to 1991. During that time, I met some incredible people who made a serious impression on my life. I'm a better person for having known them. Unfortunately, I lost touch with many from the cast over the years, but that all changed in 2002.
_____In early 2001, I began scanning photos from my Rocky days as part of a personal picture archive project. While doing this, it occurred to me that some of the cast I was still in contact with might be interested in having copies of these pictures. They did want them and offered their own photos to help start a collection of vintage Rocky pictures from our years at The Ken Cinema. The people I still knew were also in contact with other veterans and it looked like the old Ken crowd hadn't completely lost touch. At this point, I decided to create a web page asking veterans of The Ken Cinema to make contact and send in pictures for inclusion in what was being called, The Ken Cinema Rocky Horror Photo Project.
_____Word of mouth carried news of the project to former cast members from other San Diego theaters and the response was remarkable. As more people came forward, it seemed obvious that I was not the only one who had lost contact with friends over the years. The photo project then took on another mission to find every person who performed in The Rocky Horror Picture Show over the last quarter century in San Diego. Since 2001, I have made contact with cast members from before, during and after my years doing Rocky. Officially renamed The San Diego Rocky Horror Reunion & Photo Project, it was quite a massive undertaking.
Anthony & Zana at KFMB TV to promote the 2002 reunion
_____Even today, many performers and friends are still missing, but a good number have been found and that's better than anyone expected. As people move around and girls change their last name with marriage, it becomes very tough to find them. We still need help locating the rest of our friends, but progress is slowly being made. The project was such a thrill for past performers that a reunion took place on August 24, 2002 at our old home theater, The Ken Cinema. For most, it had been more than fifteen years since they last performed or even seen the film. What a night! With the reunion over, the website was rechristened The San Diego Rocky Horror Veterans Administration.
_____Some view their Rocky experience as a phase they grew out of and have no wish to revisit. While I can understand those feelings, my years doing Rocky are something I remember fondly. I never took it seriously (something that anybody who saw me do Eddie can attest to). Things were not always great, but in the end it was just a group of friends having fun. Most of us drifted away from Rocky in our early 20s, while others stuck it out far longer and some have never officially retired from performing. I believe we should choose to look upon our time at Rocky like high school: we did some stupid things and not everybody was cool all the time; but we did have fun and shared a common experience at a crucial period in our lives. Like classmates, these people knew us before we became the unique individuals we are today. As we grow older, it is important to remember who we were in order to understand who we are
and where we're going.
Were you a Rocky performer?
Do you have pictures?
Know where our missing friends are?
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