BY Adam Brazeau
CORNWALL, Ontario – For three years one local film event has broke all conventions causing men to dress in drag, as spectators throw toast and rice at the silver screen and shout obscenities.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (RHPS) sent a large audience into a frenzy at the Port Theatre. People who knew every quote and song from the cult classic film and even a few first timers got their yearly fix doing the ‘Time Warp.’
“You get to sing-along, throw rice and toast and dance,” said Krista Lalonde, 21. “You feel like you’re in the movie.”
Lalonde, her boyfriend Steven Turner, 19, and couple Amanda Anita Denis, 19, and Jean-Daniel Baker, 20, dressed as characters of the film.
It was Turner’s first time seeing the flick in theatre and being dressed as a transvestite.
“It’s fun getting good looks and bad looks,” laughed Turner.
The four friends had been planning their costumes for weeks. Some were purchased brand new and a few accessories were handmade.
With water guns in hand, and armed with bags of confetti and rice they were ready to go.
“This is how I kick off Halloween,” said Lalonde.
New co-owners Larry Sylvain and his wife Nancy Bonner have been busy breathing new life into the historical venue.
Together with their son, Nick Sylvain owner of Frontline Assault Entertainment, and promoter Jeff Brunet, owner of Alkaline Entertainment, they have incorporated live entertainment into the mix.
“We’re feeling out what works in the city,” said Sylvain.
He said it’s been a slow process that is getting results.
“We’re hoping to make this a viable venue. It’s been a part of Cornwall’s history since 1941,” he said. “We need support from the community.”
There is a new light shining on the Port Theatre since Sylvain recently upgraded the marquee. A series of LED bulbs were added to the framing of the large sign.
“It makes me feel better, it didn’t look like it was open,” said Sylvain.
Glenn McGillivary, Port manager and owner, is in charge of the film department.
Sylvain and his wife became co-owners earlier this year at a time when the Port was ready to close its curtains for good. Sylvain enjoys the duality of entertainment that currently occupies the theatre. He wants cinema to remain a staple of the Port and keep classic films on the screen. The live show aspect has drawn attention from drivers passing through Cornwall wanting to rock out for a few hours before they hit home.
“We invite everyone to come out and see the shows,” he said.
For more information, visit their Facebook page: Port Theatre in Cornwall, Ontario.