Rocky Horror Picture Show celebrates 40 years!

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For many, hitting the big 40 is a big deal.  For 70’s cult movie classic  “Rocky Horror Picture Show“, which starred Tim Curry as Dr. Frank-N-Furter,  Susan Sarandon as Janet Weiss, and Barry Bostwick as Brad Majors,  it’s an even bigger deal as October 30 is officially declared The Rocky Horror Picture Show Day in the city of Los Angeles.   Rocky Horror Picture Show fans joined Tim Curry and producer Lou Adler as a special plaque was unveiled to commemorate the 40 year anniversary in Mann Theatre, the very theatre in Westwood where the film first made its premiere September 26, 1975.

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The day started with Rocky Horror Picture Show (RHPS) fans arriving at the Los Angeles City Hall to see actor Tim Curry, producer Lou Adler, fan club president Sal Piro and the Sins O’ The Flesh shadowcast receiving special certificates in a ceremony led by Paul Koretz and the declaration that October 30 would be The Rocky Horror Picture Show Day in Los Angeles.  Sins O’The Flesh proceeded to serenade the crowd with a performance of “The Time Warp”.

To conclude the celebration, this lively group then traveled to the Mann Theatre in Westwood. As fans dressed in fishnet stockings and held iphones ready to capture the special moment, Koretz once again presented the plaque along with words by Tim Curry and Lou Adler.

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Here’s some of the words presented by Koretz at the Westwood celebration:

“Today we salute the amazing people that made this film possible.  And the equally amazing fans and performers who continue to be a part of this joyous experience.  That’s why we’ve declared October 30, 2015, to be Rocky Horror Picture Show Day today.  In just a few minutes, we’re going to have a special ceremony forever to mark this very place as a landmark site in the history of Westwood in this city   and the world of film.

But first, as I like to quote from the ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’, I would like, if I may, to take you on a strange journey.”

Koretz proceeded to recall the countless fans who have memorized every word, song, and dance in the film.  He notes, “The fans may not be able to name the capitals of every state,  but every Rocky Horror Show fan knows backwards, forwards, all about those pair of lips . . . the marvelous ways of Frank-N-Furter, Brad and Janet, Riff Raff, Magenta, Columbia, Eddie, the criminologist, and of course Rocky himself. ”

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He reminds us this film is the longest running film release and the ever popular midnight screenings do now appear to be slowing down anytime soon.  He notes that this groundbreaking film did indeed open up doors for  gay rights and bisexual rights movement and  “has comforted and empowered so many people of all stripes that feel themselves in the fringes of society.  But it’s also just good fun.”

Lou Adler jumped in with a few words with words of praise about lead actor Tim Curry and thanks for the fans:  “We can celebrate Rocky Horror Picture Show.  We can celebrate someone who  should have won the 1975 Academy Award, but we are also here to celebrate the fans who have turned out in the heat of the day and continue to turn out.”

Despite feeling ill earlier that day, Tim Curry persevered and thanked the fans for coming out.  After all, “You think I would miss this?”

RHPS fan president recounted seeing the movie 39 years ago in New York, started audience participation.  The same people would come back again and again for the films.  He thanked the fans.

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With the the unveiling of the plaque amidst oh’s and ah’s, I could not help but look at the diehard fans around me,  the actor who created one of the most iconic screen characters ever, the producer who brought the film to life, and the theatre that opened the film to audiences forty years ago. Just as Kortez said this film celebrated the outliers, the film appeared to be an outlier when it was met with poor reception during its initial theatrical release.  Yet years later, midnight movies continue, shadow casts embrace the film, theatrical versions of the movie rule the stage, and scores of fans continue to celebrate their fave characters.  It is a testament that yes, outliers can beat the odds too. In fact, a remake of the film is in the works set for release in 2016.

If we time warped back to 1975, who would ever think this quirky horror comedy musical, this outsider in the land of Hollywood, would ever become the phenomenon it would be become?   Well, it did.  Forty years later.

“A night out… it was a night out they were going to remember for a very long time.”-Criminologist

Happy 40th anniversary, and Happy Halloween!

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Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment