The Springer Opera House, located in Columbus Georgia, has been around since 1871. Yet, even many locals haven’t heard of this little gem in their own state. When I was a kid we took a tour of the Springer and learned about its rich history. Part of which includes the long line of historical figures to grace the stage over the years, such as Edwin Booth, yes, brother to that Booth, and how it was saved from demolition by a group of theater lovers in 1964. But what draws many people to the Springer these days is that it is considered one of the most haunted buildings in the country. Don’t believe me? Go take a tour, learn its history. Then show up early for a show and have a drink at the bar. I had to be re-directed by an usher back to the bar because I kept getting drawn and sidetracked down the hallway to a door leading off to the stairwell going towards the backstage area. Everytime I got close to that door, I got a tingling feeling in my gut, and had hair raising on the back of my neck.
Aside from my fascination with ghost and the paranormal, I have a secret love of theater. Earlier this year I was fortunate enough to see Sweeney Todd and it was wonderful! Later, I took a tour of the theater, and then found out they were holding a viewing of the ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’ Halloween weekend. When I did, I was hell-bent on going! A family member went last year, and had a blast, so I had to go this year.
Tickets were only twenty dollars apiece, and well worth it! They do not hold the show in the main theater, but in the Children’s / No Shame Theater area, for good reason. If you have never been to a Rocky Horror theater viewing, most theaters have stage actors who play out parts to the film, while you watch the film. During the film there are prompts to throw rice, yell keywords, snap gloves, put on party hats, and tons of other goofy things for audience interaction. That is, aside from dressing up like a transsexual-transilvanian for the night.
The Springer was at one of its best that night! It was well organized; you checked in, got your tickets, and the staff direct you where to go. You will be asked if it’s your first time doing Rocky Horror in the theater. I was suspicious at first, but gave in and told them yes. And glad I did! Apparently, there are perks to being a Rocky Horror “Virgin”.
So after getting my v-card back, and plastering my “Virgin” badge on, we got our prop bags and grabbed a seat. There was a great turn out, better than I expected, since I was told by my plus one that they did not have stage actors like you see in other showings last year. But much to our surprise, this year they did!
Throughout the night I found the stage actors more entertaining than the film actors. They did an amazing job and kept the audience engaged by yelling out prompts, squirting water on us with squirt-guns, and running around us chasing eachother, much like the scenes in the film, but funnier. Doctor Fran-n-Furter ran all over the theater chasing Rocky, and Janet Weiss (slut!), flirted with those wearing “Virgin” badges, and even sat in my lap! In all we had a great time and I cannot wait to go back next year!
For more information regarding the Springer Opera House please visit Springer Opera House.org. They have wonderful shows all year around and tours every Mondays and Wednesdays at 3:30 p.m. If you ever get the chance to visit the Springer, do it! It has a little something for everyone.