40 years ago today, those crimson red lips graced movie screens for the very first time with an uncertain future ahead of them. The Rocky Horror Picture Show, at first a flop, came back in a huge way. No, it’s not an independent movie, it was made by Fox. However, that’s not what we’re here to talk about. 40 years later and the film is still being screened in theaters on a regular basis, but with an incredibly unique twist.
If you have never been to The Rocky Horror Picture Show midnight screenings with a live shadow cast, you are really missing out. What is a shadow cast? That’s when a bunch of super-fans who brink on insanity dress like the characters from the film and act it out in front of the screen, meanwhile audience members shout at the screen and throw things depending on what is happening in the movie. Is it raining? Better grab your newspaper! I know, it seems like a lot but If it is done right, you end up with an incredibly unique, 4D experience that is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before.
The first shadow cast first began in 1976 at the United Artists in Westwood, Los Angeles. By 1977 the National Fan Club was formed, and the crowd participation grew to the now infamous Tiffany Theater. This debaucherous act traveled it’s way through the Los Angeles area, then through California, before making it’s way around the world, rocketing The Rocky Horror Picture Show into cult status.
Today there are thousands of casts performing in front of The Rocky Horror picture Show all over the world. These casts perform weekly, monthly, or only on specific occasions. They are all independently run and work as a community, but it feels more like a family.
These casts are more than just a one time show. They are a living organism that if treated right, could hail great rewards. This began as a film about decadence and fishnets, but it’s become a breeding ground for the different, strange, outcast-ed people who feel like they have no place in the regularities of society. People come to The Rocky Horror Picture Show to feel like they are a part of something, which inevitably they are. It’s a safe haven for the misfits and losers, a mecca for the unwanted and the misunderstood.
Today The Rocky Horror Picture Show is celebrating 40 years of decadence, and we couldn’t be happier. Do yourself a favor and find the closest cast to you and go! You can use this long list to help find one.
Happy Birthday Rocky! And thanks for all the fishnet!