Advice for first-time Rocky Horror Picture Show attendees

Get ready to dance, sing and throw toast

As Halloween draws near, fans of The Rocky Horror Picture Show are feeling the urge to “do the time warp again.”

Unwitting first-timers may be unaware of what to expect at the showing of the cult classic, but Victoria Film Festival (VFF) Director Kathy Kay has advice for newbies.

Attending a showing of Rocky Horror has become an October ritual for many and folks new to the experience should expect to have lots of fun, Kay explained.

While at most films, attendees are expected to sit in their seats quietly, at a Rocky Horror showing, misbehaving is imperative. Toast and rice are thrown around the theatre and audience members sing and dance along with the film.

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Folks are welcome to bring their own rice and unbuttered toast, or they can buy prop bags at the door, Kay said. First-timers don’t need to worry about knowing when to throw food because the timing is alluded to in the film and the “old pros” will guide others along. Kay advises aiming away from the screen and people, but she said getting showered with rice and crumbs is part of the experience.

Attendees also usually dress up like characters from the movie. Most people choose to dress in a bustier and fishnets like Frank-N-Furter or like the innocent couple that wanders into the mad-scientist’s home during a rainstorm, Kay explained.

She said it makes things more fun and that almost anything goes. She remembers someone showing up to a screening in just gold bathing suit bottoms like Rocky – mad-scientist Doctor Frank-N-Furter’s hunky monster.

“Once you’ve seen that, nothing will surprise you,” she said with a laugh.

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The audience members frequently join in to do The Time Warp dance along with the characters in the film, Kay said. It can be fun to know the dance steps in advance, but folks can just follow along too, she added.

“Get up and wiggle however you want.”

The VFF hosts five 19+ screenings from Oct. 25 to 31 of the 1975 film directed by Jim Sharman at the Vic Theatre. A host will start the festivities and “indoctrinate the Rocky Horror virgins.” There will also be a costume contest and interactive activities. Kay warned that bags are checked and outside food and drinks – other than toast and rice – aren’t allowed. However, she noted that the theatre has a wine and beer licence for those interested in purchasing drinks.


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