Monday, July 19, 2010

Becoming Frank-N-Furter

Yam was playing some songs from The Rocky Horror Picture Show on her iPod the other day and it got me thinking about the first time I experienced that movie.

It was during my second year of college (1980-1981). A group of seven or eight of us, guys and girls, decided to make the one hour trip up north to the midnight showing at the Indiana Theater in Terre Haute.

I did not know what to expect. I had never heard about the movie. Looking back, I think even if I had known a bit about the movie, I still would not have been prepared for the viewing experience.

We waited in line to get into the theater and when we got in, it was packed full. We were able to sit together in the back row on the floor level of the theater.

There were people in the audience dressed as movie characters and when the movie started some of them jumped on stage to act out the movie as it was running. Other audience members shouted replies at the silver screen, threw toast, shot water pistols and held newspaper over their heads (we did not bring newspaper and got wet).

It was difficult to hear and understand the movie with all of the audience participation noise. The energy and mood in the theater were intoxicating and infectious. I did not know what was going on exactly, but I knew I liked it. I would eventually buy the movie and soundtrack. What a difference it made to watch the movie in the quietness of home; the movie and all of the audience madness started to make sense.

I was at my eldest sister's house and we watched the movie; she too fell under its spell (who doesn't like doing The Time Warp?). We decided to make ourselves up as the main character, Frank-N-Furter (just in case we wanted to attend a showing one midnight in costume). It was fun playing with the makeup. This was my attempt at becoming Frank-N-Furter.

This is a picture of Tim Curry, the actor who played Frank-N-Furter in the movie.

My sister and I never did go to see the movie in costume. Seeing these pictures side-by-side today makes me think that was a wise decision.

A few years after my first theater experience of The Rocky Horror Picture Show I would attend another with two of my cousins. One of these cousins is now a nun...I wonder if seeing this movie influenced her in any way.


  1. I loved your story . This is my favorite pictur of Frank. Did you watch the fox show last night. Nothing can match the original I have been to 7 different plays of RHPS, countless showings. I would enjoy a "time warp" to relive those theatre moments. I am 71 now and still a fan