Newbie guide to the Rocky Horror Picture Show

On New Year’s Eve, the Historic Hemet Theatre will once again host the 1975 cult classic movie musical

Photo source: http://www.freefilmfestivals.org
Historic Hemet Theatre will once again host 1975 cult classic movie musical.

■ By Susan Carrier / Contributed

For New Year’s Eve, the Historic Hemet Theatre (HHT) will again host the 1975 cult classic “Rocky Horror Picture Show.” For those who have never experienced a Rocky Horror event, this is the perfect opportunity to see what has kept this cult going for 40 years.
First, this is not a horror film by any stretch of the imagination. It is a goofy musical about a transvestite mad scientist who designs himself a lover and a naive couple that gets caught up in the ensuing celebration. The film is just really strange, but the real entertainment is the audience participation experience that has evolved through the years and keeps fans coming back again and again. Keep in mind that the film is rated R. Foul language and sexual content are a big part of both the film and the standard audience callouts. Many fans dress in costumes to match the characters on the screen (which are really bizarre).
A series of props are absolutely necessary. For the New Year’s Eve showing, HHT will be providing a bag of props, included in the $15 admission price. Included in the props bag are: a squirt gun to simulate rain and a newspaper to hold over your head, rubber glove, party hat, noisemaker, confetti, roll of toilet paper (to hurl into the air), a bell, and a deck of playing cards (to spray into the air). The prop bag also includes a list describing the timing for each prop.
As one might imagine, the mess is considerable. Still, dozens of theaters across the country host the film— some of them every week. For the HHT event, outside props will not be permitted in order to keep clean-up manageable.
The highlight of the film is the “Time Warp” dance that gets the audience dancing in the aisles. “It’s just a jump to the left…and then a step to the right…with your hands on your hips…you pull your knees in tight…”
Tickets for Rock Horror New Year’s Eve are $15 and include a bag of props and a champagne toast at midnight. Quantities of prop bags will be limited, so pre-purchase your ticket to make sure you get in on the fun. Before the show, cult fans will provide a rundown on the use of the provided props for newbies. Come dressed for the costume contest to add to the fun. Door prizes will include tickets to upcoming concerts.
Doors open at 9 p.m., with newbie orientation starting at 9:30 and the movie starting 10:00. Following the movie will be a countdown to a toast at midnight and a costume contest. Rated R, under 17 not admitted without a parent/guardian.
Event tickets are available online at www.PurplePass.com or at the theatre ticket office. Ticket Office hours are Monday thru Friday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets are also available at the Downtown Deli, 113 N Harvard St., and the Harvard Street Music Exchange, 134 S. Harvard St.
Information on all theatre events is available at www.HistoricHemetTheatre.com or by calling the ticket office at 951-658-5950. A weekly email blast of upcoming events is available by enrolling on the website.

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