‘Rocky Horror’ still accepts you
The Lips Down on Dixie cast from left to right: Columbia (Erica Underdown), Magenta (Savannah Hoover), Frank (Chris "Waldo" Sedgwick) and Riff (Chris Goodrich).
October 26th, 2011
10:16 AM ET

‘Rocky Horror’ still accepts you

The movie theater is dark and loud. Dozens of people yell out a question and dozens more yell a bawdy reply.

Then the chant begins. It repeats. And repeats, growing louder with every word until Dr. Frank-N-Furter, the Sweet Transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania, flings open his cape to squeals and screams from boys and girls alike.

In his premier movie appearance, stage and screen veteran Tim Curry chews his way through “The Rocky Horror Picture Show’s” most iconic scene with uninhibited abandon and fabulous flair – not just in manner, but also in sequined corset, women’s underwear, platform heels, and enough makeup to make any drag queen jealous.

“I see you shiver with an-ti-ci…” Curry purrs, seducing the audience with glossy, crimson lips. The tense pause in dialogue is slight, but the audience doesn’t miss a beat. In unison they immediately cry out, “Thismoviewouldsuckwithoutaudiencepartici  –”

“Pation!” Curry exclaims, both finishing his phrase – and the audience’s.

As he finishes singing, glam-fabulous Frank-N-Furter disappears in an elevator with the press of a button and the theater erupts with applause and high fives.

And there’s still an hour to go.

The movie has grown to cult status mainly due to its audience participation. For 90 minutes, props abound throughout the audience – from rice to squirt guns to toilet paper – and jokes, questions, comments, and yes, even obscenities, are rattled off at near-lightning speed.

“I absolutely think it’s a rite of passage, for all kinds of geeks,” Laine Binder explains. “Theater geeks, especially, know their “Rocky” and other types of geeks know at least some quotes and references and then introduce others to it.”

Binder, 30, received her Masters in musical theater at the Boston Conservatory and is currently appearing in a production of the “Rocky Horror” stage musical at Boston’s Oberon Theatre.

Those who have never borne witness to the movie (specifically with a group of actors mirroring it, called a “shadow cast”) are lovingly referred to as “Virgins” in the “Rocky Horror” community.

In Atlanta, Georgia, between 150-200 audience members attend each screening  at the historic Plaza Theatre, with the majority of each audience in the 16-35 age range. During the month of October, that number easily grows to over 200 and the Halloween show sells out every year.

For the first time ever, Lips Down on Dixie (LDOD), Atlanta’s longest-running and sole remaining “Rocky Horror” shadow cast, has added an additional Saturday midnight show this year to try and accommodate the crowd.

“We are a good-natured, equal-opportunity offender,” LDOD director and nursing student Candace Weslosky, 28, cracks. “But,” she adds, her broad smile quickly giving way to seriousness, “we are a no-hate zone and bullying is absolutely not allowed. We will throw you out.”

“[Halloween] is the time of year where nearly everyone dresses up and it’s a costume party,” the producer of LDOD, Aron Siegel, 42, explains. “It’s even more ok to come out on Halloween – pun intended.”

It’s the phrase of “coming out” that has made the show/experience a trailblazer to many and a stigma to others.

“Rocky Horror” creator-writer Richard O’Brien was himself struggling with his own sexuality and gender role when he conceived the show.

Whether O’Brien intended it or not, his bawdy, glam-rock, train-wreck-you-can’t-look-away-from of a film has now become the “poster movie” for acceptance. Tim Curry said people still thank him for playing the role of Frank, saying  how much the movie helped them accept themselves. Those who have embraced the camp and spectacle don’t see “Rocky,” as it’s affectionately known, as a risqué, taboo film, but rather one big rockin’ party that celebrates freedom and self-expression.

LDOD cast member Nik Waddell, 20, puts it this way: “It lets you come out, show who you are and everyone else is doing the exact same thing. It’s the ultimate night of acceptance.”

But to those unfamiliar with the culture, ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show” is nothing more than a dated B-movie that glorifies decadence and lust, while emphasizing fetishism and homosexuality.

Both the 1975 film and stage musical on which it was based have been banned in places like South Africa and Singapore…and Carrollton, a city about an hour southeast of Atlanta.

The city of Carrollton agreed to let director Michelle Rougier use city-allotted funds to stage the original musical at the Carrollton Cultural Arts Center for shows in this month. Then halfway through rehearsals, Carrollton mayor Wayne Garner pulled the plug after seeing a rehearsal video posted on a cast member’s private Facebook page.

Mayor Garner told Carrollton 11 TV that he found the show “offensive” to the community of Carrollton and even went so far as to claim that if "Rocky Horror" was allowed to proceed, “we’d be run out of town.”

Geek Out! reached out to Mayor Garner, but he politely declined to comment. While the Carrollton cast has since found a home at the University of West Georgia for a February showing and even private investors to fund it, the cast is left wondering: When did “Rocky Horror” become “Footloose”?

Rougier believes one of the biggest hurdles “Rocky” faces is its subject matter – not that the material is necessarily inappropriate or deviant, but rather that it distracts the detractors from embracing all the silliness.

“Rocky Horror” is well-documented as paying homage to 1950s rock n’ roll and all the sci-fi and horror B-movies of that decade, especially those from Hammer Films. In fact, much of the film was shot at Oakley Court, a castle that was formerly used as a set for Hammer productions.

“It’s just a silly little farce!” Rougier exclaims, sounding slightly exasperated. “I’m not preaching Stanislavski to my actors and that’s where he [the mayor] messed up. It’s not serious!”

Binder said she was saddened by the ban and she shares Rougier’s opinion.

“Rocky is very tongue-in-cheek. Yes, there’s a lot of sex and violence, but that’s not what it’s about. People think that, you know, liking Rocky says something about you as a person and I don’t think it says much at all, quite frankly.”

“I’m not mad at the city [of Carrollton] or even mad at the reasons, because, you know, ‘perception is truth,’" Weslowski said, "but how could you do that to the kids?”

Kids. With the exception of “I wouldn’t want my kids to see that,” it’s a word not typically associated with the R-rated musical. The irony is that while many adults see a movie that draws deviant, gay fetishists, the kids see a movie that draws people together and unites everyone, no matter their varying background.

Dan Dougherty, a project manager in his early 40s, remembers attending “Rocky” as a teenager and the impression it made on him. The kind of acceptance found at “Rocky Horror” performances is not always pervasive within subcultures of nerds, he said.

“The Goth movement is exclusive. ‘Rocky Horror’ counters that; it’s very inclusive. When I went as a teenager, everyone went out of their way to make sure everyone was included,” he said.

Dougherty grew up in Cobb County, Georgia in the 1980s. He described the area as a conservative place to grow up in and said attending "Rocky Horror" was a fun, harmless way for him and his friends to rebel.

“It’s not the gateway movie into the gay and lesbian community,” he deadpanned.

Even the film’s Hero, Brad Majors (played by Barry Bostwick), and Heroine, “Dammit” Janet Weiss (played by Susan Sarandon), are a virginal, repressed couple in the small, conservative, fictional town of Denton, Ohio. In the movie, Frank-N-Furter is a literal alien from the planet Transsexual in the galaxy of Transylvania, but he also serves as a metaphor for the “outside world” which seems “alien” to Brad and Janet.

By the credits, Brad and Janet, for better or worse, have grown and learned and finally experienced life for the first time, thanks to Frank, a sentiment to which Dougherty can relate: “[Rocky Horror] was a connection to the world outside of our small town.”

As for the Carrollton cast, LDOD sees their lack of venue as a chance to increase the size of the “Rocky Horror” family that already extends to tens of thousands of people around the world and numerous message boards.

“The message of the movie is “Don’t dream it, be it.” Frank [N Furter] even sings about it. We try and teach that here with the cast. We give you the opportunity to find your art, your passion, yourself,” Weslosky said.

“With Carrollton, we didn’t view them as our competition. Instead, we invited them to perform the dance that got them banned for our Halloween shows this year. When people show up and have a good time and then blog about or post about how much fun they had, THAT will be justice,” Weslosky adds.

A movie that preaches acceptance, tolerance, and that being you is simply fabulous enough? AND it has Tim Curry in a corset?? What are you waiting for?! Grab a squirt gun and a newspaper and go through a “Time Warp” with 200 friends this Halloween! Again! And again! And again!

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  1. Marx Flyzik

    Thanks for another informative website. Where else may just I am getting that type of information written in such an ideal manner? I have a project that I am simply now working on, and I've been at the look out for such info.

    December 11, 2011 at 7:10 am |
  2. Pyrofeline

    I was in the shadow cast for Columbus, Ohio's Rocky Horror for almost 10 years – it was a fun time. Yes, it was a rip-roaring good time and truthfully a much better place for us to be hanging out than the trouble we COULD have been getting into instead. Rocky will always have a special place in my heart.

    November 4, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
  3. Opinionmine

    Attended a midnight showing of a live performance of the show on Saturday night/Sunday morning about two hours northeast of Carollton in Alabama. Great fun was had by all!

    It is weird given the great amount of talent that was cast in he moving (Curry, Sarandon, Bostwick and Loaf, not to mention O'Brien) that the movie was so cheesy. (Curry was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for the stage version). But I think the cheesiness adds to the experience.

    BTW, O'Brien has attempted two sequels to the show, Shock Treatment – in which the characters' names were changed after the sequel aspect didn't work – and The Revenge of the Old Queen – which is still being developed.

    October 31, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  4. The SSgt

    LB-Finally read this and what a great read! Maybe something more about the early years of LDOD or how past members have come from all walks of life and gone on to do great things. Like Ken!

    October 31, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
  5. Mick

    Rocky Horror is my all-time favorite show!!! I've been watching this movie since I was a little, tiny girl! I don't know why, or when, or even how my parents decided they were gonna let me watch it....maybe I just found it in the VCR. Hahah! Either way, it didn't leave that VCR after that day! I was the type of kid that could watch a movie about 10 times a day....every day....and never get bored with it! Needless to say, the tape got worn out. Luckily for me, my dad bought another! Weee! I've now seen the live shows a couple times...in Kansas and in Arizona. I even got a 6'8" man to dress in full Frank-N-Furter costume.....he had no idea what he was even getting into (he's never even seen the movie)!! It was definitely a blast!!!

    October 30, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
  6. erockemad

    When I was a Freshman in high school a girl invited me and others out to Seattle for the show on her 16th birthday. They dressed us boys up in drag and I was called up to the front. I won the fake an orgasm contest and had a great time. This is the perfect venue to let your freak flag wave!

    October 28, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
  7. JG

    My Mom heard about the Rocky Horror Picture Show when I was 10 years old and she didn't want to go by herself, so she took me. I didn't understand everything that was happening, but Tim Curry in drag sneaking in and out of everyone's beds is a little hard to miss. My Mom and I had a great time and it is one of our favorite memories.

    October 28, 2011 at 1:11 am |
    • Ana

      I doubt anyone has read any of the oserivns in their entirety. I also doubt anyone will. How is it that this is suddenly a crime against humanity? Complex bills are always hundreds of pages and they are never read by a single congressional member in their entirety nor do they need to be.Big Daddy: I think in your haste to complain about fdm you missed her point: If not reading the bill is bad why only complain about the Left when the Right are equally guilty? Its a fair point that you and the asker missed in your zeal to whine about the Dems. TYPICAL.

      April 8, 2012 at 6:07 am |
  8. smithgregory68

    Great article and comments> I watch a few movies with the charactors on http://moviesonlinelive.com

    October 28, 2011 at 1:02 am |
  9. Ethan

    A report on Rocky Horror and LDOD, but no mention of Java?
    For shame, CNN!

    October 27, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
    • Lauren Berkley

      He wasn't playing the last 2 weeks I was there writing this! I certainly didn't forget about him, but I also needed to get interviews and first-hand accounts from older and/or former 'Rocky' people! I've known Java for about 5 years now. 🙂

      October 27, 2011 at 11:03 pm |
  10. Charlie_in_VA

    The first time I saw The Rocky Horror Picture Show it was actually on a tape, given to me as a Christmas present by a family friend. I was in my mid-teens, very shy, very "in my shell," and without many friends. One thing the movie showed me is how to embrace yourself for who you are. It was a big moment for me. About fifteen years later I'm still a fan, and have amassed quite a large collection of RHPS memorabilia and collectibles, some of them pretty exclusive. I've never seen it in a theater, but when I do I plan to go in full Frank dress. For any town who bans this show, GET OVER IT. It's not what you think.

    October 27, 2011 at 8:41 pm |
  11. Dragon

    My friends and I spent many a weekend at our local cinema alternating between midnight showings of RHPS and Dawn of the Dead...sneaking out of the house with bags of goodies (aka props) then off to the show...lots of memories go along with this show....being able to yell at the screen and not get tossed out of the theater...the rice....the water guns....the newspapers....lighters....toilet paper....THE TIME WRAP.....my kids see me singing along to the soundtrack and think mom is a bit off...I explained to them the way the movie should be viewed and now they are looking for a theater close that plays it and lets you bring the goodies too....can't wait for them to see for themselves that once you wrap there is no turning back LOL....

    October 27, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
    • Dragon

      *warp* even LOL

      October 27, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
  12. Andrea M

    I almost wasn't allowed to go to my first RHPS, my mom had to be talked into it by a friend of hers who knew about the local show. When I finally was set loose, I pretty much never looked back. I adored the experience, being out late with friends dressed up weird, getting sit 'n' wiggles, and the hazing of de-virginization. I still have pics and the flier from my first show. Someday when I have teenagers of my own, I hope I can watch them get all dressed up for their first show. I might fight a little to add to the sense of "rite of passage" but I will gladly see them out the door.

    October 27, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
    • Lauren Berkley

      I'm loving this! Especially the "pretending to fight them on going" part! 🙂

      October 27, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
  13. stephanie

    alamo drafthouse in austin, texas still shows it every saturday at midnight. i havent been yet.. and i have been in love with the movie since i was 16 (24 now). i have been saying i am going to go but havent....

    October 27, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
    • Lauren Berkley

      I have a friend in Austin & he raves about the Drafthouse!! I'm 26 - I "lost my virginity" when I was 20. At the Plaza Theatre, no less! You need to go!!! 🙂

      October 27, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
    • NMlost

      Go, go, go! Life is uncertain and it's so MUCH fun! Had a RHPS party at a friend's place, *snicker* and two years later he was still digging confetti out of the wall-to-wall. So do go and enjoy!!

      October 30, 2011 at 10:29 pm |
      • Andreluiz

        Google H.R.3200 for the House Version. Our Representative Dingell was one who helped write this bill .if you can veeilbe that one, since he has NOT READ THE BILL HIMSELF. This very question was asked of him during our local meeting. I and others are informed ..we have read the above bill front to back. Be very informed, because what our Government and our Politicians are telling you are all out lies.

        April 8, 2012 at 7:05 am |
  14. Jackie Spencer

    I lost my virginity in Washington, DC at the Georgetown Theater. I fell in love with the show. I have since taken many and no one has ever complained. They use to show it every weekend at midnight. Now that I am 59 and live in Albuquerque, NM. I miss not being able to have that experience. I've seen Tim Curry in many NYC musicals, he is definitely talented. But he is at his best as Frank!

    October 27, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
  15. Twowolves

    Growing up in New York, I had seen Rocky Horror by the time I graduated high school. After enlisting in the Marines in 1983, I ended up stationed in Beaufort, SC for a year. I was surprised to learn the town's movie theater started showing Rocky Horror. I missed the first night but went for the second night. The nice southern girl at the ticket window told me the manager pulled the movie. She told me how they had a packed house, but then everyone went crazy when the movie started; singing along, dancing, squirting water guns and throwing things at the screen. The manager had to come out several times to talk to the audience but it didn't help. After I finished laughing, I explained that is the Rocky Horror experience. I asked her if she had ever heard of it. She said no and never plans to see it again.

    October 27, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
  16. Christopher Ambler

    Excellent article, and thanks for mentioning the forums at RockyHorror.org – we launched the site this past April (on 4/7/11, in fact – the tattoo on Frank – at the Rocky Horror Convention in Atlantic City) as a resource for performers and fans alike, and we've been totally thrilled at the response.

    You may note that our Facebook page at @Rockypedia.org (http://facebook.com/rockypedia.org) has over 21,000 fans and continues to grow as well. Rocky Horror fandom is growing and thriving!

    October 27, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • Lauren Berkley

      Thank you so much, Chris!! I'm so glad my li'l labor o' love passed your approval! If I ever have cause to do a follow-up, I'll contact you! 🙂 Thank you so much for reading, and please pass it on!

      October 27, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
  17. Michele

    What do I remember about my first time and Rocky Horror in general? Well, first of all, I went to the best movie theater on the planet. Period. Oh, you might have TXH or IMAX in your theater, but Franklin Cinema in Franklin TN had a beer license and a full bar and grill in the lobby. And it allowed smoking in the theater proper. Oddly enough, no one ever brought cigarettes with names on the labels. They were always "handrolled" if you get my meaning. So, when we all got the munchies from the smoke, we'd go out, order a pizza or steak in the lobby, get a beer and hold up our bottles of Bud Lite when "There Is A Light" played.

    The theater closed down years ago, and the community rallied to restore it to its former glory. And no matter how posh the event to support the restoration was, almost everyone got a silly smile on his or her face whenever you mentioned "The Time Warp."

    October 27, 2011 at 11:45 am |
  18. twduke

    late 70's in Nashville...a bunch of us worked at an old theme park called Opryland during the summer months...after closing..carloads went almost every weekend to a theater called Cinema south...i believe....must have seen it 25-30 times over the next two summers...still know most of the audience parts & words to the songs...they just come back once a year when the family watches the dvd & we all dance the "time warp"...the movie was so bad..it was good and the music is great..

    'don't let your meat loaf"...

    October 27, 2011 at 11:38 am |
    • Lauren Berkley

      I'm so glad many people have commented on the music - a few people I interviewed did, too. The movie itself may be bad, but the music is actually quite great!

      October 27, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
  19. Miami Native

    I saw RHPS for the first time at the Grove Cinema in Coconut Grove, Florida in the 1970's. There was no need for squirt guns, as they turned on the fire sprinklers in the theater. Rubber gloves were held at the ready, and decks of cards flew all over the theater. Toast was lobbed and a good time was had by all. Now, I watch the DVD at home and still get up and do the Time Warp in my living room. I'm 64, but not yet dead.

    October 27, 2011 at 11:11 am |
    • Lou

      Ah, those were the days!!! If I remember well, it played Friday nights at 10:00 p.m. and you could bring your own props, the most common ones were umbrellas and toasted bread.

      October 27, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
    • Lauren Berkley

      Rock on!! 🙂

      October 27, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
  20. baritonemichel

    Saw RHPS for the first time in 1980. I was thrown into the Time Warp with the performing cast. It was a blast. I was in a performing group in Central California (Creatures of the Night in Fresno and Wild and Untamed Things in Modesto) for several years and worked with other groups throughout California. Anyone remember the Dream Police in San Diego? Anyone remember the RHPS convention in Los Angeles in 1981? A little tidbit, Shock Treatment, the RHPS sequel (or equal) was in Fresno, California in the summer of 1981 with a special appearence of Mr. O'Brien himself. What a thrill!

    October 27, 2011 at 11:05 am |
  21. UWG

    CORRECTION: Carrollton is about 45 minutes west of Atlanta, it is not southeast of Atlanta, as was reported in the blog article.

    October 27, 2011 at 9:55 am |
    • Lauren Berkley

      That was absolutely my fault!! Apologies! I looked at a map and got my N-E-S-W compass confused!! I've actually been to your fair city numerous times - my ex worked on a few movies there & I remember taking I-20 West!

      October 27, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • Willian

      Rocky Horror for high school? There is no way a hoosclboard would let a high school do it. Little Shop of Horrors not only would be great for Halloween,but is a great show for high schools due to the simplicity and cast size.

      April 9, 2012 at 4:46 am |
    • Emon

      wooooooow!!.. un altro gioco scemo sul wii!! ne serviva rrippoo un altro vista l'estrema carenza.. magari saranno addirittura capaci di farci una edizione speciale con tanto di blob di pezza ( o qualunque cosa sia quella cosa che il ragazzino si porta dietro..)ma poi, perche fermarsi al pupazzetto? quando si pu benissimo inserirci anche un bel dvd con il make-up del gioco!!, 3 ore di video sulle tragiche esperienze adolescenziali degli sviluppatori, e su come abbiano fatto ad incontrarsi e a partorire un'idea cosi malsana!..dai dai, che se va tutto come non deve andare a natale ci fanno il film.

      April 14, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
  22. Dennis Ziolkowski

    I would like (if I may)...to share not my virgin experience but my favorite experiece...My wife and I saw Rocky somewhere in the middle of the "Burmuda Triange". We were on a cruise ship celebrating our anniversary and my wife wanted to take the "ballroom" dancing class offered by the staff. After an hour of tripping over each other I said that the only dance I can do is the Time Warp...when we got back to our cabin the Ship Newsletter was there and we saw that the midnight show that night would be RHPS... After we fell to the deck at the end of the Time Warp we "discovered" the rest of the audience applauding us...only four of us danced and the rest were "entertained".
    We will be at our local Halloween showing tomorow night (Friday)....and we are looking forward to it!

    October 27, 2011 at 9:50 am |
  23. Melissa

    I've never understood the problem that some people have with this movie. Its fun, its silly, has terrible acting, dancing, and some great music, and its a good time.

    October 27, 2011 at 9:30 am |
  24. palintwit

    There's a "Horror Picture Show" everyday. It's called "The Palin Family".

    October 27, 2011 at 9:22 am |
  25. jBelmont

    LDOD is not the sole remaining shadow cast for rocky horror, excited mental state in Toronto Canada does a show every month as well and for Halloween they're doing a double feature with the Shadowcats(a repo the genetic opera shadow cast)

    October 27, 2011 at 8:33 am |
    • RatPunk

      The article says that LDOD are the sole remaining shadowcast IN ATLANTA, not the last one in existence.

      October 27, 2011 at 9:51 am |
      • Lauren Berkley

        Thank you, RatPunk! 🙂

        October 27, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
    • Lauren Berkley

      LDOD is the last, surviving shadowcast in *Atlanta*, and I believe for all of Georgia. I mentioned that in the article - I know there are numerous shadowcasts all across the country and the world! 🙂 RHPS fans, unite!

      October 27, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
    • John

      Actually no such Bill exist. Its still in the legislative cdarle. Its amazing how many Americans have forgotten their basic Civics lessons; on how Bill become law. Portions of proposals exist; nothing solid for any Political Party to examine in its entirety.

      April 8, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
  26. Joe

    I was lucky enough to have seen Rocky in several locations – The 8th street playhouse NYC, Daytona, Chicago, Riverside California, and Hollywood Florida. I now live in Alpharetta and have not seen it in Atlanta (yet).

    My most memorable time was when a few of us decided to take acid and go to the Hollywood Florida Rocky Show. ( I was a different person back then) Standing in line. The high just kicking in. A police officer in his cruiser stops at a red light and starts singing to the crowd over the loud speaker in his car. "Let's do the time warp again" .

    Thanks for the memories!

    October 27, 2011 at 8:08 am |
    • Lauren Berkley

      Come see join us in Atlanta one Friday at midnight, Joe! 🙂

      October 27, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
  27. 52 and still kicking

    Fall of 1976, as senior in high school, I asked out a girl in one of my classes. It was a first date with someone I didn't know all that well. Not sure where to take her on a first date, I decided on an art house cinema in Houston called the River Oaks Theater. I had never heard of the movie and had only the minimal ad in the theater section by which to decide. So we ended up going to see the movie. This was before the audience participation got started at the show in Houston the next summer of 1977 at the Tower Theater. Turns out she was something of a devout Baptist young lady. She never spoke to me again; but I enjoyed the movie. The next summer, it became a weekend jaunt for me and my friends to head down to Richmond Ave. and see the movie and by the the audience participation was beginning to get into full swing. At the time, it was just audience response to the dialogue, rice, lots of people dressed as the characters, lighters for one scene and after a few weeks some people with newspapers. The all out re-enacting of the movie by a shadow cast and much more were later additions. I think I managed to see the movie 10 times or so that summer and the summer after, 1977 and 1978, and a couple more times later on in the early 80's. Good times. Lots of fond memories. I never did find out how life turned out for my poor date from that first viewing, though. Maybe she learned to like the movie or found a guy to take her to less "interesting" shows.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:46 am |
    • Lauren Berkley

      It's her loss...in so many ways! 😉

      October 27, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
  28. Beefburger

    Very surprised to hear about a place that still allows the squit guns, rice, and toilet paper. That stuff makes a real pain in the a$$ mess to clean up by the cinema staff.

    Trivia note – The end song for RHPS "Super Heroes" can be heard at the end credits of the old Bill Bixby Incredible Hulk episodes.

    October 27, 2011 at 1:46 am |
    • Lauren Berkley

      Actually...the Plaza Theatre in Atlanta does NOT allow rice. (For that very same clean-up reason. Plus it kills the pigeons. Looong, old story. 😉 ) Toast is fine, though!

      October 27, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  29. Kathie Dawn

    I lost my (RHPS) virginity at the Blue Mouse Theater near downtown Salt Lake City, Utah, around December 1985. It was a major turning point in my life... for the better. I knew I wasn't alone in my unique way of looking at things. I kept going weekly for several months until I moved away from the area, but those experiences have never been forgotten. Good times.

    October 27, 2011 at 1:26 am |
  30. MissMissouri

    I was a horror movie fanatic as a kid and stumbled onto Rocky by accident at 14. I will NEVER forget my first time watching it; I thought I had just another B horror movie for my best friend and I to watch and instead I had a an experience that neither of us will ever forget! It was unlike anything us small town girls living in the bible belt had ever seen before and I am so thankful for it:) This year my twin girls turned 16 and in Nov we will be together for our first time experiencing it with the crowds; I can't wait!

    October 27, 2011 at 12:30 am |
  31. mochipug

    OMG, I've read so many comments on so many stories and this is the first time that I can recall that all the comments were positive. I'm so impressed with the audience of this wonderful show/film. I am 58 and feel connected to this film as culturalizing and normalizing desire and out-of-the-norm folks.

    October 27, 2011 at 12:26 am |
    • Ezradams

      mochioug, Sounds like our experiences were similar....we're even the same age. I saw RHS the first time in the mid 70's with my girlfriend (now wife). People would stand in line at the theater for a midnight showing (New Brunswick, NJ). The theater would offer discount tickets to people who dressed strangely. Inside kids would mimic the scenes in front of the screen while the movie played and we all took part in yelling and throwing rice and water, etc. Great times! I eventually introduced a dozen plus people to the experience.

      October 27, 2011 at 12:54 am |
  32. kmtown

    Want to put in a good word for those theaters that showed Betty Boop as Snow White before the main event. It was my first time to hear Cab Calloway, singing "St. James Infirmary Blues".

    October 26, 2011 at 11:16 pm |
  33. Seth Biddulph

    This is one of the many things that I miss about Atlanta. RHPS is one of my all time favorite things to go see and I miss seeing it every October. Tim Curry is unforgettable as Frank

    October 26, 2011 at 11:15 pm |
  34. cmc

    Used to go see it all the time in high school in the '80's. Loved it. Once in a while when driving with an old friend of mine, he'll play the soundtrack and we yell everything just like we did back then. Good times. Long Live Rocky Horror....and Tim Curry as Frank!

    October 26, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
  35. amazing music video

    Get your dance party on with NERVO's new video for http://shar.es/bdBIl

    October 26, 2011 at 9:32 pm |
  36. Dan

    I started out in back of theater in Allentown, Pa watching it for my first time back in 1988 and hated it and then later went back with a friend and participated with prop bags. After that night I went back in 1991 when I was old enough and joined cast there and performed in NYC as well at times. Now I am here in south florida still perfoming.

    October 26, 2011 at 8:58 pm |
  37. Jim D

    Brings back memories from the mid80's. Every Saturday night we swore we would do something else for a change, but somehow or other after a few beers by midnight we were at Rocky Horror.

    October 26, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
  38. SPW

    Let's do the time warp again!

    October 26, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
  39. Beezer

    So that's where lady gaga got her look from.

    October 26, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
  40. SixDegrees

    "Rocky Horror" played every Friday and Saturday at midnight at a local theater – for over a decade. It was packed for every single performance, with a majority of customers showing up in costume. It vanished when the theater closed – two successful evenings a week just weren't enough to keep it afloat – and has never returned to the area. I would love to see it with a live audience again – watching the DVD is fun, but only because of the memories of the real deal it brings back. Nice to hear that the tradition lives on in other venues, if not here.

    October 26, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  41. Scott

    I had so much fun watching this movie with the crowd when I was in college. When it finally came out on DVD I bought it and watched it since, frankly, in the theater you can barely hear a word of the actual dialog. Suffice it to say–the *actual* movie is horrible, but seeing it in a group in a theater is insanely fun.

    October 26, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
  42. Solstice

    Rocky was a huge influence on me during my teen years in the late 70's. I spent every Saturday night with my fellow thespians shadowing the show on stage. Now my grown kids are avid fans. This coming Saturday, I'm taking my virgin husband to see it live on stage in San Diego. He naively bought front row tickets! I can't wait. I'll be the granny taking my grandkids someday.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
    • Lauren Berkley

      Oh man! I would LOVE to see his face! 🙂 Thanks for reading!

      October 26, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  43. Mark Stockdale

    I played Riff every Friday and Saturday night in Rochester NY for a couple of years in the early 80's. Reading this brings back fond memories of the fun, friends and laughs we had! Thanks for the smile, really makes me miss the show.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
    • Lauren Berkley

      Thank you so much!! Please be sure to share! 😉

      October 26, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
    • Robin

      Panorama Plaza! Went many a time to see it there, then would go to the Perkins across the street afterwards. That theatre is long gone...

      October 26, 2011 at 9:02 pm |
  44. f

    Some movies CAN NEVER BE REMADE. "Rocky" is 2 of them ...... Rocky Horror and the original Rocky with Sly Stone.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
    • Lauren Berkley

      A remake of RHPS has been rumored to be dancing around Hollywood for years now...

      October 26, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
      • SixDegrees

        No. No. No. Repeat a thousand times.

        October 26, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  45. f

    My girlfriend made me go when we were 16 in 1978 to the Uniondale (Long Island) MiniCinema. Loved it, it scared me (never saw gays before !) and I still love the music. Turns out the shadow cast 'Franky' was my old friend from Jr. High who I hadn't seen in a few years ! Always thought he was odd, now I found out he was gay ! Who knew ! I've been a big fan of Tim Curry ever since. Still have the 33.3 LP ! Haven't gotten into this with my own 15 y/o son yet. I think he would laugh at me and say "Dad, you're really wierd in high school." LOL. Great movie that everyone SHOULD see. And it had MEATLOAF !

    October 26, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
    • HBomb

      Ah, I was hoping someone would mention the Mini Cinema ...... Thursday, Friday & Saturday @ midnight. Also Little Murders was often played there...great times !!!

      October 27, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
    • doc martin

      The Mini Cinema was the best place on Long Island to see it every week for years with a Huge Shadow Cast every show, and also they played The Dead Movie everyweek as well!T

      October 27, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
  46. drew

    Tim Curry was greatness as Frank. I heard somewhere they originally wanted Mick Jagger to play that part. Does anyone know if there is any truth to that? He would have been a big name, but don't think he could have pulled it off the way Tim Curry did.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
    • f

      Only Tim Curry could do it like he did.

      October 26, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
    • Lauren Berkley

      Nope, it's true! http://www.grindhousedatabase.com/index.php/The_Rocky_Horror_Picture_Show/Fun_Facts (Though, at least one report has him turning the role down.) You can check out more, here, too: http://366weirdmovies.com/the-rocky-horror-picture-show

      October 26, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
    • Chris

      Mick WANTED the part. Tim Curry rules, though.

      October 26, 2011 at 8:19 pm |
  47. Fran182

    Aaah Rocky. Used to go see it at midnight at the Tower theatre in Houston.... still know every word of every song....

    October 26, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • Basil999

      Ahhhh Rocky. I have fond memories of watching the midnight show at the Riverside (it always smelled like "feet" there) Theater in Austin WAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYY back in the 70's......

      October 26, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  48. KR

    No offense, everyone, but I eagerly antici . . . pated seeing RHPS for years before I finally got to see it as a teenager, and later saw it again a few years later, both times with audience partci . . . pation. I thought it sucked both times. It wasn't seeing RHPS that made me feel like I had "lived".

    October 26, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
    • Lauren Berkley

      None taken! It certainly isn't for everyone. But RHPS is also not a "good" movie. In fact, it's pretty terrible. I bet nearly anyone even remotely affiliated w/Rocky in some way will agree with me (& many already have). But it's the people and the camaraderie that make it great. (And Tim Curry!) In fact, I know many Rocky cast members who only love the movie when they're seeing it with or performing in a shadow cast; they refuse to watch it any other way. I, for one, have no problem popping it in my DVD player, b/c I do love the camp & music so much, but I know dozens more who refuse to watch it in that form, outside of the [live] theater. But thank you so much for reading! 🙂

      October 26, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  49. Patrick

    You haven't lived until you have went to a Rocky Horror Picture Show. It's a shame that more of the old movie houses aren't around anymore that were the ones that tended to show Rocky. Luckily where I live, while we don't have regular weekly or monthly showings, we do have one huge annual showing at our local amphitheater. This year the attendance was over 3300. Not bad for a 35 year old movie.

    October 26, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • Lauren Berkley

      Atlanta's Plaza Theater might now be the oldest theater, in the city, at least. I believe it's at least 70 or 75 years old. 'Rocky Horror' wouldn't be the same - or feel the same - without it! Thank you for reading! Please share and spread the Gospel of Rocky! I'm glad you still get to see it annually! 🙂

      October 26, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  50. Suz

    From the days of sneaking out to the movies at midnight at the Lehigh Valley Mall, to my brother meeting his wife during a production of Rocky, to late-night junkets to the Newark Cinema Center (FDO!!!), to my own wedding scheduled for next June during closing night of a production of Rocky that my fiance's directing – yeah, you could say it means a lot to me. 🙂 Nice to see an article that does it justice!


    October 26, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • Lauren Berkley

      Thank you so much, Suz! Actually, the LDOD cast I interviewed I used to be a part of myself. I should have interviewed you, too! hahaha If I'm ever asked to do a follow-up, I'll contact you! 🙂 Thanks again! Please pass it on and spread the word!

      October 26, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • BillD66

      Before the Newark Cinema Center there was the State Theater, on Main Street where the MiniMall is now. I miss that place. 🙁 "Whatever happened to Saturday night," indeed.

      October 26, 2011 at 10:17 pm |
  51. Jenickki

    You haven't lived till you've done Rocky. I've done the Rocky Horror Show on stage, acted it in movie theaters, and yes the ultimate was doing it in NYC for the 10th anniversary. It's fun people!! Can't wait till my daughter asks to go be part of the show. :-).
    One sad note. It's really really hard to ever find anyone as good as Tim Curry for Frank. I do believe he was a master at his craft. No-one works a pair of pumps like he could.
    Just my thoughts.
    "Don't dream it....be it"

    October 26, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
    • Lauren Berkley

      I concur. For better or worse, whether he likes it or not, Tim Curry is FOREVER Frank! In fact, the movie would *probably* not have been as iconic, if it weren't for him. Just my 2 cents, too! 🙂 Please share and spread the word!

      October 26, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
    • Long live Tim!

      Why is that a sad note that no one will ever be as great as Tim Curry in that role? I'm thrilled he's universally loved as Frank and think he's done fantastic jobs in other characters since then. I was lucky enough to see him in Spamalot and he was great as King Arthur. Can't wait to see him as Doctor Doolittle and all the great roles he has yet to tackle.

      Viva Tim Curry! (and Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick, Meat Loaf et al!)

      October 28, 2011 at 11:44 am |
  52. rtbrno65


    October 26, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • Lauren Berkley

      She is/was my favorite to play!! 🙂 Thanks for reading and please share! Spread the Gospel of Rocky! 🙂

      October 26, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  53. GonzoG

    My kid is now a 2nd gen Rocky fan. I was a 'virgin' until 1983. She had her first Rocky in 2010.

    Me, my wife, and our kid are all 'professional weird kids' and we LOVE ROCKY!

    October 26, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • Lauren Berkley

      "Professional weird kids" unite!! Thank you so, so much for reading, and pass it on! 🙂 Other must know the Gospel of Rocky!

      October 26, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  54. Maverick

    I heard something about a doctor who works at our facility and asked her, quietly, if she takes a jump to the left. She stopped writing and got this slow grin on her face and replied "only before a step to the right". We both then said "Oh, Rocky!" together, and I knew...I knew...she remembered doing the Time Warp.

    'course others were looking oddly at us...poor souls.

    October 26, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
  55. saopaco

    "Swim the warm waters of sins of the flesh!"

    October 26, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
  56. Chris Goodrich

    They spelled my name wrong! lol

    October 26, 2011 at 11:22 am |
    • Lauren Berkley

      Chris, I hope you are joking - I double-checked it on Facebook AND Siegel sent me the cast list from last week! 🙂

      October 26, 2011 at 1:32 pm |