The Rocky Horror Phenomenon


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This year on Friday, October 30, around midnight, men and women will crowd the sidewalk in front of The Campus Theatre in Lewisburg, Pa.  Some of the women will be dressed up in questionable attire, and some of the men will look like they came wearing their girlfriend’s clothes.

Why are all of these people dressed in strange clothes in a line outside of a movie theatre? Because they’re waiting to buy tickets for the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

For those Rocky Horror virgins out there, this Halloween cult phenomenon is a musical comedy that parodies horror and science fiction films. The premise of the movie tails a couple in distress. They get a flat tire and knock on the nearest door for help. The couple is then thrown into the house of a bizarre doctor, where they observe a strange and sexually ambiguous atmosphere.

The movie is usually a big hit with audience members.  The general consensus is that most people are aware of the film’s existence.  However it’s not very safe to say that most people have seen the film, or experienced it at midnight on Halloween.

There are some who have simply rented the DVD and watched it at home, but that might not be the way to go. Penn Tech student Rachel Putterman has some experience with this issue.  Putterman made last year’s Halloween her first trip to see the movie in theatres. She had rented it and wasn’t the biggest fan, but all of her friends told her she had to see it in theatres.  Putterman said “I thought I still wouldn’t like it, but it was so much better participating in the whole thing when you’re in the movie theatre.”

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A seasoned veteran Mike Andrews, who has attended for three consecutive years, is planning on making this year his fourth.  Andrews is a college student at Susquehanna University who’s been going to this event with friends ever since his high school years.  He said, “You really have to go in with an open mind and just try to have fun, cause the whole thing is pretty chaotic, but in a good way.”

Andrews is bringing a few of his college friends along, and most of them are first-timers like Kyle Header.  Header said “It should be pretty funny, my girlfriend’s lending me some of her clothes.” Header won’t be the only guy there dressed in female’s clothing.  The show doesn’t start until 11:00 pm, but the line starts to build about an hour before.  The entire block fills up with people who look like they might be working the corner.  It may be a shocking visual for the uninformed by-passer.

Once you get into the theatre and the show starts, there is a lot more to get used to.  Every theatre has their own specific rules and regulations to keep things from getting out of control.  But aside from that, you’re free to do things you might not be able to any other time in a movie theatre.  The event is interactive and allows for some pretty outrageous behavior. Andrews explains that “You can yell profanities out at random times and throw rice around the room, it’s pretty much a given that things will get sloppy.”

There’s a list of items the newcomer to the Rocky Horror scene should bring along to be properly prepared.  The more popular items on the list include rice and toast for throwing, water bottles or water guns for obvious purposes, and newspapers as a defense mechanism from all the chaotic elements of the show.  As Andrews explained earlier, thing’s really do get sloppy in the theatre.

So for the adventurous college student out there looking for something new and different this Halloween, the Rocky Horror Picture Show might be just the ticket.




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