No one ever really forgets their time spent at a Rocky Horror Picture Show screening. Simply put, a RHPS screening is a communal experience, marked by outlandish behavior and wild theatrics both by audience members and actors. If you're lucky, a shadow cast member will touch you at some point in the evening. At my first screening, I was dry-humped onstage.
That's just the kind of raunchy behavior that has brought the RHPS screenings their notoriety and continued success after forty (!!) years, besides-of course- the raunchy nature of the film. A film about extraterrestrial transvestites who party and have sex with each other and their Frankenstein-like creations could only find an audience with "unconventional conventionists" like those who flock to midnight screenings and shout or throw things at the screen throughout the showing. If you've never made it out to a screening before, your big chance is here: this Friday night, Sunnyside Cemetery in Long Beach will be screening The Rocky Horror Picture Show in all its campy glory to kick off a summer series of films in partnership with the AMP LBGTQIA Organization.
This event is sponsored by Lola's Mexican Cuisine and presented by Lola's Outdoor Retro Cinema in Long Beach, which benefits the Long Beach Cinematheque (founded by Frida Cinema director Logan Crow) and features a lip-syncing and dancing shadow cast played by members of the Art Theatre in Long Beach to flesh out the characters in real time. While throwing food is customary at regular midnight screenings, patrons are asked to not throw food at the screen, lest you want some malevolent juujuu to come at you from beyond the grave (seriously don't do it).
But don't let that stop you from having a good time. You can still do the "Time Warp" and sing along with Tim Curry as he preens in his black leather and drag make-up and makes you straight dudes question your sexuality. For those who are new to a RHPS screening- known lovingly in this world as 'virgins'- hopefully there isn't an initiation ritual that is as humiliating as getting dry humped onstage like I was- but then again, I would be lying if I said I didn't love it.
Bring special seating like fold out chairs, blankets and pillows- and arrive early! See you sweet transvestites there!
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
The Rocky Horror Picture Show at Sunnyside Cemetery, 1095 E Willow St, Long Beach. Arrive by 6:30pm, screening starts at 9pm, $10. For details and tickets, follow the Long Beach Cinematheque here.