OGDEN — Elvis may have left the building, but he never really left our hearts.
As proof, the annual Elvis Rocks Ogden fundraiser returns to Peery’s Egyptian Theater on Saturday night, bringing with it Elvis Presley movies, an Elvis outfit display, a costume contest, a talent show, and more fun than you can shake — or swivel — a hip at.
“Elvis Rocks Ogden is a fan fair for lovers of film and lovers of Elvis alike,” said Egyptian Theatre Foundation board member Ryan McDonald, who along with fellow board members Brandie Rich and Danielle Bendinelli is organizing the fundraiser. “It’s an evening to celebrate our fanship for Elvis.”
This year’s movie offering will be a double feature with two of the King’s more popular films — “Viva Las Vegas” and “Blue Hawaii” — shown in the 800-seat theater.
The event, now in its third year, begins at 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, in Peery’s Egyptian Theater, 2415 Washington Blvd. Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door.
Elvis Rocks Ogden 2018 begins at 4 p.m. with an Elvis costume display. Mannequins are dressed in replicas of Elvis stage costumes over the years.
“We usually have 10 or 12 outfits that are on display,” McDonald said. “They range from the ‘Blue Hawaii’ swimsuit trunks to the yellow jacket in ‘Viva Las Vegas.’ and the ‘Jailhouse Rock’ outfit.”
The costumes are created by B&K Enterprises Costume Co., which has worked with original Elvis costume designer Gene Doucette and today creates high-end recreations of some of Elvis’ most famous costumes. McDonald said B&K provides the costumes for many of today’s Elvis impersonators.
And a bonus for die-hard Elvis fans? The costumes are available for purchase.
“They will be on sale, if you want to buy one,” McDonald said. “But be warned these are not just Halloween costumes. I’ve seen these range from $1,000 or more if it’s a full suit, to a couple of hundred dollars for a jacket.”
McDonald said being the one to dress the mannequins for the event each year has its advantages.
“That’s not to say those Elvis costumes might have slipped onto me once or twice while they were being put on the mannequins,” McDonald said slyly. “It’s kind of hard to resist.”
Participants in the annual Elvis Rocks Ogden event are encouraged to dress up in their own Elvis outfits, and at 6 p.m. a costume contest will be held, with prizes for the winners.
McDonald said at last year’s contest a group of 10 women — all friends, all dressed as Elvis — hopped up on stage.
“It was great,” he said.
At 6:30 p.m., following the costume contest, “Viva Las Vegas” will screen. The 1964 musical comedy stars Presley as gifted race-car driver Lucky Jackson, who goes to Vegas to earn money for a new engine and ends up falling for a sexy swim instructor, played by Ann-Margret.
Following the first film, at 8:30 p.m., an Elvis impersonator/talent contest will be held.
“We’ll have people come up on stage, and give them 20 to 30 seconds to give us their best Elvis impersonation or part of a song,” McDonald said.
Prizes will be awarded in this contest as well.
Then, at 9 p.m., the event concludes with the 1961 Elvis movie “Blue Hawaii.” In it, Presley plays Chad Gates, a recently returned Army vet who defies his parents’ wishes to work in their pineapple business and instead becomes a tour guide for his girlfriend’s travel agency.
Concessions will be available for sale.
Elvis Rocks Ogden 2018 is a fundraiser for the Egyptian Theatre Foundation. Proceeds will be used for overall maintenance of the historical theater, as well as a planned update to the marquee in front of the theater. McDonald said the foundation is hoping to install a vertical marquee sometime in the future.
McDonald, who also organizes the annual “Ogden Big Lebowski Festival” (coming Nov. 10), hopes events like these will not only raise money for the theater, but also raise awareness.
“I hope to bring the community into this beautiful theater, so generations new and old can discover it,” he said. “That’s my main focus in doing these events — just bringing us together to share a common theme or excitement at the Egyptian.”