Over forty-five years ago on September 26th, 1975 the movie that has taught generations to “Don’t dream it, be it.” and to be more accepting to others who are different, The Rocky Horror Picture Show opened at the UA Westwood in Los Angeles, California.
Directed by Jim Sharman from a screenplay by Sharman and Richard O’Brien, the production is a humorous tribute to the science fiction and horror B movies of the late 1940s through early 1970s. It introduces Tim Curry and features Susan Sarandon and Barry Bostwick along with cast members from the original Kings Road production presented at the Royal Court Theatre, London, in 1973.
Still in limited release nearly four decades after its premiere, it has the longest-running theatrical release in film history. It gained notoriety as a midnight movie in 1977 when audiences began participating with the film in theaters
Prior to RHPS’s infamous the midnight screenings’ success, the film was withdrawn from its eight opening cities due to very small audiences, and its planned New York opening (on Halloween night) was cancelled. Fox re-released it around college campuses on a double-bill with other off-beat films.
RHPS was eventually screened at midnight, starting in New York City at The Waverly Theater on April Fools’ Day of 1976.. By that Halloween, people were attending in costume and talking back to the screen. By mid-1978, Rocky Horror was playing in over fifty locations on Fridays and Saturdays at midnight, newsletters were published by local performance groups, and fans gathered for Rocky Horror conventions. By the end of 1979, there were twice-weekly showings at over 230 theaters in the United States including the 8th Street Playhouse in NYC which had the premiere floor-show in the country led by Sal Piro.
I played Brad Majors opening night and later also Eddie at 8th. Street Playhouse and I WAS NOT an asshole at that time just a closet-case Jersey boy.
But that would soon change.
How many times have you seen The Rocky Horror Picture Show?