Thrillpeddlers, the South of Market theater company that has specialized in horror and high camp for 26 years, will likely produce its last show in February. Russell Blackwood, the company founder and producing director, learned on New Year’s Day that the owners of the Hypnodrome, Thrillpeddlers' custom built theater, had sold the building.
The new owner, Blackwood said, runs a furniture showroom which was recently priced out of the San Francisco Design Center.
Thrillpeddlers specializes in revivals of gory 19th century Grand Guignol plays, which often spatter fake blood on audience members, alongside revivals of work first produced by the Cockettes, a drag theater troupe founded in the 1970s. “There is an underground aspect, and a sex-positive aspect that belonged South of Market and in the Folsom," Blackwood says.
But despite the gory and sexually-charged content of most of the company’s shows, Blackwood aims to be inclusive. “I saw this as being a community theater,” he says.
Blackwood also runs a kids' theater workshop, Creepshow Camp, to teach younger devotees how to stage science fiction and horror shows of their own.