Calling all haunts and hallows
by TP staff
Oct 11, 2012 | 2567 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Halloween at the Grand Theatre
Francie Pankratz works on assembling a giant jack-in-the-box on Wednesday, Oct 10 for the haunted house that opens at the Grand Theatre later this month.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
view slideshow (7 images)
Frights and fun will abound at the Grand Theater Center for the Arts during its celebration of the Halloween season, which includes favorites from years past as well as new events for all ages.

Time warp, again

The cult classic “Rocky Horror Picture Show” kicks off the celebration, as it returns to the Grand Theatre for its second showing of the year.

Jeffrey Haskett, the cultural arts manager at the Grand, said 170 people attended the first screening in February, twice the number who typically attend showings in the Cinematic Treasures film series.

“We had people from the Bay Area come just for the performance — it did very well,” Haskett said. “Ever since we did it, we have had requests to do it again. There is quite the following.”

This month’s show — scheduled for 11:59 p.m. Oct. 20, a Saturday — will put a twist on the campy tale of stranded motorists cast into a strange world.

The Bawdy Caste of San Francisco will perform at the movie, lending a live-show aspect to the on-screen hijinx. Haskett said the costumed troupe will work up the crowd before the show and lead the audience during the movie’s responses.

The cast will sell kits with everything a fan needs to participate in the movie — including rice and bread to toss at the appropriate times.

Haskett said the cast does not charge for the performance, describing members as die-hard “Rocky Horror” fans.

The balcony will be closed for the movie, and furniture will be covered in plastic to protect seats from flying food and water

Tickets for the midnight showing are $8.

Dress for Halloween success

The monster mayhem continues as zombies walk the halls during a Wednesday-night workshop that brings the undead to life.

Participants will learn the makeup tricks needed to create the ghoulish appearance of monsters, ghouls and the living dead.

The workshop will be from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Oct. 24 in the makeup studio at the Grand Theatre and will cost $25 or $30, which includes a makeup kit.

Night just for women

The Witches and Broomsticks Girls Night Out returns for a second year on Oct. 26, a Friday.

Festivities begin at the Downtown Plaza and move into the Grand, where a night of live music, a no-host bar, wine and food samples and many vendors will be waiting.

Costumes are welcome at the event. Tickets are $20.

House of scares

Screams also return to the Grand Theatre this year, as staff members prepare a walk-through haunted house.

In its third year, the main stage and rear portions of the Grand will be transformed into a frightful trip into the lair of a madman from the vaudeville era, whose ghosts and spirits still haunt the old theater.

Haskett said this year’s offering is intended for teenagers and adults, with a scarier theme than in past years.

The haunted house opens Oct. 26, a Friday, and runs until Halloween from 7 to 9 p.m. If crowds are large, the attraction could stay open until 10 p.m., but visitors are asked to call ahead if they hope for a late engagement.

Tickets are $10 for the haunted house.

Monster mash

Movies will also take on the theme of Halloween.

In addition to “Rocky Horror Picture Show,” the Cinematic Treasures series will dish out a matinee viewing of John Carpenter’s classic “Halloween” from 1978 at 2 p.m. Oct. 27, a Saturday.

The movie, featuring Jamie Lee Curtis and Donald Pleasance, pioneered the modern slasher horror flick.

The chills take a comedic turn the following day with a showing of 1987’s “Monster Squad” at 2 p.m. Oct. 28.

“Monster Squad” follows a club of kids battling legendary monsters Dracula, the Wolfman, Frankenstein’s monster and a mummy, all of which are bent on taking over the world.

Tickets to each movie cost $4.

Strutting costumes

Tracy’s annual Halloween parade on Oct. 27, a Saturday, begins at 2:30 p.m. and ends at the Grand Theatre, where the crowd will be taught and will perform the Time Warp dance from “Rocky Horror.”

Children and their parents are invited to dress up and trick or treat along 10th Street and Central Avenue, as many local businesses will open their doors to those in search of sweet treats.

Dead come to life

The Day of the Dead, the traditional Mexican celebration of departed souls, will also be celebrated at the Grand as part of its cultural arts program.

From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 27 in the Children’s Studio classroom, Mercedes Silveira-Gouveia will lead a workshop about El Día de los Muertos.

The workshop will examine the cultural background of the celebration, which honors relatives and friends who have died by building altars with offerings that include flowers, candy, candles and money.

Silveira-Gouveia will build two altar displays at the Grand — one honoring Tracy’s Latino railroad workers and another for the greater community, upon which residents may place small items to remember family and friends. The displays will remain up until Nov. 3.

Also for the Day of the Dead, local artist Beatriz Flores will lead a workshop on linoleum block linocuts and printing from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Oct. 27, in the Visual Arts 1 classroom. Participants can make posters, greeting cards or decorative paper.

Artist C.J. Grossman finishes off the workshop series Oct. 29, a Monday, with two bookmaking workshops in the Visual Arts 2 classroom.

From 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., children 7 to 15 years old will make paper skeletons under Grossman’s watch, along with a book describing who the skeleton was in life.

For those age 16 and older, Grossman will lead a workshop from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in which participants can make skeletons out of wire and papier-mâché or build a scene for a skeleton in a small box, as is commonly done in Mexico for the Day of the Dead.

Supplies are provided, but artists can take items to add to their scene.

The workshops are free to the public, but advance registration is recommended.

For information: 831-6271 or

Comments-icon Post a Comment
No Comments Yet

We encourage readers to share online comments in this forum, but please keep them respectful and constructive. This is not a space for personal attacks, libelous statements, profanity or racist slurs. Comments that stray from the topic of the story or are found to contain abusive language are subject to removal at the Press’ discretion, and the writer responsible will be subject to being blocked from making further comments and have their past comments deleted. Readers may report inappropriate comments by e-mailing the editor at