Dozens of people dressed up as characters from The Rock Horror Picture Show greeted us when we arrived at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. There was glitter, fishnets, and bare skin everywhere—and it was clear some of the moviegoers were already intoxicated.
When we entered our theatre we received red plastic bags which contained props to be used during the screening. The kits included a small squirt gun, a glow stick, a noisemaker and a party popper. We also received small crackers to throw at the screen during the infamous “toast scene.”
Host Rod Cone introduced the show and gave everyone some polite reminders not to go overboard while enjoying the screening. He was dressed as Riff Raff, one of the main characters in the show, so he was hard to take seriously.
One of us was a “virgin” to the Rocky Horror Picture Show, and the other a seasoned veteran. We were both in an unfamiliar location, and the audience was much older than we were. Once the lightning dimmed the audience and all veterans of the show started yelling and cheering.
All of the lyrics to the songs and some of the more quotable lines from the movie rolled at the bottom of the screen as subtitles. Inside jokes and gag lines also played along the bottom of the screen for people to yell. It was an effective technique to keep those who had never been to a screening for the movie involved.
Actors stood in front of the screen and played out the scenes along with the actors in the movie. Although the screening was not a floorshow, the crowd improvised onto the stage. When “The Timewarp” started, all of the half-drunk, middle aged moviegoers danced on stage.
As the movie progressed and our fellow audience members became increasingly intoxicated, they became convinced that they were the true actors in the film. They stood up and recited the lines along with the movie characters. At the end, the audience members bowed and took full credit for their performance.
It would be a typical showing for those who have seen the movie before. For those who have not seen the movie before, a live screening is a great way to enjoy “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” Whether you watch the film, play with the props, or observe the drunken audience, it’s a spectacle that extends beyond the screen.